Typography That Works: Typographic Composition and Fonts | Ellen Lupton | Skillshare

Typography That Works: Typographic Composition and Fonts

Ellen Lupton, Curator, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

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10 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Sans Serif Type

    • 3. Basic Architecture

    • 4. The Project: Sans + Structure

    • 5. Serif Type Families

    • 6. Details, Details

    • 7. Project: Literary Typography

    • 8. Slab Revolution

    • 9. Mixing It Up

    • 10. The Project: Customizing Type

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Project Description

Redesign your business card


Redesign your business card. Just like in the lessons, create some content (just write it out—that's how you start!) and then create a structure based on what you want to emphasize. Gradually add more structure and contrast to the design, and see where it takes you. Experiment with literary typefaces, slabs, and custom type. Make the letterforms your own, have some fun, and enjoy the explosion of joy that graphic design can bring to your work.


Upload a business card and share a bit about your design decisions. A completed project may include:

  • 4 designs playing with structure (student example)
  • 1 design using a literary typeface
  • 1 design using a slab face


  • Class Introductions. Take a second to introduce yourself to your classmates in this discussion. 

  • More typography, anyone?

    You can find more free content about typography, including PDF lectures and resources for teachers, on my web site ThinkingWithType.com.

    Many of the examples and demonstrations in this lecture come from my books, including Thinking with Type (2010) and D.I.Y. Design It Yourself (2006).

  • Download PDF lesson slides below.

  • Download the class resource guide below.