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



• One text/image design using Illustrator CC, larger than 9" x 9" but no larger than 10.5″ x 16.5″, effectively dealing with the theme and concepts as stated above. 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 rejecting them. Design must 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.



• 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. A color, tabloid print of your Illustrator file to go up with your critique image. A clean white boarder is fine, but cut any white access away.

2. Print a final statement to put up with your prints in the hallway. This should be:

  • 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). If no title, write Untitled (no italics for nameless title).

3. 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