Submitted by: Kevan Nitzberg,
Anoka High School, Anoka, Minnesota. UNIT: Typography - Sculpture Grade Level: High School (adaptable for middle school)
Note from Kevan:
Because I teach a very diverse population, I allow as many ways of accessing letter fonts as students need. Some do in fact freehand the letters while others rely on the computer to generate the fonts which are then blown up with either the copy machine or our "Artograph." Still others (typically some of my more challenged Special Needs students), will even resort to using pre-made stencils. However, I do have a worksheet that I have them all complete prior to creating their templates where they do have to draw out the 2 letters they plan on using in 5 different font styles. That is a hand done assignment.
Create a relief sculpture utilizing letters as shapes
Disciplinary Sources: Art Production, Aesthetics, Art History, Art Analysis
Click images for larger views.
1) shapes used in lettering design can be used as components for various art projects including sculpture
2) different styles of lettering can be used towards creating different effects
3) lettering can help to convey feeling
4) negative spaces around the letters may be considered as additional shapes
5) compositional interest is enhanced through the combination of shapes and the spaces that are created around them.
Exemplars: Show students of how letters are utilized in existing works of art as well as elements of design – examples might include:
1) Complete worksheets: research typographical / font styles (plan letter designs on work sheets).
2) Create templates for letter shapes (2 letters) to size desired – minimum of 5 copies of each letter to be used (additional shapes around letters as well as additional copies of the letters being used may be included) – 10 shape minimum (See note above - for special needs students)
3) trace shapes from templates onto gator board – keep templates in folders (create an envelope to hold them). Letters / shapes should not exceed 8" on a side
5) notch shapes for fitting pieces together (as needed – notches should be no wider than shapes are thick, and should be at least ½" deep)
6) paint using Metallic Acrylics (gold, silver, copper, brass) – only ONE color to be used in sculpture. Base may be same color, black, white, or a combination of black and white in a pattern that works with the configuration of the shapes (base should be primed if using black or white as color)
7) After drying, shapes to be attached to each other
8) Cut bases – 12" (30.5 cm) square particle board (NOTE: base could be Masonite or any kind of board. If on a tight budget, base can be heavy cardboard. Painting bases black gives a nice contrast)
9) Affix nail–less hanger on back of base – grind off points as they come through the particle board base as necessary (Other types of hangers can be used if bases are cardboard... a piece of scrap cardboard with a hole punched can be glued on as a hanger).
10) Attach / glue shapes - Cardboard spacers may be placed between letters to give more relief.
11) Critique/discuss finished work. Students write a reflection piece about their sculpture.
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs - While learning to decipher the language of the ancient Egyptians, readers will also learn about their history, social structure, and funerary beliefs.
Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design - The book is organized using typographic classifications such as sans serif, serif, display, script, and dingbats. Each typeface is presented in detail, including its origin, main characteristics, and uses.
Typography, serif, sans serif, Roman, Gothic, Book (and other major fonts of your choice), relief sculpture, negative and positive space, pattern, movement, rhythm, repetition, contrast, variety, unity, emphasis
Rubric adapted from Marianne Galyk (Kevan uses detailed rubrics)
Rubric Submitted by Marianne Galyk
Assignment: Cardboard Typography Relief Sculpture
Circle the number in pencil that best shows how well you feel that you completed that criterion for the assignment.
Criteria 1 – Worksheet of letter designs - planning
9 – 8
6 or less
Criteria 2 – Templates for letter design - cutting of letters
9 – 8
6 or less
Criteria 3 – Sculpture assemblage - aesthetics - use of design elements/principals
9 – 8
6 or less
Criteria 4 – Effort: took time to develop idea & complete project? (Didn’t rush.) Good use of class time?
9 – 8
6 or less
Criteria 5 – Craftsmanship – Neat, clean & complete? Skillful use of the art tools & media?
9 – 8
6 or less
Total: 50 x 2
(100 possible points)
1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
2. Using knowledge of structures and functions
3. Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
5. Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
6. Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks
Students demonstrate the ability to form and defend judgments about the characteristics and structures to accomplish commercial, personal, communal, or other purposes of art
Students reflect on how artworks differ visually, spatially, temporally, and functionally, and describe how these are related to history and culture
Students identify intentions of those creating artworks, explore the implications of various purposes, and justify their analyses of purposes in particular works
Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use
Students evaluate the effectiveness of artworks in terms of organizational structures and functions
Students apply subjects, symbols, and ideas in their artworks and use the skills gained to solve problems in daily life
Students describe meanings of artworks by analyzing how specific works are created and how they relate to historical and cultural contexts
Students compare characteristics of visual arts within a particular historical period or style with ideas, issues, or themes in the humanities or sciences
Students create artworks that use organizational principles and functions to solve specific visual arts problems
Students reflect analytically on various interpretations as a means for understanding and evaluating works of visual art