2021 Typography photos that I posted on Instagram with the hashtags #parsonstypes#vernaculartypographyafari #typesafari #typography #typographicsnyc #nyctypography #anselmdastner #vernacularphotography




The most important personal accessory for any graphic designer.
Keeps all info in one place; makes you look interested and interesting.
Get into the habit of note-taking, very often we forget names, places, authors, mentioned facts… soon after the meeting
Always useful to explain a concept with an illustration.

What is Graphic Design anyway?

Graphic design is, as Robert Jensen puts it, a “mongrel profession,” combining the separate disciplines of photography, printing and typography, art, and advertising. The field of “graphic design” has only been around for 100 years or so, yet the pervasiveness in our society affects more people than traditional fine arts. Many of the artists remain anonymous, and there isn’t a much-written history besides the books the artists themselves published. A lot of graphic design is still a service industry. It is goal-oriented. If it doesn’t make money, it’s art.

1. You Are Lucky

to be here in NYC for the first time. Your eyes are open to things, like a zoom lens.
I did short movie clips when I lived in Tokyo, using an iPhone attachment, edited and stabilized with afterEffects. One of the assignments will be a poster or booklet about a place in NY that you got to know closer. We will talk about that later, but keep an eye open for a place that interests you and start thinking about the best ways to do the research.
If this is your first time in NY, you’re lucky because it’s like watching a classic movie for the first time. The world is kind of obsessed with this place, its culture, and its people. When I get asked about my favorite places here I show them this.

2. I will Burst Your Bubble

Critiques can be crucial. In art school, all of a sudden, your exceptional talent will be just average. To critique doesn’t mean to find something wrong. It is an assessment of whether the goal was reached, and how. There are many ways to reach the goal, we want to find the most successful ones.
Some of my former students told me that after my class they are scared to go into the real world. NYC is a competitive place. But it is not about how often you fall down, it’s how fast you can get up.


What can be the motivation?
Money, bragging rights, the satisfaction of doing things, personal growth, fun, satisfaction with a job well done, ego, status, validation, professional recognition, fear of rejection, ridicule, or failure.
Over time fear will be overcome by confidence,

How can we Critique Graphic Design?

Goals, purpose, stakes, (Allison Yasukawa cards)

3. File Names

File naming conventions are important: I worked in many companies, that all organize their server a little differently. Within each company, it would get confusing if there wasn’t a specific file naming system for co-workers, and yourself, when you need to find a file 10-20 years from now in your back-ups. Then you know what to search for.
I usually name my files “Client_ProjectName_2019-06-19_R1v1.ext”.
It’s good because:
1. Easy to find project name and client
2. A date will let you find the latest version, and if a client looks at the file I send to approve, we can double-check that we are looking at the same version. the Asian way (Y/M/D) will order the files in the folder alphabetically, the US (M/D/Y) or European (D/M/Y) will not.
3. R1 means the first Round before the client sees it, v1 is internal versions before showing the client.

Problematic file names:
It’s not good to call a file “// The Final&%20Thing060519”, why?
Not good because:
1. Using slashes can confuse servers to mistake them as folders.
2. There is rarely anything “final,” and the word “final” will be hard to search.
3. When we add spaces in a file name, the computer adds an invisible code, a “%20”. This shows up when the file copied to a server. Not terrible, but it could be confusing.
4. ‘&%$#@&*{}[]<>/\|… These extra glyphs are all symbols that are used in computer code and might create mistakes.
5. always add an extension to a file, like a .psd (photoshop document), or .ai (Adobe Illustrator), or .jpg (Joint Photographic Experts Group). That way, the computer knows how to open the file.
One last thing; thisIsCalledCamelCase. It’s how programmers name their files. The first letter is lower case, and then each new word starts with a capital letter. Spaces confuse programs, discs, and servers.


CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black (K-stands for the Keyplate)) is the printing colors that are printed in a traditional 4-color offset printing process.
RGB (Red, Green, Blue) are the monitor’s colors. Their brightness is measured from 0-255, it’s a binary system if you like nerdy computer stuff.
So, CMYK is for printing, RGB for monitors. When you set up files keep that in mind or you might be surprised how the colors change because RGB can be much brighter and electric-looking.

Pixel vs Vector

We’ll discuss that when we start the tutorial on Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.
Short version: Vector programs like Illustrator, 3-d programs, or shape layers in photoshop work with points that have Bézier handles. If you stretch the bezier handles longer the curves running to that point will get smoother. Pixels record each individual pixel. For example, a printed photo on a postcard usually has 300dpi (dots per inch). If the resolution get’s below 100 our eyes can start to see the printed dots. TV screens all used to be 72dpi (pretty low) but retina screens doubled that and I am sure pretty soon it will be even higher.
The advantage of vector points is that the file size is small and it can be scaled up to any size. For photos or paintings, only pixels are possible, but once you scale it down you cannot enlarge it anymore. And there is a maximum of file size that the printer can manage in case you are printing a billboard. However, the vectorized graphic or type will always look sharp.


We will talk a lot about how trends and conventions evolved. For graphic design historic events like the printing press, the industrial revolution, and the 2 world wars questioned the value system and the status quo and therefore people started looking for new alternatives. Bauhaus and the “International Style” intentionally designed democratic and unadorned grids. there is a sense of order and equality. After that Postmodernism opposed and distrusted at its heart the grand theories and ideologies. Right now you might say the sustainability of products with low carbon footprints and the green deal will influence the graphic designers’ work, as well as social media trends and emerging technology.

