University of Washington, Seattle, USA  
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Project. Found Type Collage Series

Purpose. To explore the formal qualities of letterforms and typefaces. To create dynamic compositions with text. To explore the connections between form and content.

Assignment. This is a three-part series of type collages. In all collages, students are assigned a specific word/theme. The collage must visually express or communicate the word/theme. Use of the word in the composition is optional.

All collages must be in black/white. Students may use found type from any source (magazines, newspapers, brochures, books, etc.) Collages may be produced by xerox machines and/or scanners. Type may be altered, cut, distressed, rearranged or manipulated in any fashion.

1. Free Collage. No restrictions.

2. Grid Collage. The composition must articulate/activate
a 3 x 3 inch unit grid.

3. Type + Photo Collage. The composition must include a 2 x 2 inch photo centered in the composition. Use of the grid is option.

Format. 6 x 6 inches (15 x 15 centimeters)

Time. One week for each collage; 3 weeks for the entire series.


Karen Cheng is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington. She received her Master's Degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Washington in 1997, she worked in Brand Management at the Procter and Gamble Company and studied engineering at Penn State University. Her work has been published by Communication Arts, the American Center for Design, Critique, the Society for Publication Designers, the University + College Designers Association, I.D. Magazine, HOW Magazine, Rockport Publishers, Rotovision Press and PIE Tokyo. She is active in the Seattle chapter of the AIGA, where she has been a board member and chair of the education committee. Her book on typefaces design, Designing Type, was published by Yale University Press in Spring 2006. She is currently chair of the Visual Communication Design program at the University of Washington.

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