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Twittering Typography

A design sprinting exercise

By Krissi Xenakis

Twittering Typography A design sprinting exercise

By Krissi Xenakis

These posters visualize tweets gathered October 13­-15, 2009, from the five most heavily subscribed Twitter feeds at that time. In order to experiment with typography in a quick, immediate way, I created 100 posters in 30-minute design sprints. I chose 25 final designs to print and display.

The Top Five The first five posters in each series were digitally printed and shown at The Instant Messages exhibition at Maryland Art Place from December 1, 2009­—January 9, 2010.


Ashton Kutcher Series Stats Location here Web Bio I make stuff, actually I make up stuff, stories mostly, collaborations of thoughts, dreams, and actions. Thats me. 254 Following 3,864,682 Followers

Ellen DeGeneres Series Stats Location California Web http://www.ellent... Bio Find Ellen’s monologue, celebrity photos and videos, games, giveaways, how to get tickets and more on The Ellen Show website. 946 Following 3,596,359 Followers

Britney Spears Series Stats Location Los Angeles, CA Web http://www.britne... Bio Yes! This is the real Britney Spears! We’ve got updates from her team, her website and yes, even Britney herself! 431,459 Following


CNN Breaking News Series Stats Location Everywhere Web Bio is among the world’s leaders in online news and information delivery. 17 Following 2,793,666 Followers

Kim Kardashian Series Stats Location Armenia Web http://KimKardash... Bio Armenian Princess 64 Following 2,554,941 Followers

Studio help and installation I printed out each poster in a small 4"x4" format and utilized my colleagues and critique to pick the final 25 posters. The installation took place from November 19ツュ窶年ovember 23, 2009. The director of my graphic design MFA program, Ellen Lupton, helped install some of the 24"x24" posters.

01 Set parameters. Define some ground rules, such as limited range of typefaces and a fixed set of layout elements. You might also create a few sets of rules and rotate them among your sprints.

Sprinting, a method of design thinking I wrote about sprinting in Ellen Lupton’s Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming. I also designed the chapter and worked with designers to test the method in different mediums.

sara dittrich top, theo willis bottom

“ We did a few 20 minute sprints in class, and I could see them become faster in their technical skill. I especially loved the moment when I saw a student embrace a happy accident into the design.”

brian ahola

Design sprinting in the classroom Graphic Design professor Ann Liu used design sprinting to introduce students to the freedom of quick and dirty design. “The overall goal was to create a large body of work in a short amount of time and teach the students how to edit their own work. They were asked to display their five best designs in an 8"x8" accordion-style book. The final book form forced them to evaluate the relationships and pacing that naturally occurs between each page.”

Twittering Typography  

This book displays posters that visualize tweets gathered October 13-15, 2009, from the five most heavily subscribed Twitter feeds. In order...

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