FRIDAY TEACHING | Class 3: Grading & Striking

Don’t forget this is Argentina, a state university, miserable salaries, hundreds of thousands of students (300,000 students at the University of Buenos Aires), old buildings, etc.

Of course we love it, that’s why we do it. Last Friday the Teachers Unions were on strike and we decided to support the strike since at the end, it is for a better education to everyone, for us, for the students.

Despite our support for the strike, we decided to have class anyway, but a different type of class than normal. We had the students bring in their first assignment TP 1 (Trabajo Práctico 1/Practical Work 1): The finished monogram with a series of variations and a grid. After receiving all the works the students were going to have a theoretical class with slides to learn about the next assignment.

Due to the strike we decided to go to school and receive the works, after that we stayed working on the results of TP 1 and the head of Type 2 gave a little talk to the students explaining what the strike was about.

Here’s how we grade:

First, all the teachers get together with the head and establish the parameters for the grades. From those parameters, each teacher sets the standard for their group (remember that we are 5 groups of 33 students & 2 teachers to each group). Then we compare each group’s standards with each other and set the grading structure.

By |May 3rd, 2008|Categories: literary, teaching|Tags: , |Comments Off on FRIDAY TEACHING | Class 3: Grading & Striking

FRIDAY TEACHING | Class 2: Reviewing Mock-ups

Briefly Class 1: Each student’s assignment was to make a monogram for an Argentine comedian.

This will be a typical review class: As soon as the students get to the classroom, each one with a few home-printed mock-ups of the monograms, they go to a corner of the room and tape all the works to the wall. They also bring their chairs and notebooks and we all sit in a semi-circle in front of the works.

Someone choses a work (usually its me because nobody wants to be first) and critique it: we see what works and what doesn’t. The designer of the work tells why she chose that font, what changes she did to the font, what concept supports her design, and what problems she encountered.

The idea is to guide her so that she herself finds the best way to improve her work. After we are done with one work, we take it from the wall and then that student picks someone else’s work and says why she chose it and it goes on and on until the wall is empty.

In the process all the students can participate, and the idea is that they can take advantage of everybody’s work and answer the questions that are common to many. Sometimes we get into very interesting discussions that make this the best part of the class.

Apart from the resources that the students want to look for, we provide them with apuntes or notes: a few pages with material indirectly related to the topic. In the case of this assignment, they received three. Here a bit of the notes:

Apunte 1: Parts of the letter

Apunte 2: Raices Typographic

Apunte 3: Typographic variables

By |April 30th, 2008|Categories: teaching, typography|Tags: , , |Comments Off on FRIDAY TEACHING | Class 2: Reviewing Mock-ups


The new academic year in Argentina has started! (Yes, schools in the southern hemisphere are on a different schedule than all of you in the northern part of the world; here in Buenos Aires university classes run from the end of March to mid-December ).

The course actually started April 4th and my idea was to post after every class (classes are on friday from 2 to 6pm) but since we always get together with the other designers at the end of the class to have coffee and talk type, I get home late and tired, so the postings will be Saturdays.

Welcome speech
The class began with all the typography students together (Type I & Type II) for a presentation of the course Tipografia Cátedra Gaitto by Jorge Gaitto -the head of the cátedra. (In another post I’ll have to explain how the cátedra system works). There are a lot of people in both courses: 380 students enrolled in Type I & 170 students in Type II (and yes, you need to pass Type I to get into Type II).

Type I is typography basics, and the course ends with the creation of a font.

Type II (which is what I teach) is about doing things with the type, basically Editorial Design. The course starts with a series of exercises that lead to the actual book & magazine design which is featured later in the year. The course ends with the design of a publication.

We divided the 170 students of Type II into 5 groups with 2 teachers each, and as the result I’m in charge of a group of 33 students. The head of Type II (Carlos – my mentor) introduced the team and talked about the kind of work we’ll be doing during the year and then assigned the first work to the class: TP1: Monograma.

Finally, I get together with the students in my group and we spend some time talking about typography: ligatures, monograms, logotypes, font families, variables, and the concepts for developing the work. Each student’s task is to design a monogram for one of ten historical Humoristas (i.e., dead Argentine TV comedians). The next class will be correción of mock-ups. (Off-hand, I forget how to translate correción into English).

At 6.20pm we were still talking about design, type, etc….

The classroom -Carlos introducing Tipografia II

By |April 12th, 2008|Categories: teaching, typography|Tags: , |2 Comments


Ceci teaches in the Typography II course at the University of Buenos Aires. The course covers editorial design, which is book and magazine design, cover art, page layout. Students start the course generally without any experience with page layout software (e.g., Quark, InDesign). So, Ceci prepared this short (10 page) guide to InDesign as a beginning tutorial for the students.

Currently, the guide is only in Spanish but we’re going to be doing an English translation of it soon and making it available. Also, we will be posting more InDesign tips and tutorials to this blog in the future.

For the students one of the benefits of this guide is that Spanish-language books about design and computing are not as common as English-language titles. Even in Buenos Aires, which has a ton of bookstores, it’s not easy to find good books on technology in Spanish. That’s quite frustrating for the people who live and work here, particularly since Buenos Aires is a fairly high-tech community (as much as any large North American city).

So, here’s the link: Introductory Guide to InDesign (Spanish) [PDF].

By |June 6th, 2007|Categories: Book Design, teaching|Tags: , |2 Comments

Teaching Design at UBA

Fridays are special days for me, from 2 till 6 pm I, with a group of people, run a class called Typography II at UBA (Universidad de Buenos Aires). It is a year-long course where Graphic Design students learn book & magazine design, so it’s a very interesting process that we all, students & teachers signed up for.

Today starts our year, there’s usually about 150 students divided in 5 groups of 30 with 2 teachers or a teacher and an assistant each, and the staff completes with 1 JTP (-jefe de trabajos prácticos- chief for practical works), 1 head of Typo II, and the head of the course.

This is the kind of experience that always gives you a lot more than what you can expect: it empowers your vision to new approaches, gives you the possibility of understanding other points of view, and one great thing is that it allows you to interact in a very different –not competitive– way with other designers/teachers, people that most times are in the same frequency in terms of design.

It’s pouring rain, so we’ll see how many show up.

By |March 30th, 2007|Categories: teaching||1 Comment