andrea herstowski

MW 8:30 - 11:10am

type universe class

Chalmers 312  + Chalmers 313

3 credits

Andrea Herstowski

office hours by appointment


Google Drive

VISC 525/ADS 560: Typographic Universe

The primary goal of this studio is to give the Design student an introduction to the world of Type Design. Type Design looks at the sequence of black-and-white forms, requires equal attention to the form of the characters and the spaces around them. We will practice designing type systematically, focusing on looking at, defining, and refining the interrelationships between forms. Particular attention will be paid to the techniques and best practices for creating, drawing, and spacing type. The course uses Glyphs 3, a MAC only software program. Type Design

Learning Outcomes:
_ Develop an understanding of the field of type design
_ Understand systematic procedures to build the design of a typeface
_ Understand aesthetic issues in the design of different glyphs
_ Understand the principles of spacing type
_ Mastery of the bezier curve(s)
_ Fluency in the Glyphs app
_ Solve design problems while working within specific limitations
_ Demonstrate independent problem solvin

Helpful Hints:
Be Around. Be Engaged. Go to everything.
Always attend class.
Read everything you can get your hands on.
Look at movies carefully and often.
Save everything - it may come in handy later.

In order to get the most out of this class and grow as a designer, you will need to engage in the coursework proactively with a serious attitude and a willingness to work beyond just doing what is asked. Work hard and challenge yourself, you learn by doing. Design is a very competitive profession, but it is also a very rewarding one and this course is taught with that mindset. Students are expected to work hard, every day, not just for good grades but for the growth that the work brings and the skill development that comes with it.

You will only get worthy work out of this course if you are curious, have self-initiative, and dedicate time to it. What we will be doing is time-consuming and time-sucking slow, sometimes frustrating, and repetitive work! I hope you are ready to nerd out, be engaged, share, and explore. If not please check with your advisor to find a course that is a better fit to your lifestyle.

Clear verbal skills are all important in communicating your ideas to clients and design team members. For all critiques, students are expected to come prepared to present their concepts, discuss how the form of their design supports their concept, and describe how they arrived at their ideas. Providing comments to your peers is a privilege. You will benefit from both giving and receiving feedback—you do not have to “like” another’s work, but you must provide insightful commentary in a courteous and productive manner. Students are required to turn their mobile phones to silent and refrain from surfing the web, checking or updating any social media, checking email, text messaging, etc. during class, lectures, and demos. You may use theses devices only during designated break times.

Lack of professionalism can effect lower your grade by one full letter grade.
__ attend class on time and stay throughout the whole class period
__ prepared for every class
__ participate in classroom discussions/crits
__ maintain a positive and open-minded attitude
__ demonstrate deliberate self-disciplined and timely work habits
__ progressively strive for and achieve the highest standards of quality.

For class, we will use this website, Slack, Google Drive, and Zoom (when needed). Always save your pdfs as the smallest size. Only the finals need to be saved at a higher resolution.

Please join and turn on notifications 
invite |

Google Drive
bookmark to this folder

Please check out the resources page, find some type designers to follow on instagram, check out the links and refer to the page during the semester.

SUPPLIES (purchase anywhere you would like, Amazon, WonderFair, School Shop...)
— Sketch book or pads of paper
— Grid Paper
— Tracing paper
— Tape
— White-out pen (you will need it -- a lot: this one is great)
— Eraser
— Scissors
— Various sizes of black pens from fine to something like Sharpie Twin, King, Magnum, Biggie
— 2 pencils (you can have more but at least 2)
— triangle (can be small but 30/60/90 and 45/90 (if you only have 30/60/90 that is fine)
— 6 inch ruler (a longer one is fine)
— circle template (and any other ones you like) or compass

We will be using the software Glyphs, it is in the school labs, and/or you can purchase it at the student rate. If you want to purchase the scroll down and request a student rate it is 50% off.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS (not required) 
Designing Fonts: An introduction to Professional Type Design
Designing Type
Type Tricks
Anatomy of Type
Visual History of Type
Revival Type
Type Design Theory

CALENDAR (please note, do not make travel plans when we have class)
Wednesday, January 16: First Day
March 11 – 15 Spring Break (no class)
May 3: Stop Day
Final Project Due: May: Finals Week (TBD)

The first half of the semester is broken up into short directed exercises building to the creation of a full working typeface. The exercise introduces a bit of history, an approach to glyph construction, and practice in drawing correctly in the Glyphs app, they build upon each other to give you the skills needed to approach an original typeface. Each exercise or project will have a deliverable including process, pdf presentation, Glyphs file, font file, and a project overview document.

