Typographic Self-Portrait

Draw, paint, or design on computer a typographic self-portrait–a portrait comprised entirely of typographic characters. Along with your design, submit a one-page critique that describes, analyzes, and interprets your work. Do the following:

  • Think about yourself. Consider your identity and study your face in photos and the mirror.
  • Play with different typefaces in Photoshop or another program that seem to signify something of your personality. Do you identify with the humanist movement? Or, are you more abstract, less organic (see TWT, p. 46)? Modern? Bold? Avant-garde? Unconventional? Traditional? Surreal? What phonetic sounds represent your personality?
  • Consider whether you identify strongly with a specific book, song, poem, or other text. You may want to incorporate that text into your design.
  • Decide how you will produce your project (with paint, pen, or pixels).
  • Create your self-portrait as an 11”x17” poster.
  • Mount your work on foam board.
  • Write a one-page critique of between 500 and 700 words that describes your design in one sentence, and then offers analysis and interpretation. Your written report should include attention to document design, including visual elements, and typeface choice. You may choose to use text columns, sidebars, line dividers, visual cues such as bold and italics, color, etc. Every element should have a purpose.
  • Submit the self-portrait with the critique on the due date.

You can manually produce the design or have it professionally produced at relatively low cost. Breslin Reproduction Service will print and mount your project on 24-pound paper and foam board for $6.40. You can give them or email a PDF:

Breslin Reproduction Service
919 North Beach Street, Daytona Beach

Kinko’s will print and mount your project for $12.55 in color or $10.86 in B&W:

2274 West ISB, Daytona Beach

Be sure to check how much time these print shops need to produce your work.

Evaluation: In addition to the grading criteria outlined on the syllabus, a superior project will demonstrate attention to both content of the text and typography as image (i.e., the meaning and/or sounds of the text used represents something of the subject and works effectively as image), as well as a polished presentation of both portrait and report. An A-project will demonstrate synthesis of the textbook readings to date, including the concepts of process, unity, emphasis, focal point, scale, proportion, and balance.

Tip: Here’s an interesting tutorial on creating typographic portraits from a photo using Photoshop.

Worth 100 points.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s