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SJ Story Map Visual Arts Workshop: Vernacular Typography

November 5, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Put your story on the San Jose Story Map! Register today for our free online workshop and start creating your San Jose Story.

Be inspired! Get creative! Take away great ideas, tips, and techniques!

Register today for our FREE online workshop and start mapping your San Jose Story. Open to all SJSU students. A Zoom link will be sent to you after registration

No typographic or art-making experience required.

Workshop Description:

A Closer Look at the Typography that Surrounds Us

What does typography tell us about the places where we reside? How might a closer look at the typographic landscape of our neighborhoods help us to understand larger social and economic contexts of these places?

In this 1-hour workshop, you are invited to join me on a virtual walk in Burbank, an unincorporated area in west San José, for a look at the vernacular typography in my neighborhood. Then, through a series of synchronous and asynchronous prompts, you will be

invited to survey the typographic landscape of the neighborhood where you are, and develop lettering for a postcard inspired by the typography you see. This lettering will become the basis for a collection of hyper-local risograph-printed postcards that may become entries in the San José Story Map Postcard Project and exhibition.

The workshop will include:

  • A typographic sightseeing tour of Burbank
  • An explanation of basic typographic terms, common forms, and sign types
  • Guided prompts for designing and lettering hyper local postcards inspired by the typography you see in your neighborhood.

Suggested Materials for participants:

  • Smartphone or Camera
  • Blank paper, Pencil, Eraser, Black sharpie, Ruler
  • Scanner or Smartphone with scanning app (AdobeScan or ScannerPro, for example)

Nice to have:

  • Tracing Paper, Other Mark-Making Tools

This event is sponsored by San José State University’s College of Humanities and the Arts and is organized in partnership with SJSU’s Natalie & James Thompson Gallery & the San Jose Story Map project


Additional Creative Workshops:

After the workshop students are encouraged to submit their finished designs to the Wish You Were Here Correspondence Exhibition Design Contest (Nov 1 – Dec 6th). All Submissions to Wish You Were Here will also be considered for the San Jose Story Map Contest which will open early 2021.

About Wish You Were Here (Correspondence Exhibition & Design Contest)

These creative workshops will culminate in a design contest that runs from Nov 2 – Dec 6 and return 1 winning kiosk design (for postcard distribution and return) and 15 postcard designs that will be printed in runs of 500 each.

Wish You Were Here grew out of a series of brainstorming sessions with the Natalie & James Thompson Gallery and faculty from Art & Design departments at San Jose State University about ways to meaningfully connect the themes from the an Jose Story Map with the visual arts while Sheltering in Place. Wish You Were Here serves as way to collect multidisciplinary contributions of visual & text based work focused on placemaking in San Jose with sub-themes of:

  • Sheltering in Place
  • Sustainability
  • Cultural History
  • Generational Connectivity
  • Transformation

About The San Jose Story Map Project

The San Jose Story Map uses the power of stories to reveal San Jose in a new and different light. Contest entries must be original literary or artistic compositions relating to San Jose:

  • Literary Entries 750 words max (any genre)
  • Photographs
  • Images of material work
  • Video
  • Audio/Sound recordings
  • Links to externally hosted web projects