Tag Archives: Typography

Illustrator Type Week: Expressive Text

Objective: Use the Appearance and Graphic Styles panels in Illustrator to produce expressive text.

Student Friendly Objective: I can use Illustrator to produce expressive type.

Web Link:
Adobe Illustrator CS5 Tutorial 37 | Appearances & Graphic Styles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDtraLlf5rA

Topics Discussed:

  • Typography
  • Appearance Panel
  • Graphic Styles Panel
  • Post-Modernism
  • Expressive Text


Watch the “Adobe Illustrator CS5 Tutorial 37 | Appearances & Graphic Styles” tutorial video. Follow the tutorial to learn how to use the Appearance Panel, and how to save object appearances as Graphic Styles.

Recall back in the first semester, when we watched Helvetica and discussed the differences between the Modernists and the Post-Modernists. The Modernists believed that text should not be expressive, and meaning should only be derived from the word itself (i.e. the word “dog” should not look like a “dog”) whereas Post-Modernists asked the question, why can’t the word “dog” look like a dog?


Text that visually looks like the thing it is describing is called Expressive Text, and Illustrator has special tools that make the production of Expressive Text extremely easy and effective. Today we are going to explore the use of these tools to produce some expressive text of our own.

  1. Watch the tutorial video to learn how to use the Appearance Panel, how to save object appearances as Graphic Styles, and how to access the pre-set Graphic Styles libraries.
  2. Open your Text Week document in Illustrator and go to the third artboard.
  3. Use the pre-set Graphic Styles libraries, the Warp tools and the Type Tool to create ten words (five nouns and five verbs) that look like what is being described. For example:

Try to use different words and graphic styles than the ones in the example. When you have all ten words, save your work. We will continue working on this document until the end of this week.

Assigned: March 2nd, 2020
Teacher Pacing Due Date: March 3rd, 2020

Type Week: Typeface Anatomy


Use web resources to define and explain Typeface Anatomy, and to identify the different parts of a typeface character.

Student Friendly Objective:

I can use the Internet to find out more about the different parts of type and what these parts are named.

Web Link:

Topics Discussed:

  • Typography
  • Letter Anatomy
  • Uppercase
  • Lowercase
  • Small Caps
  • Baseline
  • X-height
  • Ascender
  • Descender
  • Serif
  • Terminal
  • Stem
  • Crossbar
  • Bowl
  • Counter
  • Shoulder
  • Ligature


Visit the Typedia: Learn: Anatomy of a Typeface webpage in the link provided. Read through the article to learn about Letter Anatomy, and the standard set of names for the parts of a letter.

  1. Open your Text Week document in Illustrator and go to the second artboard.
  2. For each of the thirteen vocabulary terms:
    1. Create a headline in Point Type with the vocabulary word itself
    2. Use Area Type to write the definition of the vocabulary word. Use complete sentences, and you may copy and paste definitions (Just make sure you are copying the correct definition!).
    3. Use Point Type and the line or shape tools to demonstrate what each of the vocabulary terms looks like. Use the pictures on the website as a guide, but DO NOT copy the website’s images into your document. Use a red-colored stroke on your lines and shapes to show the part of the letter the vocabulary word is describing.
  1. You should have a headline, a definition and a graphic for each of the following terms:
    1. Uppercase
    2. Lowercase
    3. Small Caps
    4. Baseline
    5. X-height
    6. Ascender
    7. Descender
    8. Serif
    9. Terminal
    10. Stem
    11. Crossbar
    12. Bowl
    13. Counter
    14. Shoulder
    15. Ligature
  2. If you run out of room on your second artboard, you may use your third artboard, but do not use more than two artboards for this assignment. Save your document. We will continue to work with this document next week.

Assigned: February 27th, 2020

Teacher Pacing Due Date: February 28th, 2020