Just My Type

Walking among graphic design senior projects, amidst rousing color schemes and wonderfully-chaotic imagery, it is, in theory, easy to overlook the influence of typography. Professor Margrethe Lauber prevents that theory from being reality.

“Typography is the most important class in our curriculum,” says Lauber, “and we all agree. It is our currency, cultural literacy, and grammatical knowledge.”

In addition to being foundational, typography for SUNY Cobleskill Graphic Design and Arts students is immediate – it is the first core course they take, and the prerequisite to any subsequent course. It is a communicative skill and concept that opens doors to identity and message, and that complements the visual techniques that elevate designs and logos. Assistant Professor Adam Daily identifies it as essential to any branding scheme. Says Lecturer Greg Miller, speaking about web design and display, “in terms of user experience, if your typography is off in any way, your hierarchy is broken, and your interface is broken.”

Regardless of what the words say, in essence how they appear determines personality and energy. Logos are paramount to any product, place, or brand. Members of the College’s Logos Club hold that message in high regard in creating flyers, posters, shirts, and banners for the campus community. Holistically, typography’s influence is felt in all areas of design.

This includes the process of building identity, says Professor Lauber. The Graphic Design Technology Program grows as SUNY Cobleskill grows. “Our program has been influenced by our rural outreach,” says Lauber. “I think it aligns with the College’s mission.”

SUNY Cobleskill students apply their typographical education throughout the course of their studies and careers. For this, they have their professors to thank. “I will be in the lab working with a student,” says Miller, “and I will see something and say, ‘do you want me to get Professor Lauber?’”

Feature photo: Professor Margrethe Lauber, shown in her office, is SUNY Cobleskill’s guru of typography. 

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