Advanced Typography: Collection Catalog

July 13, 2023

Written by Emma Prushan, VCD, ’25

During their spring semester, sophomores in the Visual Communication Design program take Advanced Typography, which builds upon and enhances the typography knowledge gained during their fall semester. Students explore typographic form and function and tackle complex typographic problems to gain skills applicable to a wide range of projects. In order to practice this, students complete both printed and digital typographic projects, including a collection catalog and a task-based or tracking app. 

Collections can come in many different varieties, from different subject matter to different size, scope, and scale. For this project, students were asked to look at what makes a collection and the characteristics of a collection closely from multiple perspectives and contexts. Considering opportunities to enhance the narrative of the collection, students were tasked with designing an exhibition catalog based on their collection. Working predominantly typographically, additional emphasis was placed on giving the collection visual form.

Annika Zitto ‘25  – Phlora, Phauna, Philly 

Annika Zitto (Visual Communication Design ‘25) put a twist on what is considered a collection and created “Phlora, Phauna, Philly: a Collection of Plants, Animals, and the City They Call Home.” The catalog showcases Zitto’s original photography and illustrations of Philadelphia’s plants, animals, and natural sites, such as wildlife reserves. The goal of Phlora, Phauna, Philly is to emphasize nature within everyday life and highlight how Philadelphia’s urban environment is not as far from nature as it may seem.

Allison Cravo ‘25 – House Plants

Allison Cravo’s (Visual Communication Design ‘25) collection catalog featured a wide variety of her friend’s house plants. The catalog’s imagery includes photographs of the different plants highlighted, as well as plant illustrations and vine-like motifs. In order to feature different types of information, Cravo introduces a gridded and hierarchical typographic system in which a description of the plant is displayed next to scientific information about plant species. Pages with additional sidebar information can be found amongst the collection pages, such as “What Pot Should I Use?” and “About the Collector”. 

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