Liberated Page

UB student images, 2016-17

UB student images, 2016-17


An exploration of the potential of digital manipulation of type, to liberate us from traditional methods of typography and design.



The printed page is the product of 500 year old technology. The organization of type and graphics results from the physical limitations of the printing press and the financial constraints imposed by the publisher. Historically, metal type and rectangular images are presented most economically when condensed into narrow columns and arranged in a grid. Design has thus been influenced by these limitations. Yet even as technology has afforded the designer more freedom in the use of text and visual imagery, print media continues to reflect tradition. Even Web pages mimic the form of the book.

How do we explore the potential of digital technology? We are still restricted by the frame of the monitor or the electronic print, but we may more easily focus on a solution that could speak to a more visually literate audience. Is it important to reach a wider audience… communicate more economically… create a cross-cultural communication?



Design a work that speaks out on an issue involving politics and technology. Choose a current issue that reflects how technology is changing the political environment, or on how politics is changing technology. Conduct the appropriate research to inform your message. Consider, for example, computerized voting, the media, digital rights management, digital millennial copyright act, wiretapping, creative commons licensing. Choose topics that you find a great deal of interest in.

Express your message with activated type. Consider the visual qualities of the letterforms and other design elements which can be used to convey your message — shape, scale, line, space and texture; emphasis, balance, rhythm, pattern, color, and unity. (See vocab_03 for additional design principles).

The type design must function on two levels: text as image image as text. At first glance, the design should suggest a visual attitude that will influence the viewer’s perception. Upon closer examination and reading, the textual content will be revealed, reinforced by the visual attitude.

The text should not necessarily take the form of an object or recognizable visual element. Instead, the type forms should be treated as visual objects themselves, and arranged in a way that suggests a mood or attitude.


your role as a producer of media

Focus your message on one aspect of your topic. Remember, the final result should persuade, inform, and educate.

To help you focus and clarify the point of your communication, consider the following questions:

  1. Who is your client?
    (imaginary or based on a real organization or business)

  2. What specifically are they communicating?

  3. Why are they hiring you to say it?
    (persuade, educate, sell…)

  4. Who are they saying it to?

  5. What visual attitude will you use to communicate the meaning behind the message?

Once you understand the answers to these questions, executing the design (choosing the words and imbuing them with a visual attitude) will be much easier, and the conveyed meaning will be more clear. Consider using the answers to these questions as part of your project proposal/statement


Technical Requirements

  • One text-based design using Illustrator CC that is larger than 9" x 9" but no larger than 10.5″ x 16.5″

  • Your Ai file should be set to RGB colorspace.

  • The piece should refer to principles of graphic design such as composition, color theory and typography, either by incorporating them or purposefully (detailed in your statement) rejecting them.

  • Design must serve a dual purpose: make use of text as image and text as type

  • Raster imagery may NOT be present in the final file, whatsoever (anything used should be vectorized). Think more about presenting type as the main focus and add imagery as needed to support your design.

  • All submitted files should have your first name and last name, title is optional.

  • File should have all used layers labeled for clarity and organization. Unused layers should be hidden, locked and start with the title “not used”



• Group Consultation — Proposal: Submit a written proposal via the class blog, meet in class to discuss (see section schedule). You will also need to bring sketches to accompany your concept.

• Individual Consultation — Image: Preview a preliminary layout with your instructor (see section schedule) to discuss how you plan to work out the image to its completion.

• Critique — prepare a written statement and print out the statement as well as your image on tabloid-size paper. Display both in the hall (see schedule for specifics and dates).



  1. color tabloid print put up within first 10 minutes of crit day (see schedule)

    • leaving white border from printer is okay, but trim off any un-even excess.

    • should not be folded and should be put up level in the hall

  2. updated statement from your original proposal that:

    • labeled with your full name

    • makes us aware of the political component

    • makes us aware of the technology component

    • why you are doing this topic

    • is physically cut down to act as a tag (not just folded)

  3. Facebook Post

    • Export your image as a png or jpg and upload to the group Facebook page

    • with your image, copy any past the same project description that you printed for crit

    • Facebook Feedback within two days of crit (see schedule)

      • Reply to TWO other works from people in your class

        • Your first post should be on someones that does not have any comments.

        • Do not reply to someones work that already has 3 comments.

      • Review feedback that I gave to you (or others) on previous Facebook feedback to ensure you are more focused in forming your feedback

      • Feedback should be more intimate and thought out. Just like writing a paper, your feedback should be reworked until it reads correctly.

      • Feedback should include the following:

        • One positive specific element of their work

          • Give context for your comment

        • One negative specific element of their work

          • Give context for your content

        • One suggestion of a tool that they should consider using

          • this suggestion should be based on the negative specific suggestion that you gave. How can this tool enhance the goals of their project?

Final Submission

1. Prints

  • Final colored, tabloid print

    • leaving white border from printer is okay, but trim off any un-even excess.

    • should not be folded and should be put up level in the hall

  • Print a final statement to put up with your print that:

    • is not passive and speaks on the final solution that you are presenting visually

    • is 3-5 clearly-written sentences that summarize what your project stands for.

    • labeled with your full name and any title (art titles should be in italics, not quotes). If no title, write Untitled (no italics nor quotes should be used for nameless works).

2. Digital files:

  • Upload a folder with your name of your project to the drive that includes:

  • your Illustrator(Ai) CC file

    • on the second save dialogue box for the ai file, you should have most options checked, especially to include linked files (any images that you used as guides)

  • a CS6 legacy EPS file

    • On the first “Save As” dialogue box, select EPS and check “use art boards”

    • On the second save as dialogue box that will pop up, do the following:

      • change the top drop down “Version” from CC to CS6 (this is how you save Ai or other files as backward compatible for older versions of the programs)

      • ensure that you preserve editing and layers

      • Check “include Linked Files” (if any)

      • and check “include document thumbnails” (this shows you a previews of the image on the file itself rather than a default eps logo)


—> View the project_02: rubric PDF

This project will be graded on (in order of importance):

• creative and effective approach to your subject matter
• demonstration of technical proficiency with advanced Illustrator procedures
• fulfillment of project requirements
• effective visual and oral presentation of solution
• involvement in group critique