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GMD145 - Type & Typography - Shannon Doronio

Course:Type & Typography
Professor:Shannon Doronio
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


PROF. Shannon Doronio (She/Her)

Thank you for your interest in Type & Typography! 

My name is Shannon Doronio and I am your obsessive type-freak for this course. I am an educator and graphic designer who practices these disciplines through a lens of social justice, and a desire to leave the world better than I found it. 

Type is probably my favorite aspect of design as it is the dividing line between graphic design and "not graphic design." The ability to use typographic form and set type intelligently is an integral skill in design career success. I am thrilled each new semester to convert a new horde of type-nerds. 

Should you choose to enroll in this course, and you would like to receive a copy of the GMD145 Zine Publication containing the syllabus for this course you can email me your mailing address ( and I will mail you one! Snail mail guys! Printed Design! How Fun?!

Course Description

Type & Typography is an introductory course in the history, development, and creation of western letterforms and typography for use in advertising, print and screen-based media, publications, and various other areas of communication and graphic design. Emphasis is placed on the ability to understand the nature of letterforms and their context in culture, and the use of visual techniques to develop typographical sensitivity. Traditional hand lettering and the use of computers and software will enable you to explore creating expressive typographic design as well as explore a variety of typographic characteristics such as leading, kerning, and tracking.

The Student Learning Outcome (SLO) for this course is briefly outlined below with its corresponding objective. It is broken into two parts; lecture and lab. The SLO describes what each student will have learned after taking this course. This is not a checklist but rather a guide.

What to Expect in this Course

ZOOM Instruction Note

As faculty and students, we are in a season of Pandemic Education Norm-setting, which means we’ve learned a lot from our successes and failures—and we are adjusting. 

In this spirit, the following guidelines are being implemented in this course to hold all of us accountable for professional behavior, and academic success. Instruction is provided through video conference software and it is expected that enrolling students have access to a computer or mobile device with a microphone, webcam, and an Internet connection. If you do not have the aforementioned technology you can contact the college and make a technology request.

It is important for us to develop some best practices for working and learning in a conference software environment—as this type of interaction will most certainly benefit you later in your career.

You will be required to turn on your webcam and share your computer desktop in order to prove work progress. This means your computer desktop background and your immediate environment must be SAFE FOR WORK. Treat this class as if it were happening IRL and come to class fully clothed, having slept well, having eaten, and sitting upright. Sleeping, playing video games, hanging with pals, snuggling your boo, and chillin in the casino while attending this class via ZOOM are all massively poor demonstrations of professional decorum. Not good practice for that future job interview and remote career that may be happening via ZOOM in your very near future.

Type Specific Instruction

Get ready to embrace your inner (or outer) NERD. Typography is one of the principal elements of visual communication—and therefore the nerdiest aspect of graphic design. Understanding typography, and knowing how to develop typographically strong visual messaging is the difference between legit designers and design poseurs. It is extremely important for a designer’s career, that they have the ability to interpret, express, and communicate ideas to others through type. 

Topics presented in this class include the historical evolution of writing/typography, typographic anatomy, legibility vs. readability vs. aesthetic decision making. You will build your understanding of typography from research, to the intrinsic connection of letter, to word, to line, to page, to “book.” You will use analog design techniques (your hands)as well as single and multi-page layout software to create screen and print-based visual communication. Class projects will require you to examine type families, their history, and their structure, you will learn how to build information hierarchy and develop your own typographic aesthetic. You will develop a critical perspective on the technological, cultural, and aesthetic qualities of typography, as well as gain problem-solving techniques within specific typographic limitations.

Types of Assessments

Your grade is based on a thousand point scale. There are 5 graphic design projects in this course, graded Critique participation, and a multiple-choice final.

Textbook Information

Textbook Title:

Type Rules
ISBN-13: 978-1118454053
ISBN-10: 1118454057


Be a bargain shopper! Remember to show your student ID at check out. Some items are much cheaper with your student discount. Additional items may be needed from time to time in order to complete class projects. You do not need to purchase all class materials at once, a weeks notice will be given before items are needed. 

  1. Bienfang Graphics 360 Marker Paper 14” x 17” (50 sheets)
  2. Magma Sketchbook: Design & Art Direction
  3. X-Acto Knife with Blades
  4. Metal Ruler 24” (cork back)
  5. T-Square 24”
  6. Large Cutting Mat
  7. Graphite Transfer Paper, or home made (i'll show you how to do this)
  8. Cold Press Illustration Board (1) 20 x 30” or (2) 15 x 20”
  9. Drawing Pencils
  10. Pencil sharpener
  11. PENS 
  12. designer’s gauche, minimum of two colors of your choosing



Other Relevant Course Information


Because of the 100% online nature of this course, the only evidence I have of course participation is your daily completion of online coursework. Failure to make consistent progress demonstrated through completion of coursework may result in a course drop or withdrawal.

Drop Scenario 1: A student who does not login* to Canvas within 24 hours of the start date to complete the Course Basics Module will be dropped. No exceptions. *Although the class is not accessible until the first day of class, I highly recommend logging into Canvas at least one week ahead of time so reduce any delays in the Canvas login processes.

Drop Scenario 2: A student who does not complete the first exam will be withdrawn.

Drop Scenario 3: A student who does not complete more than a week’s coursework without communicating with the instructor will be withdrawn. 

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 02/07/2022 Sub#: 1298