Generative Typography: Online

Generative Typography with Lynne Yun and Kevin Yeh

Cost: $1060.00

Instructors: Lynne Yun and Kevin Yeh

10 Thursdays, Jun. 04 – Aug. 06, 2020
6:30PM – 9:30PM
tuition: $ 1060
location: Online


Class size is limited to 16 students to insure plenty of individual feedback to students. 

Since the invention of written language, typography as a practice has existed and adapted to the many forms of human expression — from being cast in metal to being manipulated within photographic mediums. Recently, the ability to engage in visual coding through the browser has become easier than ever, opening the doors for creatives to generate and digitally manipulate font structures and layouts to create new and exciting compositions.

This class will focus on generative design as it pertains to typography and letterforms. We will explore the building blocks of algorithmic art and apply those tools to manipulate digital type, which is, at its core, a series of data points. In addition to visual coding, the class will engage in critical discussions about the computational nature of creation. How does this differ from historical methods of typographic exploration, and what can we take from the past to build upon it? How do we create generative designs that are meaningful as opposed to frivolous?

P5.js will be the main programming library for the course, and students who are new to programming are welcome. Techniques covered in this course will include building visual compositions with code, manipulating pixel and vector data, and implementing them in real-time applications, such as computer-assisted handwriting and animation.

Prerequisite Skills: Basic typography skills such as a college level Typography 1 class.

Required Materials

  • A desktop or laptop computer
  • A reliable internet connection

Learning Outcomes:

By the successful completion of this course, students will have:
· Comfort in Javascript programming
· Confidence in the P5.js environment
· Critical reasoning as it applies to computational making
· Familiarity with technological advances in typography
· An understanding of digital structures for various data types (images, font files, etc)

Projects Students Will Engage In:

Students will be expected to work in P5.js and create typographic projects of a computational nature. There will be weekly lectures on different algorithmic concepts, and students will be expected to apply them in browser-based projects. There will be weekly coding assignments, and a final assignment towards the end of the semester. In this final assignment, students will create and apply generative form-making tools as part of their process in a self-selected medium. These may take the form of an interactive website, animated sequence, or dynamic branding identity.

Prerequisite Skills: Basic typography skills such as a college level Typography 1 class.

Course Code: GenType01

Instructor(s): Lynne Yun , Kevin Yeh

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.