content in brief
• visual analysis
• proportion
• typographic composition
• eight organizational systems
• typographic hierarchy

all levels: basic, intermediate, advanced

buy the hardcopy book
130 pages, $19.95 [... amazon]

typographic systems by kimberly elam

© 2007, princeton architectural press
all design is based on a structural system. these systems or frameworks can be broken down into eight major variations with an infinite variety of compositions within each system. once essential visual organization systems are understood, the designer can fluidly organize words or images within a structure, combination of structures, or create a variation of a structure. filled with extensive research and more than 300 informative examples, typographic systems provides a rich, thought provoking, easy-to-understand overview and demonstrates a step-by-step approach to non-traditional typographic composition.

table of contents
project elements and process
constraints and options
the circle and composition
nonobjective elements
1. axial system
le corbusier poster
zürcher maler poster
zürcher künstler poster
experimental student work
2. radial system
old truman brewery poster
music festival poster
bring in da noise… poster
getty center fellowships poster
experimental student work
3. dilatational system
experimental music 1982 poster
experimental music 1984 poster
experimental music 1983 poster
experimental music 1996 poster
experimental student work
4. random system
ba-tsu 1994 poster
life’s a dream poster
david carson newspaper ads
experimental student work
5. grid system
skyline calendar
emil ruder calendars
vibrato website
experimental student work
6. transitional system
end of print poster
die welwoche ads
experimental student work
7. modular system
amertume poster
bresil poster
designing with time
holland dance festival poster
8. bilateral system
serenaden 92 poster
the new discourse page
émigré page
experimental student work


author information
kimberly elam is the chair of the graphic + interactive communication department at the ringling school of art and design, sarasota, florida. she is the author of "expressive typography, word as image," van nostrand reinhold, 1990, "geometry of design, studies in proportion and composition," princeton architectural press, 2001, "grid systems, principles of organizing type," princeton architectural press, 2004, "typographic systems," princeton architectural press, 2006, “line icons” ebook, at lulu.com, “paper food” ebook, at lulu.com. she has lectured and conducted workshops at numerous institutions.

email: kelam@studioresourceinc.com


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