Blog: Teaching Graphic Design Applied Typography

I have taught various courses in graphic design and typography since 2008 at Seattle Pacific University and at the Cornish College of the Arts. I originally got into it since I really loved reviewing student's portfolios and providing feedback on their work. That led to adjunct teaching opportunities and I found that just as rewarding. It's always interesting to see what the current generation finds "cool" and to see how they try and incorporate that into their projects.

My favorite course to teach is Applied Typography at Seattle Pacific University. It's for Juniors who are on the cusp of heading out into the world to make their mark on design. And while they are already very good, my job is to push them to be great. How? Basically I constrain their youthful design exuberance by having them work on very rigid, Swiss style design and grids. Exercise after exercise they are constrained and learn about, what I feel is, the base of any great design, Swiss style. Then, once they've just about had it with me, I have them reignite their youthful exuberance and create innovative layouts that are now backed by Swiss principles that have been drilled into their minds.

While I still love designing and art directing for Design Hovie Studios, I have a special place in my heart for teaching and the students who will take design into the next 25 years. They have an outlook and view of the world that is refreshing and helps keep me young. Click Here to download my introduction presentation for Applied Typography.

— Hovie Hawk

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