AINYC Type 1: Lettering as a Foundation


I taught Type 1 at AINYC in 2010 in a room with only one computer, a PC for the instructor to project visuals. Up until then, I had been forced to teach type to students by launching right into InDesign. Getting rid of the digital component transformed my teaching: not that there is no place for the computer, but it hampers beginners. It is such a dazzling device, it prevents the students from really learning for a very long time – even the so-called “digital natives.”

We drew letters, we cut out letters, we crawled into the white space and back out again. I made mistakes and the students figured out how to make those lessons more intriguing, Out of this one semester came my gridded lesson, my carved type ideas, and edible type.

We did eventually work on the computer, but as I could not teach them in a computer lab, it was pretty odd. I supported the students with lots of videos so they could teach themselves and come in with work, which started my interest in the flipped classroom.

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Libby Clarke is an artist, designer, and educator living in Maplewood, NJ. She received her BFA in Printmaking from James Madison University and her MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Professionally, Libby has worked as an interaction art director for over 15 years for such companies as and She was an Assistant Professor at the New York College of Technology in Brooklyn, New York. She also served as the Director of the Studio School of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. As an artist, Libby has produced a series of multi-media conceptual products under the name Monstress Productions since 1996. She gives workshops and lectures across the United States on the intersection of art, activism, and technology, and her pieces are exhibited and collected internationally.