The Useful Art of Coding

Lily Zhu

Accessibility, Games, Multimodal Writing

user versus coder

By the time I finished writing this blog post, I had come to a realization that wasn’t even on my mind at the start: The active function (in as utilitarian a sense as possible) of an object is just as important in creative production as its affective and aesthetic potential.

Writing By Design

Amy Tuttle

Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

The most obvious connection between writing and design is communication. Graphic designers communicate through visual elements, and writers communicate through the written word. Although they make use of different tools, essentially they both foreground methods that bring about an exchange of information. But can learning graphic design help us understand something about writing?


Twine Games: The Digital Author

J Brentlinger

Multimodal Writing

In this way is revealed the whole being of writing: a text consists of multiple writings, issuing from several cultures and entering into dialogue with each other, into parody, into contestation; but there is one place where this multiplicity is collected, united, and this place is not the author, as we have hitherto said it was, but the reader. Roland Barthes—The Death of the Author It was 1967 when Roland Barthes first pronounced the death of the author. It was

Why Historicizing Games Matters

Lily Zhu

Games, Multimodal Writing

colossal cave adventure intro

You just can’t exaggerate the importance of D&D to all of the many storygames that have followed it. It really did revolutionize the way we look at stories and games and the combination of the two in a way totally out of proportion to the number of people who have ever actually played it. But then, we could make exactly the same statement about Adventure, couldn’t we? Every story-oriented computer game today, including graphical adventures, can trace its roots straight

Typographic Topography

Jake Cowan

Multimodal Writing

Before getting to where the Typography Team’s™ cartography project has ended up, it might be a good idea to put these maps in context and point out how we got started down this particular(ly strange) path in the first place. It begins, as so many things do, with a slip. It was the week before the semester began, and I was on a beach working on a tan instead of working on a dissertation. Having just received word from the DWRL’s indefatigable leaders on my specific research

Typographic Prosopopoeia Lesson Plan

Jake Cowan

Assignments, Lesson Plans, Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

Among the many other fantastic lesson plans outlined by our DWRL colleagues for the recent Digital Pedagogy Open House, the Typography Team™ offered the following exercise as one way to integrate a rhetoric of fonts into a writing classroom. In your typical freshman comp class, instructors often observe that a student tends to give more thought to what she writes than how she writes it, and so the goal of many assignments is to have students become more aware of how the how works to persuade, paying

What’s the Matter with Helvetica?

Jake Cowan

Multimodal Writing

Throughout this semester, anyone who hears that I am researching typography will sooner or later ask me what font they should choose for their latest paper, their new blog logo, their latest tattoo. Typically, I respond with something like: What’s the matter with Helvetica?

Does this font make me look amateur?


Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

Designers have strong feelings about fonts and will spend hours picking out a font, making it the right size, moving it around to the right place. There are font that should never be used—Papyrus and Comic Sans always seem to make the list. Whereas other fonts are considered top notch—Times New Roman and Helvetica (which has its own documentary). As I mentioned in another post, there isn’t a lot of research on the topic of fonts and there is room