Strategies if the Job is too Large?

What can be done to make the job a little less difficult?
Make a plan, breaking it into smaller steps

There is much more we can talk about, like…

Where can You do Research?

Writing a Blog

Public Library

Used Books on eBay or amazon

In the middle of summer, we spend a day recording a short course on typography rules. It was excruciatingly hot and while we were shooting we had to turn off the air conditioner or fan and close the window because of the noise.

This is the teaser

link to an article about Type Design (in Chinese)
and a screenshot of a part of it.


Faride Mereb and Samoel González

in the InDesign course from the Parsons Certificate program

Fashion Designer Jenny Lai

in the InDesign course from the Parsons Certificate program

Printed pieces presented by fashion Designer Jenny Lai

in the InDesign course from the Parsons Certificate program

Ellen Lupton on Thinking with Type

Bethany Heck on how to choose fonts

Stephen Nixon explains Variable Fonts part 1

Stephen Nixon explains Variable Fonts part 2

Thomas Jockin at the Type Directors Club about Type Thurusday– part 1

Thomas Jockin at the Type Directors Club about the Variable Font Lexend – part 2

Carol Wahler Intro for Parsons

Carol Wahler Interview for Parsons

Jamie Edwards explains blockchain

Talking with Koray Çalişkan about the socio-economics of blockchain

Manabu Inada, Graphic Designer – part 1

Manabu Inada, Graphic Designer – part 2

David VanEsselelstyn, UX Specialist

Anthony Wallace on UXa dn Conversions

Tuesday afternoon class: Leandra Goertzen, Chantal Hernandez, Janine Ibrahim, Harrison Jude, David Judkins, Samuel Slothower, Javan Spruill, Leo Velleu, Tianhao Yu

The headshots (without touch-ups)



This website features the contributions of Drs. Joan and Peter Cohn in helping people of all ages, but especially seniors, to live well as they age.
Dr. Joan Cohn is a psychotherapist who will discuss the psychological and nutritional aspects of aging, while her cardiologist husband, Dr. Peter Cohn, will address the medical and scientific advances that can often lead to longer and fuller lives as we age.


Drs. Joan and Peter Cohn


website design, WordPress custom theme using underscore, digitizing cassette tapes, scanning and transcribing new articles, archiving interviews and pane discussions

We just checked out the finished installation of a marketing center to rent out a large office floor at 3Second St, NJ. The team at MTG that I worked for already developed the brand, brochure, and website for the building, a high-tech office tower that flanks the northern side of the growing Exchange Place atrium.


MTG for 3 Second Street


Marketing Center Graphics. plexiglas boards, wall decals, brochure, website updates, eFlyer campaigns

the boards:

2nd year in a row I am designing the Sage Rebny ads with MTG. The Sage and William Kaufman Org. are an interesting client since they pride themselves on installing very cool pop art & sculptures in their lobbies and buildings. We want them to stand out from the rest of generic real estate advertising at the yearly Rebny real estate event.


Marketing Through Graphics’ Megan Grand for Rebny NYC


print advertising page

It’s always a pleasure to work with Meri and Jeff and the team at Giant-Interactive. This time it was a very special Blu-ray and DVD project from CBS (nice to hear from Steven Haas again too), the new Startrek series’ first season is released with 15 episodes and various bonus features and dozens of subtitles. The new Star Trek Discovery already came with great artwork opening by Prologue.

Blu-ray and DVD menu design, 
Anselm Dästner


Giant Interactive


Animation Loops build in Aftereffects, stills and assets build in Photoshop. Animated Motion Menu Loops for HD and SD (the intro CG animation were provided by Prologue, i just did some slight rotoscoping and editing to resolve to the static logo.
– Intro builds and loops for several languages, pop and top motion loops
– TIF Stills and overlays for SD pages
– slices for BD states


logo and record cover design, 
Anselm Dästner


Angel Rogrigues and tktktk aka Slammode


each of the covers is a ….

Lately, my karma throws me fun jobs.
Parley for the Oceans, was funded by my old friend Cyrill. And Vickie has been instrumental to have me doing a screen printing workshop with them (throw-back 20 years or so…). Anyway, Parley has been collaborating with Adidas for some time to design the new Jerseys for the Real Madrid soccer team. Wow.
It’s made out of recycled plastic to create awareness about dying oceans. wow, times 2. While Real, the king’s class, was touring the US they stopped to present their new jersey. At this event, Parley held workshops with 20 kids to teach them ocean facts which they passed on to the soccer players. By educating the young generation as ambassadors to save the planet they hope to create a change in thinking. Cyrill Gutsch held an emotional talk at the panel discussion, wow times 3! Oh, and Lea & Cyrill designed all the Parley, very big props.
My part was rather minute: I silkscreen printed the back of the jerseys that the kids were wearing so that they could be signed by the players through the course of the event. However, they had only 23 shirts for 23 kids, so I was sweating to print them all without a single smudge. And did it. phew.
And thanks to Andy for working tirelessly. Oh, and I finally met my half-sister-in-law’s brother, Denis Dekovic.
And, the driver of the Uber was called “Karma”…, that’s what’s happening lately.


Parley fro the Ocean for Adidas


silkscreening and preparing soccer jerseys for a media event and party with the Real Madrid soccer team