Kris Troxell
Art Teacher

Typography : A New Kind of Text Book

Lesson Plan Published 10/4/12 Last updated on 5/16/18
Students have been introduced to and worked with a multitude of tools in Illustrator and Photoshop for use with text and the manipulation of that text. With that knowledge, they design and create an accordion book using a phrase of their choice. The book consists of only text and will be “illustrated” through the creative use of font choices, font placement and manipulation. Students have the background and tools to create text which illustrates the phrase, arrange/layout of the text on the page and will be encouraged to think creatively and outside of the box to create their book.

city page spread

Lily White hand page spread

Shadows page spread

Grip unfolded arms page spread

Darkness page spread

Stone page spread

solebury page spread

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Illustrator

    Create beautiful vector art and illustrations.

Age Levels
1+ Month
Content Standards
Custom Standards

9.1 E Create works in the arts that communicate emotion, experiences or ideas.

9.1 F Create works in the arts that demonstrate ability to analyze and interpret works in the arts produced by others.

9.1 J Use traditional and contemporary technologies to create personal works in the arts.

9.4 B Compare and contrast informed individual opinions about the meaning of works in the arts.

Creativity and Innovation, Technology Operations and Concepts

computers with Illustrator and Photoshop installed


  • Matte Paper, 8 ½ x 11
  • Glue
  • Bone Folders
  • Wax Paper
  • Heavy Matte Paper
  • Decorative Paper
  • Paint Brush


CC License
Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
5 / 5 • 8 Ratings

Materials (1)

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Comments (18)

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CHS 16

Posted on 1/5/18 2:47:04 PM Permalink


I know this lesson was posted a long time ago, but I am interested in using the project in class. None of the links to the individual pages work. Is there any way to get those images? Thank you!

Kris Troxell

Posted on 2/14/13 5:09:37 PM Permalink

Gee Sandy! So nice to hear from you. Hope all is well with you - we need to plan some way to co-present together! How about PAEA Conference 2013 in Behtlehem? I'll be heading up the App roundtable; haven't decided if I'm doing anything else yet... What could it be?


Sandy Snyder

Posted on 2/14/13 3:25:29 AM Permalink

So, here I am going over this resource and thinking how cool it is and how I can't wait to do it with my kids when I see the contributor's picture and think, Gee, I know her!!! :D Thanks Kris - long time no see.

Kris Troxell

Posted on 2/10/13 11:44:14 PM Permalink

I had students in B&W photo (yes traditional wet process) create narratives/photojournalistic photos and then created a variety of handbound book structures using the images to tell the story. Most did not include any text.

Louise Azzi

Posted on 2/10/13 8:00:51 AM Permalink

Think I might try something similar with photographs and typography has anyone tried this yet?

Kris Troxell

Posted on 2/6/13 8:18:49 PM Permalink

Thanks for sharing with your students. Mine loved the unit and came to love typorgraphy almost as much as I do!

Kris Troxell

Posted on 2/6/13 8:12:40 PM Permalink

I'm so glad you like it! Make the book a part of your portfolio and you will knock the socks off of your reviewers!

alec bates

Posted on 2/6/13 5:41:45 PM Permalink

Hi I'm a student and i loved doing this project it was EPIC!

Albert Tucker

Posted on 2/6/13 10:32:11 AM Permalink

I did this project with my kids in early December and it was the most engaged I've ever seen my students. They were so motivated and into the work. This is a great way to get students involved in typography. Thanks for sharing this!

carolyn brown

Posted on 2/5/13 6:08:06 PM Permalink

Hi, great idea! How much hands-on help did the students need? I'm thinking if something like this for a beginner college/adult class, but the class is entirely online and I'm afraid the students may not do so well if they have to do it all on their own. I have used video to show them non-computer techniques so maybe I'll try that m

Kris Troxell

Posted on 12/17/12 2:01:19 PM Permalink


Thanks so much!

If you are interested, I can send the plan for the lesson I did before this so the students were familiar with manipulation of fonts with Illustrator. Let me know...

Judy Durkin

Posted on 12/17/12 10:48:10 AM Permalink

Wow, beautifully done. I am glad I came across this! Thank you. Perfect for my Graphic Design class next semester.

Kris Troxell

Posted on 12/9/12 11:55:23 PM Permalink

Can't wait to hear how your students do. I was transferred to a couple of of middle schools without software or access to a lab, so I'll be missing this project this year!

Albert Tucker

Posted on 12/9/12 5:21:05 PM Permalink

Kris - I love this! What a great project and one that I'm starting with my kids this week. I'll share the results when they're done!

Kris Troxell

Posted on 10/8/12 8:05:07 PM Permalink

 Thank you Lori. The students loved making these books. Those who took them to their college portfolio reviews blew away the professors & portfolio reviewers. The reviewers said they had not seen anything like the books - a marriage of technologies: old & new, traditional & not so traditional, almost going back to type set books without the type, ink & press.

Kris Troxell

Posted on 10/8/12 7:59:29 PM Permalink

 Right back at you Fontes!

Kris Fontes

Posted on 10/8/12 2:40:42 AM Permalink

I love you Kris Troxell! You rock. Great seeing you at the Pennsylvania Art Education Association Design conference in Harrisburg this weekend!

Lori Wolnick

Posted on 10/4/12 4:26:01 PM Permalink

I love the idea that the computer work becomes 3 dimensional and tactile. Great idea!