Introduction to Typeface Design

Alonzo Felix, Designer

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
16 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Trailer

      1:29
    • 2. Why Design Type?

      Intro to Typeface Design Unit 1.pdf
      2:43
    • 3. What is a Typeface?

      5:11
    • 4. Type Anatomy 101

      5:22
    • 5. Overview of Typographic Classification Systems

      5:20
    • 6. Text Type and Display Type

      4:25
    • 7. Influence from Writing Systems

      2:48
    • 8. The Design Space

      7:16
    • 9. Families and Superfamilies

      3:32
    • 10. Overshoots

      2:36
    • 11. Grouping

      4:51
    • 12. Relationships

      3:44
    • 13. Spacing Type

      5:01
    • 14. Critiquing Type

      4:13
    • 15. Class Wrap-Up

      1:10
    • 16. Explore Design on Skillshare

      0:37

Project Description

Design an A-Z typeface

Introduction to Typeface Design

  1. Read provided article by Cyrus Highsmith.

    Cyrus Highsmith article attached below.

Type Anatomy and Classification

  1. Learn type anatomy

    Look at provided PDF of type anatomy and be sure to take note of things that are familiar.

    Familiarize yourself with some of the existing methods of classifying type.

    7673ec5a

    9a1ebff2

    Look at the provided examples of text and display fonts. 

    1b6c4cd5

    Review the two main types of contrast in typeface design.

    8704a8af

The Design Space

  1. Familiarize yourself with “design space”

    Check the PDF in the resources section for the class slides.

    Familiarize yourself with the elements of “design space” and figure out where your project might fall.

    7fe8a226

    Look at examples of 'families' and ‘superfamilies’ (like Univers and Greta Sans).

    9ca78c2d

    What font family inspires your typeface?

Drafting a Typeface

  1. Begin drafting your font

    On (tracing) paper or in a vector drafting program, begin drawing your font. Be sure to establish horizantal lines for a baseline, ascender, and descender heights.

    a675073b

    Keep in mind overshoots on round lettershapes.

    Check the PDF in the resources section for the class slides.

  2. Start with a lowercase and capital control group

    Proceed to control group of ‘agnopv’ or ‘DEHORVagnopv’ if you are drawing uppercase forms as well.

    c2f8ba9c

    c162bebf

    Then proceed to uppercase control grouping and lowercase prototype ‘abefghimnoprstuv’ or ‘DEHORVabefghimnoprs'.

    eac51df6

    When you're ready, take a stab at the full alphabet! 

Other Considerations

  1. Try spotting problems in your typeface

    Try spotting problems in your typeface and then work to improve them little by little. Consider elements like spacing, rhythym, positive and negative shapes.

    4acd4d52

    Check the PDF attached below for the class slides.

  2. Class wrap-up

    Conduct a proofing on your font.

    c3bd8860

    Attached below are resources for finalizing this course.

Student Projects

2 comments
Drew Vosburg