Type Design Basics: Design a Unique Decorative Grid-based Typeface | Skillshare Projects

Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand

Graphic Design & Photography



Type Design Basics: Design a Unique Decorative Grid-based Typeface

Type Design Basics: Design a Unique Decorative Grid-based Typeface

(April 2016 Teach Challenge)

This class is an opportunity for me to experiment with what I am really passionate about (but never have time for), and to share with you a pretty simple, but cool process of designing decorative typefaces.

1. Class Description

Designing your own typeface might sound daunting, but it does not need to be! In this class designer Evgeniya Righini-Brand will teach you how to easily and quickly design your own decorative grid-based typeface which can be used to create cool typographic compositions for posters, t-shirt prints or logotypes.

This class is suitable for anyone interested in typography regardless of their skill level or experience. So if you are new to type design and just starting to learn about typography, this is a brilliant opportunity to boost your confidence and create something fast and without too many restrictions and practice your Adobe Illustrator skills along the way. And if you are a design pro you can use it as an opportunity to learn a new type design process and make some cool stuff.

Class structure:

1. Grid development. Choosing source images for the grid and building a grid to define your glyphs’ architecture.

2. Designing glyphs. Design development of glyphs based on your grid.

3. Finalising glyphs. Choosing from alternatives, adjusting proportions, cleaning up the paths, defining weights.

4. Creating typographic compositions. Designing a set of outcomes using your typeface.

5. Customising typographic compositions. Developing set compositions further by adding extra graphic features.

Note: Creating a working typeface file is a different much more advanced task and is not covered in this class.

2. Class Project: Design Your Own Decorative Grid-Based Typeface


Design your own decorative typeface using a grid created from a photograph and create typographic compositions which feature your typeface.

You can jump into it and treat it as a visual experimentation, or if you want, you can conceptualise your typeface design process by carefully considering your source image and making sure that the grid and subsequently your typeface carry through the same idea. Of course, conceptual development takes a certain level of design proficiency and aesthetic awareness, so if you are just starting out or just want to have fun and develop your visual skills, you can play it by ear and see where your design process leads you without having any specific aims.

The most important part is getting your source image and grid right so you can build a consistent typeface, so you might need to go back to the beginning a few times, but it will ultimately pay off when you design a typeface which you'll love.


Upload your work-in-progress, developmental and final outcomes, including:

  • source photographs;
  • grid development;
  • letterforms with a visible grid structure;
  • letterforms alternatives;
  • final typeface (alphabet or alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks);
  • at least 3 typographic compositions and their application previews;
  • at least 1 customised typographic composition and its application preview.

If you are getting stuck and need feedback, make sure to post your questions or screenshots of where you're at, I will be happy to help you and provide technical advice along the way!

3. Class Outline
Type Design Basics: Design a Unique Decorative Grid-based Typeface Class Outline

4. Introduction Video & 5. Final Published Class:
Type Design Basics: Design a Unique Decorative Grid-based Typeface


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