Typographic design and character creation at the École Supérieure des Arts et Médias, Caen-Cherbourg

Seeing, understanding, creating

The connection between these three principles is developed throughout the educational programme. In the first year, students are given an introduction to the basic principles of readability, letter design and typesetting during workshops. Observation of lettering is progressively encouraged. The Graphic Design diploma programme builds on basic concepts of typography – the history of type and scripts, classification and the history of book design. A practical approach is given via workshops in calligraphy, lettering and type design, in which expressivity and personal expression are emphasised, in addition to skill and quality in drawing techniques.

The school benefits from the immediate proximity of IMEC (Institut Mémoire de l'Edition Contemporaine).

In the third year, theoretical teaching stresses orthotypography and microtypography. The passage from calligraphy to typography is done progressively. Character creation is not approached as an isolated practice, but systematically reintroduced into other areas of graphic design to ensure that it becomes an additional tool for future visual designers and artistic directors. Discussions of media, content management and information ranking are also crucial topics during the third year. The project phase (fourth and fifth year) under the "Publishing" major allows students a chance to expand their thinking about typographical issues. The practice of character design is continued in the form of research and creation workshops, while typographic design is taught via the creation and printing of multiples. The school benefits from the immediate proximity of IMEC (Institut Mémoire de l'Edition Contemporaine). The Institute's holdings of the archives of important graphic designers and theorists (including Pierre Faucheux and Gérard Blanchard), as well as of publishers and writers are consulted within the context of research projects involving the text and its form.