Typographic Poster Exercise

GDES-200 fall 2018 (David Ramos, American University Design)
ramos@american.edu · office hours

A study in type hierarchy. Make sketches on paper, in thumbnail form, using the sketch template (PDF). Typeset one of your concepts in InDesign and refine it. If time allows, try producing another concept on the computer.


Trim size: 10×16 in., portrait, with bleeds
Color: 4CP (full color)
Context: To be posted on bulletin boards
Type choice: Adobe Caslon Pro, Bodoni, or Univers

Example text

City Streets in an Age of Climate Change
Janette Sadik-Khan

6:30–7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Abramson Family Recital Hall
Katzen Arts Center
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016

“If you can change the street, you can change the world.”

Janette Sadik-Khan transformed New York City’s streets, during her time as a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. Under her leadership, the city’s Department of Transportation learned to experiment and move quickly, building safer places for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit passengers—and drivers. She now consults on transportation issues and chairs the National Association of Transportation Officials.

A note

This text is for a hypothetical lecture by a real figure. Janette Sadik-Khan will not, sadly, be speaking here on Wednesday.


Experiment with typographic variables: typeface, size, style (italic/roman), weight (bold, normal, light, etc.), leading (space between lines), letterspacing (space between characters), the use of rules (solid lines or borders), and measure (line length).

Also consider layout: are elements aligned? Are they close to each other or widely separated? What about negative space?