Typography Design Degree Outlook
Twenty years ago, graphic designers used linotype machines to produce headlines and body copy for magazines and newspapers. They then applied these strips of type onto a layout board with wax. Those days are long gone, thanks to the everyday use of computers and accompanying layout and design software. And, thanks to the computer, the field of typography has changed completely.
Now, instead of designing type slowly and methodically through tedious processes, anyone can sit down and produce letter forms and state that they're a new typeface. Sometimes it's difficult to wade through the noise to find truly beautiful typefaces designed specifically for computer design or designed for both computer design and print. Despite this noise, the typographer is alive and well, although he or she may need to make a living as a graphic designer on the side.
Typography is part and parcel of any graphic design course at a college that focuses on visual communications. Most students will learn about the history of type, and they'll learn about the typefaces that have withstood the test of time. Furthermore, they'll learn why these typefaces work, and how to modify them to suit certain layouts and designs. But, not all graphic design students grasp or become interested in this design field to the point where they begin to design typefaces. This is a special skill that requires knowledge of how a typeface would work in a multitude of circumstances.
From this point, if a student is interested in pursuing the study of type design, he or she will join the number of nationwide and international organizations and groups that focus on preserving typography as both a form of communication and as an art form.
The typographer also may become interested in iconography or the use of symbols to speak' to individuals on the Web and in public places. The typographer who studies global symbolism as well as other forms of signage could be in much demand by architects, interior designers, and urban planners. The study of how the public uses signage as a means to navigate physical spaces is called, "information architecture," and the typographer has a special niche within this field.
Unfortunately, many design studios rely on typesetters who haven't studied typography to create billboard, poster, and other print designs. This is why many of the same design studios never win awards. The understanding of typography, its form, and its design is a fine art that can make or break a design.