10% Lowercase: developing a system and learning glyphs: nclopdh
10% Capital Letter: construction and proportion
20% Revival Exploration into..
20% Personality Exploration of...
25% Final Font
15% Final Promotional Material
*Please be collegial classmates and motivate each other to excellence every day. How can you help your classmate be the best designer they can be?

We are working digitally so don’t be tempted to copy and paste any letters, punctuation, numbers, symbol, etc. You must draw original glyphs. Copying is not only misconduct it is illegal. Plagiarism of any kind will result in you failing the course and could result in your not graduating.

For each project Process, Product and Craft will together make up the final grade for each project.

Levels of Performance
A superior / excellent/ exceeds expectations
B very good
C satisfactory / meets expectations
D unsatisfactory / did not meet expectations
F unacceptable

To earn an "A" your process, product, and participation all have to exceed expectations. An "A" is not awarded for completing the project as asked. It is not a matter of checking off the boxes. You all can earn an "A". Earn it. Be Exceptional Every Day.

All projects and assignments are due on the date set by the instructor. Late projects will be penalized by lowering the project grade by one full letter grade for each day that it is late. After three days, late projects will no longer be accepted. Projects are due at the start of class.

Throughout the semester you are required to work a minimum of 9 hours of homework per week.

Students are required to attend class. Please be in class on time and remain for the entire period. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class period. Three late marks will equal one absence. A total of 3 absences will be allowed for any reason. On your 4th absence, your grade will drop by one full letter grade or you may be asked to withdraw from the course.

In the event of any absence, students are still responsible for obtaining all information and materials from the class period and completing all assignments on time. It is your sole responsibility to find out about any new work assigned during your absence.

If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and we can connect virtually.

Because of the fast-paced, project-based nature of studio curricula, absences as the result of a medical condition will count in the same way as non-medical absences. Excessive absence for any reason, as outlined in this policy, is irreparably detrimental to a student’s ability to succeed in our studio curriculum.

If any scheduled course meeting conflicts with mandated religious observance, the student must notify the instructor prior the day of the observance that the student will be absent.

Students who have a documented disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can register with the University Academic Support Center (UASC) if they would like to request accommodations. Requests for any accommodations should be filed through the UASC prior to the start of classes or very shortly thereafter. Requests for accommodations are most effective when submitted prior to beginning or immediately after beginning a class. More information regarding requests for accommodations is available at

Critique is one of the most valuable parts of formal design education. It is also one of the most difficult aspects of the design school experience. It is a collaborative activity that takes quite a bit of time to learn — both in terms of how to give feedback, and how to accept feedback. READ:

Everyone has the right to be referred to with their preferred name and pronouns. An opportunity to share names and pronouns will be provided on the first day of class. If there are any changes during the semester, feel free to inform me. The instructor and students in this course are expected to respect each other’s identities, names, and pronouns. If someone makes a mistake or misgenders another student, a brief apology and self-correction are appreciated. In case you feel that your identities are not being respected, including by the instructor, please let me know about the issue. If you prefer not to share with me directly, you can consider reaching out to other resources like the Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity or the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX.

Students who are in the process of updating their name at KU can refer to the Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity’s “Name & Gender Marker Changes at KU” guide at

The Student Access Center (SAC) coordinates academic accommodations and services for all eligible KU students with disabilities. If you have a disability for which you wish to request accommodations and have not contacted SAC, please do so as soon as possible. They are located in 22 Strong Hall and can be reached at 785-864-4064 (V/TTY). Information about their services can be found at Please contact me privately in regard to your needs in this course.

The University of Kansas supports an inclusive learning environment in which diversity and individual differences are understood, respected, and appreciated. We believe that all students benefit from training and experiences that will help them to learn, lead, and serve in an increasingly diverse society. All members of our campus community must accept the responsibility to demonstrate civility and respect for the dignity of others. Expressions or actions that disparage a person’s or group’s race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, gender, gender identity/expression, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, or disability are contrary to the mission of the University. We expect that KU students, faculty, and staff will promote an atmosphere of respect for all members of our KU communityThis is an inclusive classroom. At KU, administrators, faculty, and staff are committed to the creation and maintenance of “inclusive learning” spaces. These are classrooms, labs, and other places of learning where you will be treated with respect and dignity and where all individuals are provided equitable opportunity to participate, contribute, and succeed.

As a premier learning and research institution, the University of Kansas must continuously address issues of diversity and multiculturalism. Every member of the university community is expected to engage in action that leads toward the development of a more democratic and inclusive community. Proactive efforts towards increasing diversity and the elimination of discrimination are necessary in our university. The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is prohibited. Contact the Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center.

