About the assignment
This assignment has been used in type classes at the Royal Academy of Arts, and various workshops. The list of parameters continues to be tuned and improved.
The assignment forces students to think outside familiar typographic areas. The students see that almost all characteristics of type can be identified, isolated and changed. By focussing on these parameters, typefaces can be analysed in greater detail. This in turn allows better definition and positioning of follow up projects. Drawing type is one of the most efficient ways of teaching students to see and understand shapes.
TypeCooker assumes the student has:
- a basic understanding of type anatomy and terms
- understanding of types and characteristics of contrast in type
- basic type drawing skills
It’s a good idea to start by reading through the parameters and to show some examples for each.
During a couple of lessons (for instance 4), each student generates and draws a series of TypeCooker recipes. The requirements and the drawings are kept together and can be used to see if all requirement have been addressed. Discussing the work of a couple of students as a group allows comparing of different solutions, and provides an opportunity to show alternative solutions. Students are encouraged to draw more.
After the series is over, these criteria are important in evaluating the success of this assignment for each student.
- given the segment of time available, the number of finished projects.
- did the student make an effort to consistently address all rules
- did the student arrive at the solution easily or with difficulty
- the number of sketches and intermediate drawings for a single TypeCooker assignment
- does the result transcend the rules (“nice despite the rules”) or does it apear to be a mechanical execution of the rules?
Students often find reasons to keep drawing type after the assignment is over. Basic drawing skills have become part of the problem solving repertoire. A digitisation exercise using letter forms drawn in the TypeCooker class is a good way to proceed.