Typography International: The ISTD Briefs

—Stephen Banham

THURS 9:30-12:30PM, THURS 1:30-4:30PM
*See myTimetable for Room & Time

Studio Inquiry

Every year the ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers) creates design briefs for students to go up for international assessment in order to foster quality in typographic education and practice. This studio has been set up to offer students an opportunity to undertake these briefs and explore the role of a strategic typographic practice. This studio presents an opportunity for budding typographers to develop a refined approach to typographic practice and expand upon your understanding of the core elements of typographic structure and composition.
The studio will require students to undertake research in the formulation of a body of knowledge around the chosen ISTD brief. There will also be research required for the weekly discussions into which they are expected to contribute.
Communication of knowledge
The focus of the studio is the relationship between typographic thinking and execution. It will involve the translation of research and strategy into ultimately finely crafted typographic form. Your chosen brief will require you to consider the target audience, appropriate outcomes and considerable design development. This will be discussed with both your tutor and in class discussions.
In this studio you will have a choice from three of the 2021 ISTD briefs – 'The Revolution Will Not Be…' (Political Change), 'Putting things in Order' (Systematic Thinking) or 'Biophilia' (Engagement with Nature) – one of which will become your core brief for the studio. These will be researched, conceptualised and given typographic form throughout this course. The ISTD briefs do not specify the format of the final piece as this will emerge from the research, strategy and design development. It does however have to highly considered, crafted and take physical form. Developmental drawings, reference material and a set of specific technical specifications will be required.
There will be three assessment tasks, aligning with the parts of the ISTD brief –

1 Research & Strategy
2 Design Development and Final form.
3 SKO worth 30%.

Note: Your RMIT assessment has no bearing on the ISTD assessment should you be chosen to enter.
Studio Partner
International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD)
Communities of Practice
Designing Experiences, Designing for Social Change, Designing Publications
Through its highly acclaimed Assessment scheme, ISTD engages with universities and institutions across the globe to raise the profile of typography in design education. Our goal is to give both tutors and students the opportunity to explore and develop typography as an inherent part of the design process and thus bring the typographic gesture to the forefront of their design education. Our practice is based upon the printed word but now embraces the gamut of media and technologies that we communicate with. Accordingly, we have progressively written our student project briefs for interpretation through a range of media. How and where we use the written word brings new issues, and also new opportunities to test our skills. First and foremost we are communicators skilfully utilising design to inform, persuade and delight. This makes each project a more demanding yet stimulating exercise.

About Stephen Banham

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