Typography at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design ÉSAD-GV (Valence site)

The curriculum proposed in the Graphic Design option of the Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design Grenoble-Valence includes, from the start, awareness of the text and thus to the media and graphic signs that shape it: students are thus encouraged to appropriate one of the materials, not the least among them, that they will work with for their graphic design productions as well as in the design and argumentation of their projects.

There is thus a back-and-forth between two approaches to typography – macro-typography (layout, understanding of various types of texts, dealing with the structure of discourses and the hierarchy of information that they contain, etc.) and micro-typography (type design, understanding of the anatomy of the signs and perception of forms, exploration of the possibilities offered by programming, etc.).

We attempt to place the teaching of typography in an exploratory vein.

Whether or not a student is aiming at a career in type design, we believe it is beneficial to offer to each student the possibility of knowledge and practice in this area, even at an advanced level if desired. This includes analysis and experimenting with letters, as well as an understanding of the essence of graphic design, and the basis of this in the structuring of elementary forms, which are subject to constraints and possibilities, common uses or innovative daring.

By questioning our practices of reading and writing, contexts, practices and the tools that generate them, we attempt to place the teaching of typography in an exploratory vein. Learning through traditional exercises is one step among others, not an end in itself: the experimental side, the re-examination of the issues of creation and immersion in today's media are strongly encouraged.

Weekly classes are complemented by events such as workshops (most recently Fanette Mellier and Thomas Huot-Marchand), study days, roundtables (Lectures numériques, March 2010) and exhibitions (Roger Excoffon et l’imprimerie Olive, May 2011) are organized each year around the themes of writing, reading and typography.