Finally, the summer solstice was upon us. Five years ago we had met on this day at this very place on the Delaware River. I knew then that it was wholly significant that we were meeting with the sun at its highest point, the traditional feasting day for celebrating the marriage of day and night.
Even with riots and a pandemic the seasons had turned. Nature endures and brings the natural balance and beauty of the seasons into our lives.
On this long, steamy, stormy, oppressively hot, thunderous day we said our vows to each other with two witnesses present, tied a Celtic knot, and married ourselves with a self-uniting marriage license.
Santorini – 36.3932° N, 25.4615° E One of the things I will always remember from Santorini is something that I couldn’t capture with my camera. We stayed at a Dominican Convent in Santorini – a home for 12 cloistered nuns of various nationalities. Although I never saw the nuns, I did hear them singing Vespers one evening; an otherworldly hymn that I first mistook for a professional recording. I will also remember the beautiful and serene energy of this place. It was palpable. We were the beneficiaries of these nuns who spend most of their days channeling grace through prayer.
COM 382 Digital Publishing in Greece May 24 – June 25, 2019
Join us for a special COM course as we explore the islands of Greece.
Fulfills upper-level communications elective for majors & minors
Open to all majors at Saint Joseph’s University, no pre-requisites
Travel and study in Athens, Santorini, Syros, and Crete and many other locations
Spend a month in Greece traveling, writing, and storytelling. The wide variety of digital media tools and platforms available allows us to share observations, research, and personal narratives with global audiences online. Using a variety of digital tools including 360 photography, video, audio, and social media, we will create a portfolio of stories for publication.
As we travel throughout Greece, we will develop projects for digital publication. Each project emphasizes skills essential to writing for the web: ﬁnding, framing, and pitching story ideas; research, reconnaissance, and ﬁeld recording techniques; the appreciation for and acquisition of story context; tools for evaluating issues of ethics; an understanding of story elements, organization, and assembly; writing, revising and editing for clarity and purpose; peer review and constructive feedback on your drafts; and finally, publication strategies for your work.
Visual Rhetorics is coming to a close — it’s been a challenging course, pushing many to the bleeding edge of their comfort zones. Myself included. Something that surprised me was our attention to typography. I learned much in our ongoing discussions about how type makes language visible.
As Matthew Butterick says:
Typography matters because it helps conserve the most valuable resource you have as a writer—reader attention.– from Buttericks’ Practical Typography
Now, I’m starting to get curious.
Why do we so often stick safely to the same two or three fonts? Do we choose our typefaces mindfully? When do we take risks? Push the limits? Express something new through our design choices?
And why are fonts and typography so often overlooked on the web? The letter’s arrangement, line length, spacing, and color all do powerful communicative work to hold the reader’s attention. It seems we’ve known this for ages.
In the project below, a student demonstrates the power of typography in communicating a specific message. She describes her process [cleverly combining lessons on typography and advanced slide presentation techniques from the course] in this blog post.
Typography is a powerful tool. And yet, I don’t think designers have embraced type’s full potential on the web. What role does typography play in effective website design? What communicative work does it do? Do you have favorite examples of effective type?