TYMPBC-Book design core module

Module Provider: Typography
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Ruth Blacksell

Email: r.e.blacksell@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

The module aims to explore book design as a negotiation between the author's text, the reader's requirements, and the practicalities of production, with particular focus on the period since 1890. It aims to introduce students to the changing role of the designer in the publishing industry by discussing practitioners and processes; to introduce methods of evaluation and consideration of the reader's requirements; to discuss developments in technology in the context of designing complex texts; and to study the design of different genres of book to explore underlying design concepts.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • draw on a broad historical and theoretical perspective of typographic design and production
  • trace the historical development of book design in this period
  • discuss the needs of the reader and understand evaluation methods
  • describe design issues in the major genres of published books
  • relate the development of book design to the technologies used in book production

Additional outcomes:
Students should also be able to communicate effectively in speech - in particular discussing concepts and procedures, and present coherent arguments, and in writing - in particular composing documents which investigate, analyse, and argue critically about relevant issues.
They should be able to undertake independent research, both using IT and by working with primary sources.

Outline content:
Seminars will consider key texts in typographic theory, history, and practice under the broad heading of ‘design for reading’, considering topics such as house style and prescription; typeface design; design criticism; manuals of typography; genre; legibility studies.
Lectures will consider topics such as the Private Press movement; typeface design; illustration techniques; aspects of Modernism; the design of complex texts; approaches to book illustration; information books; the computerization of book production; the role of the designer as specifier and implementer of design. Resources from the Department’s own collections, and RUL special collections and publishers' archives will provide material for individual sessions.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Up to 10 lectures/seminars in the Autumn and Spring terms (not including library sessions), and up to 5 in the Summer term. Seminars typically focus on one or more text or artefact that is explored in depth, with students taking it in turns to lead the discussion and present a short paper. Some seminars will be given over to an introduction to techniques of evaluation. Lectures and library sessions as arranged by the programme director will be typically 5 hours in Autumn and Spring terms.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Seminars 15 15
Tutorials 3 2
Practicals classes and workshops 15 15
External visits 3 3 3
Guided independent study 104 102
Total hours by term 150.00 147.00 3.00
Total hours for module 300.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Report 50

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 17 January 2017

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