The student conduct process exists to protect the rights of the community. The rights and privileges of the individual are components of a community. These rights are protected with vigilance equal to the enforcement of rules and procedures. When a student is unable to conform their behavior to community expectations and values the student should no longer share in the privilege of participating in this community.

RESPECT: You are expected to show positive regard for each other.
COMMUNITY: You are expected to build and enhance a community of your peers.
INTEGRITY: You are expected to exemplify honesty, honor and respect for the truth in all your dealings.
RESPONSIBILITY: In relation to student rights, you are given and accept a high level of responsibility to self, to others and the community.

It is mandatory that all work submitted for this class is original and created by you specifically for this semester and this class. Any instances where work is discovered to closely resemble material found online will be regarded as plagiarism. In such cases, appropriate sanctions will be implemented for all individuals involved in plagiarizing coursework. Plagiarism is a violation of the University Senate Rules and Regulations and will not be tolerated. Consequences may include failing the project, disqualification from the VisCom Sophomore Review, course failure, departmental suspension, or expulsion from the university.

Important note about Artificial Intelligence: If AI is used to help create text or images in this project (or any project in any of your classes), it is imperative to be transparent and honest about its involvement. AI can be embraced and explored as a tool used to enhance the creative process. Maintaining mastery over the AI and making necessary alterations to all final deliverables is crucial.

As we navigate this learning process, we must remember to exercise responsible AI usage and ensure that AI serves as a valuable assistant rather than a substitute for creativity and originality. Together, we can leverage AI to augment our process. Honesty and integrity could lead to a more insightful and ethical exploration of AI's potential in the creative domain.

Consequences may include course failure, departmental suspension, or expulsion from the university.

Academic misconduct will not be tolerated in this class. Academic misconduct by a student shall include, but not be limited to, disruption of classes; threatening an instructor or fellow student in an academic setting; giving or receiving of unauthorized aid on examinations, reports or other assignments; knowingly misrepresenting the source of any academic work; unauthorized changing of grades; unauthorized use of University approvals or forging of signatures; plagiarizing of another's work; or otherwise acting dishonestly.

Disruptive Behavior: The scope and content of the material included in this course are defined by the instructor in consultation with the responsible academic unit. While the orderly exchange of ideas, including questions and discussions prompted by lectures, discussion sessions and laboratories, is viewed as a normal part of the educational environment, the instructor has the right to limit the scope and duration of these interactions. Students who engage in disruptive behavior, including persistent refusal to observe boundaries defined by the instructor regarding inappropriate talking, discussions, and questions in the classroom or laboratory may be subject to discipline for non-academic misconduct for disruption of teaching or academic misconduct.

List of Policies and Resources on ArcD website

ArcD Student Hub
This new site is a great resource for all KU Architecture & Design students. Visit it to see weekly announcements, advising info, policies and resources, job postings, internships, scholarship opportunities, upcoming electives and study abroad trips, student organizations information and events! The site will be updated weekly during the academic year.

Connect with Your Academic Advisors
Real-time conversations with an academic advisor are the fastest path to assistance and support. The ARC/D advisors offer two kinds of real-time availability: 1. Virtual Drop-In Hours  2. Scheduled In-Person Appointments. Check out the website for more information or to setup an appointment.

The Student Access Center (SAC) coordinates academic accommodations and services for all eligible KU students with disabilities. If you have a disability for which you wish to request accommodation and have not contacted SAC, please do so as soon as possible. They are located in 22 Strong Hall and can be reached at 785-864-4064 (V/TTY). Please contact me privately in regard to your needs in this course.

Writers need feedback, sounding boards, and other people to coach them while they compose. That's where the KU Writing Center comes in. It's a place for productive talk about writing, with trained peer consultants to help you brainstorm, draft, and revise your projects.

University Academic Support Centers provides a variety of academic support programs designed to support learning for all KU students.

Academic Learning Center offers many services and programs to assist students in their academic success and to enhance their collegiate experience at KU.

CAPS Personal Counseling Services can help students with issues related to adjusting to college and other psychological, interpersonal, and family problems. Individual sessions, group sessions and psychiatric services are available.


Academic Misconduct
Change of Grade
Commercial Note-Taking
Commitment to Integrity and Ethical Conduct
Diversity and Inclusion
KBOR Statement on Free Expression
Mandatory Reporting
Nondiscrimination, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action
Racial and Ethnic Harassment Policy 
Sexual Harassment
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Weapons, Including Firearms