Students get their ‘sidebearings’

Hands-on event allowed students to learn about typographic techniques

Follow RITNEWS on Twitter

Elizabeth Lamark, ETC Photo/The Wallace Center

RIT students Emily Levine, left, Erika Bjork and Rachel DiNunzio at the typeface terminology identification station in the Center for Student Innovation.

For those not familiar with typography, a sidebearing is a horizontal space on either side of an individual character.

To provide College of Imaging Arts and Sciences students with an interactive way to learn about typographic terms, techniques and pre-digital processes, RIT graphic design professors Carol Fillip and Lorrie Frear hosted Get Your Sidebearings: The Typographic Carousel Project at the Center for Student Innovation.

The event, held in winter quarter, was inspired and expanded from a project done in Frear’s Typography I course in the fall. The event was designed much like a circuit or carousel, where students moved from station to station to experience the various tools and processes. The stations included letterpress, calligraphy, transfer lettering, type tracing and typeface terminology identification.

Frear says the objective was to increase students’ understanding of typographic history, terminology and anatomy in a fun, interactive and hands-on way and to show students alternatives to the computer for their visual communication.

Approximately 50 students participated this year. Frear and Fillip hope to make it an annual event.