Barnbrook teaches and lectures widely. Below are three sample projects which can be used freely. Jonathan Barnbrook and Anıl Aykan Barnbrook are the two people who tutor in the company.
I. YOUR OWN MEMORIAL
When you die, people think that all that is left is just some kind of gravestone, I would say it’s less than that, it’s the piece of typography that is written on the gravestone, that is the actual reminder of you. All of your life summed up in a little piece of twirly type. With that in mind I would like you to produce some kind of typographic memorial that sums up your life for when you die. This project is as difficult or as easy as you make it, but make it interesting for yourself as this project is about you and your points of view on life.
A few things to consider:
01. Produce something that can easily be included in your portfolio, and make the actual object if possible.
02. Research your own attitude to death and societies. People are a lot less religious now than before. Many do not believe in judgement or eternal life after death.
03. Think of your own ego and the vanity of ‘man’ – do you want to be forever remembered as a wonderful human being? Would you rather your memory fades with the destruction of your body?
04. The taboo of death; how people nowadays go to the hospital to die, pumped with pain killers rather than naturally at home with their family.
05. Look at the different ways gravestones/memorials have been tackled through history.
06. This project is very much within the area of typography. Make sure there is an element of typographic investigation in the final piece.
07. Get off your arse and away from the computer. There are various ways and media you can use to express yourself. Typography is not just a 2D image on a piece of paper or screen.
08. Make something that reflects you: it can be as simple as a conventional gravestone with beautiful typography or an extremely complex object.
II. NEW PUNCTUATION MARK
Language is the tool we use to communicate with each other. It constantly evolves to aid better expression of ourselves and the world we live in. Typography is a servant of that purpose and its usage should evolve in order to enhance our expression of language. In an unprecedented step, it has been decided that the English language will have a new punctuation mark added to it. You are asked to conceive and design that punctuation mark. The punctuation mark should express a thought or ideology that is unique to the modern world, which needs to be clearly expressed in written form. Your interpretation can be serious, experimental or humorous. It could be a mark that is used at the beginning and end of a piece of text, denoting it as sarcastic. It could be text which expresses the feeling of ‘believing in nothing’. It can also be a mark that expresses the idea of ‘information overload’. There are many solutions to this brief. You are also required to produce a poster that clearly explains your idea to people.
A few things to consider:
01. Choose your subject matter within a specified time limit, otherwise you can spend ages worrying which area to follow.
02. Consider how punctuation is used. The design of the new mark needs to be simple, one-coloured and functional at a small or large scale.
03. Think about the uses of typefaces and language. Contemporary uses like texting have changed the way we see and write language.
04. You can produce more than one punctuation mark if it is appropriate to your design or if you are feeling particularly eager.
05. This project sounds quite heavy, but it can be taken as lightly or as seriously as you want.
III. TYPOGRAPHIC POSTERS
Design three A2 typographic posters in a maximum of two colours using three different kinds of text and three different methods of generating typography. Your design should reflect your own interpretation of the words; showing the origin of the text, its tone and whether you agree with it or not. The methods of typography generation are entirely up to you. They can be traditional, experimental, found, photographed, handmade, etc. but they must all differ from each other.
Category A: The Everyday
01. The stupidest thing that somebody has said to you.
02. A conversation that you overhear by chance and write down at a later point in the day.
03. A phrase that people use in general conversations that you find either irritating or nonsensical.
04. An advertising copy line that you either love or hate.
Category B: Political
Research one phrase from one of these noted people and choose the one you like best or that means something to you:
01. Mahatma Gandhi
02. Edward Snowden
03. David Koresh
04. Karl Marx
05. Nelson Mandela
Category C: Known Unknowns
01. How to make an atomic bomb.
02. Your favourite conspiracy theory.
03. What happens to your body when you die.
04. Something that you would like to tell people around you but haven’t had the courage to do so until now.
05. The truth about a corporation that everybody seems to love.