Spring 2020 – UMass Dartmouth

Tuesdays & Thursdays: Section One 9:30 – 12:05, Section Two 12:40 – 3:15 | Room 256 Instructor: Lara Henderson   

email: | gmail & gitHub account: lahdesign

office hours (Room 155) Monday 10:30am – 12pm, Tuesday 8:30am – 9:30pm, Wednesday 10:30am – 12pm

OVERVIEW | Web Typography is a course in typographic theory and best practices for the web. Through demonstrations, online tutorials, readings, lectures and projects/critiques, you will be introduced to various approaches to the typographic page, as well as various approaches to using typography for the web. You will also learn current technological standards. The course work for this class includes the following: 

  • Comprehension of HTML, CSS & version control 
  • Knowledge of Javascript and APIs
  • Knowledge of the history of typography and type theory, with an accompanying design projects
  • Researching and designing a responsive portfolio site (with a resume, 4 projects, and an “about” section. Resume and portfolio site must use typographic elements to build a clear system of hierarchy
  • publishing & user testing of web sites

In this class, you are learning new languages and new ways to think about design. This class is an intensive and covers a wide range of topics. You are preparing for advanced study in your field. Be prepared to work, read, think, write, sketch, discuss, and revise.


  • Demonstrate mastery of a disciplined design process that includes thorough research, rigorous idea generation, self-editing and impeccable craft (digital and analog)
  • study and apply theory to better understand how to create meaningful communication
  • Engage in collaborative inquiry and consider diverse cultural perspectives and voices
  • Become fluent with the use of digital tools and responsive design
  • Apply knowledge of design principles to create cohesive organized visual systems
  • Respond to constructive criticism and take the steps necessary to defend or improve your project or incorporate new ideas
  • Constructively critique the work of others from formal, technical and conceptual frames of reference 
  • Organize your time and meet project deadlines. Every design problem has an infinite number of possible solutions. Only with patience, careful planning and clear thought will your ideas develop and mature.
  • Some major vocabulary: classical, modern, post-modern, HTML, CSS, tag, class, ID, div, stylesheet, padding, margin, web safe fonts vs web fonts, site map, wire frame, mobile first, responsive design


  • Laptop computer & charger
  • Sketchbook, for the class 8.5×11 (Leuchtturm1917, Ocean State Job lot) or digital sketchbook
  • Pen and pencil + paper, if sketching
  • Access to a light table if possible
  • Certain materials may be required on a per class basis

REQUIRED SOFTWARE | VSCode (free), Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign or free versions of those software programs

REQUIRED ACCOUNTS | Google, gitHub, vimeo, youtube, linked in (with custom url), codeAcademy, codepen

OPTIONAL ACCOUNTS | Mailchimp, social media accounts, arduino, soundCloud


  • Bring your laptop and charger to every class. Be on time, with all assignments completed and ready to be reviewed, meaning everything exported, rendered, printed, uploaded etc.
  • Your level of commitment and process are just as important as the deliverables. Keep a record of your process for show & tell. Sharing your mistakes and discoveries aids everyone in the course.
  • Back up your work frequently. If you lose work due to a technical debacle, you are responsible to restore or re-make it for submission.
  • If possible, eat before class. Let the instructor know if the 10 min extra around lunch time is not enough for you to eat. Only covered water during class time. The class will break for 20 min approximately halfway through the class
  • Check your email daily
  • Check the daily syllabus frequently

SKETCHBOOK | You will be required to keep a well-organized sketchbook of image making, experimentation, observation, material study, writing, research, technical notes and processes, either physical or digital. Maintaining an active sketchbook is a crucial component of good studio work; they are a necessity for keeping track and generating visual thoughts. You will be required to share this work either with the instructor and the class.

FLASHCARDS | Students will be provided with a vocabulary list of essential words. This will aid in the understanding of core concepts & develop a shared language that can assist in effective critiques and job placement. Students will create their own deck of cards, either physical or digital, to help them learn critical vocabulary

DAILY SYLLABUS | The provided schedule is a rough outline and is subject to change according to the needs of the group. As the semester progresses, it will become a collection of links, topics reviewed and student-submitted links

ATTENDANCE | Show up to every class and be on time. Late arrivals and early departures will be noted and affect your grade. In the case of illness and other emergencies, email me before class. This course is demonstration heavy. Four unexcused absences will result in the lowering of your grade, one letter grade. Six unexcused absences will result in automatic failure. Many demos build on lessons learned in the previous class. For that reason, it can be a challenge to make up the missed work. Students are expected to attend office hours &/or code club to make up missed work. If you are not able to make it to these meeting times in a timely manner, it is your responsibility to make up the work through a classmate.


30% – Attendance & participation | Punctuality, active participation in reviews & discussions. Attentiveness, planning & curiosity are critical in typography & graphic design. 

30% – Projects (including rough drafts & iterative work) | Exploration of varied ideas, thoughtful concept development, execution of multiple iterations. Quality assignments— ability to integrate learning from class, craftsmanship and presentation of work, work you feel proud to show to an internship or potential internship or employer.

30% – Design process archive | Through the use of gitHub, your sketchbook & a tutorial, you will create an archive of this course, something that you can continue to reference as you gain new skills. 

  • For successful completion of this course, all assignments will be posted to gitHub & your portfolio site deployed. 
  • Your sketchbook book will be reviewed during individual meetings, midterms & at the end of the semester. It needs to be is easy to follow and have all completed assignments. Wireframes, site maps & files that are to a professional quality.

10% – Quiz | Vocabulary, typography & coding comprehension, about halfway through the class

GRADING | You will receive both a mid-term progress grade & a final course grade. Verbal and written evaluations will take place during critiques as well as individual mid term meeting. Anytime a student does not understand the nature of the grades given &/or comments that were made concerning their work, speak to the instructor during office hours or make an appointment for an individual meeting. 


A – Always present. Work is on time. Excelled at innovation and communication. Work has excellent form and content, and took major risks. Always makes interesting contributions to the class & frequently led class discussions.

B – Always present. Work in on time. Was able to innovate and communicate concepts effectively. Work has good form and content, and took some risks. Able to make interesting contributions to the class

C – Occasional lateness. Takes minimal risks. Work holds together. Makes only obligatory contributions to discussions

D – Occasional lateness and more than three unexcused absences. Basic concepting and communication abilities.

F – Frequently late and/or absent. insufficient participation. Ineffective ideation and/or presentation of concepts


  • business card
  • rainbow
  • resume
  • establishing-importance
  • aboutMe
  • animation
  • portfolio-site

ACADEMIC SUPPORT SERVICES | Students with a documented disability or chronic health condition(s) are able to receive services through the Center for Access and Success. The Academic Resource Center is open to all UMD students and is an incredible resource for academic support outside of the classroom this resource is an important to any student of any background and provides individual tutoring. Please let the instructor know if you require special accommodations.

From the Provost

Incompletes | May be given only in exceptional circumstances, at the instructor’s discretion and at the student’s request made no more than 48 hours after the nal examination or last class. The student must be passing at the time of the request or must be su ciently close to passing for the instructor to believe that upon completion of the work the student will pass the course. If the work is not completed within a year of the recording of the grade of I, the grade will become an F(I).

Academic Integrity | All UMass Dartmouth students are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity and scholarly practice. The University does not tolerate academic dishonesty of any variety, whether as a result of a failure to understand required academic and scholarly procedure or as an act of intentional dishonesty.

A student found responsible of academic dishonesty is subject to severe disciplinary action which may include dismissal from the University. See ethical standards.cfm for the full policy.