Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Identify contemporary typographic defaults.

2. Explain how current notions of Western typographic tradition have been and continue to be constructed.

3. Analyse how modes of reading and writing have affected visual language in the past.

4. Consider aspects of written language that currently fall outside of established traditions- Produce visual outcomes that are informed by historical models but not constrained by nostalgia.

Credits: 3

Schedule: 27.10.2023 - 01.12.2023

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Tuomas Kortteinen, Arja Karhumaa

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    This course offers critical perspectives on typographic conventions in contemporary conditions and environments. It provides an expanded view of Western typographic tradition, focussing on its fuzzy peripheries and unexplored potentials. It takes the view that tradition can be mined as material for new approaches and solutions that it may be a point of departure for designing but never a way back.

    Through lectures, readings, and class assignments, the course provides a critical view on genealogies of writing and typography, from those established in Medieval Europe to those of 20th century modernism. Instead of concentrating on tools and technologies or the evolution of typographic styles, the course works towards articulating how changes to modes of reading and writing have manifested in and altered written language, and how they continue to do so.

    The aim is to consider the following questions: What is history (of typography) for us (as practitioners)? How can we address contemporary issues while remaining in dialogue with history?

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Participation in teaching, completed assignments.

    Minimum 80% attendance.

    See MyCourses for more detailed information on evaluations methods and criteria.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    3 ECTS ≈ 81h

    -Lectures 12h

    -Workshop and practice-based work 24h

    -Independent reading and writing 15h

    -Reflection and thinking  30h


Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Autumn II
    2023-2024 Autumn II

    Enrollment :

    Minimum amount of participants: 8
    Maximum amount of participants varies according to the implementation of the course.

    Registration for Courses: Sisu.

    Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture: