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Designing with limited font options


A lesson in which students are limited to using one font family to create a visually appealing design with no other components. To evaluate students’ learning from earlier parts of this unit, the first part of this class period includes a quiz about the different types of fonts and anatomy. For this lesson, students will identify different families within a font either using websites or desktop publishing software. After identification, students will use one font family only to design a creative and appealing poster with no other components except what they can do with the font.


  • Students will recall and identify types of fonts and the anatomy of font in an assessment.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of font families.
  • Students will produce an aesthetically pleasing font poster with the staff motto using only one font family.
  • Students will create objects only using the characters within a font.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA.Literacy.W-9-10.2d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of a subject.
CCSS.ELA.Literacy.L.9-10.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
CCSS.ELA.Literacy.L.9-10.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
CCSS.ELA.Literacy. L.9-10.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.


90 minutes


Quiz: Font classification and identification

Handout: Font classification and identification quiz key

Handout: Font family examples

Handout: One font sample

Computers with desktop publishing software

Lesson step-by-step

1. Check for understanding — 20 minutes

Administer Font Classification and Identification quiz (answer key provided).

2. Introduce activity — 5 minutes

After the quiz, distribute Font Family Example handout. Guide students through the handout, explaining the possible variations of a font family.

3. Building skills — 55 minutes

Distribute One Font Sample handout to see how one font can be used to create an appealing font poster with the staff motto or a message of your choosing. Students may use color, but they may use only type (characters in their chosen font) to create the message.

4. Evaluation — 10 minutes

Using Self-Evaluation One Font Poster rubric, students will evaluate their work.

Students will turn in the poster and self-evaluation together at the end of class.


Quiz: Font Classification and Identification (key provided)

Self-Evaluation One Font Poster

Rubric 3.4

Fair(0 points) Good(5 points) Excellent(10 points) Total points
Font choice The chosen font did not have enough variations to use for the font poster. The chosen font had a few variations, but more would have been more effective in creating the poster. The chosen font had enough variations to make a creative and visually appealing poster. ____ / 10
Message clarity The message is difficult to see in the font poster. The choice of font does not match the motto and is not visually appealing. The message is somewhat visible in the font poster but could be more creative and visually appealing. The font chosen does not enhance or obscure the motto. The message is clearly visible in the font poster and is creative and visually appealing. The font chosen enhances the motto. ____ / 10
Object creation/ design Besides the message, the font poster contains no other design elements to make it creative and visually appealing. There is no color on the poster, or the choice to use black and white does does not have a clear relevance. The font poster includes the message as well as design elements created from characters in the font. However, some of the designs are poorly executed or the object not clearly defined. The font poster includes the message as well as design elements created from characters in the font. The designed elements add to the appeal of the poster, and all shapes are clearly discernible. ____ / 10
Total points ____ / 30