C L A S S || T W E N T Y - F O U R

Small groups to critique early stages of specimen pieces or contextual settings as well as typeface proofs. Individual Feedback for Jason, Josh, Josh B, Katie, Ashley, Jaz, Melissa, Will, Andrew.

Bear in mind the following in your group critiques:


  • Do they show a range of scale?
  • Is it easy to assess spacing?
  • Do the proofs show all the glyphs in the font? (incl. alternates?)
  • Do they put the type in context? 
  • How is the type reacting to its intended purpose?
  • Should the intended purpose update in light of how the text is performing?
  • What should this purpose be? What would be the best way to update the proof for this context: what should be included?

Forms / Spacing:

  • Is there harmony in the forms? Are the consistencies carefully maintained, and do the idiosyncrasies feel deliberate or accidental? How can these be improved?
  • Does the spacing feel consistent? If not, can you identify the culprit?
  • Can you identify candidates for kerning? (ie. where the spacing is good overall, but particular pairs feel loose/tight, and their spacing should not be changed as this will be cause issues, so kerning is the best solution)
  • How would you go about testing the kerning?

C L A S S || T W E N T Y

Swap Glyphs files and proofs with a partner. Look through and make notes on each other's curve construction, alignment, spacing and use of vertical metrics/font-naming: see checklist. Mark up proofs, and discuss. Class time to work/Individual Feedback.

Move to Round 07 proof (You made it to the full 26 letters!) 

Research for your specimen project:

  1. collect examples of specimens you like: go past the pinterest boards! Look in the library for old specimen books. 
  2. collect texts you can use that elucidate the character of you typeface: if it's playful, maybe you choose an irreverent text, choose some key words that show off your favorite letterforms.
  3. collect inspiration for unconventional ways you can show of the letterforms. You already have a Specimen in your portfolio from Intro to Typography, so let's do something really spectacular (a.k.a. different) here!

Read Forms of the Letters from Walter Tracy's Letters of Credit Numerals from the same.

C L A S S || E I G H T E E N

Class does not meet.

Move to Round 05 proof! Send Aoife interim PDF proofs showing all letters you have completed to a good standard so far by email by midnight on Sunday 20th March.

I will be traveling over the break and working for the first half, so I might not get back to you quickly on these, but will do my best to get markups back to you throughout the break so you can keep moving.

C L A S S || S I X T E E N

Small groups/Individual feedback. Watch Harry Baker, and be inspired to find your own voice and rhythm through your type.


  1. Continue to work on refining shapes
  2. Continue to Round 03 proof
  3. On top of your regular proof, make some 'real-world' settings to test your font in context. Refer to your brief. Set different words, try at different sizes, in different colors, on different printers, with different kinds of imagery. Bring these printed trials for next class. This should preempt your specimen ideas later in the semester. Have some fun here, and remember that these proofs are for you to see if the typeface is doing what you want it to, behaving how you imagined it, and conveying the personality you are aiming for.

C L A S S || F I F T E E N

This is a 15-week class, so that means at Class 15, we're halfway there you guys!  =) 

Group critique of progress on Prototype continues today! Those of the group who got group feedback last week: peer reviews and mark-up of proofs. 


  1. Refine letters a e o n p H O D (add 'd' to this Round 01 proof set before moving on to Round 02 proof if you haven't already). Proof, and refine more before moving on.
  2. Continue to letters of Round 02 proof (marked in magenta). Bring printed proofs for class on Thursday.

    Note: If you are not confident in your Round 01, do not move on to Round 02. You will not fall behind if you spend more time refining the control characters, but you will get overwhelmed if you give yourself too many unresolved glyphs to work on.

Pointed Pen Teaching Tool
Flexpen Timelapse from Type[Media Students
David Ross on Noordzij's Stroke Theory 

C L A S S || T H I R T E E N

Small group critiques reviewing sketches derived from logotype and briefs. Focus on consistency: do you have a clear strategy for stems, bowls arches, widths, openness and weight. 

Individual feedback/continue sketching/begin digitizing LIMITED character set (even if you have beautiful forms for your full word adhesion, let’s focus only on the DNA for now, starting with H O D a d e o n)

Homework: Printed proof of these letterforms. You will swap your proof with someone else in the class and mark it up!

N.B. There is a letter progression chart here.

C L A S S || T W E L V E

Presentations of logotypes by students & discussion.
Logotype dissection! Begin Prototype(B).


  1. Using layout or tracing paper, trace over and 'dissect' the form you just made, sketching parts of the letterforms and isolating features which show underlying principles or concepts, widths, heights, weight differentials, angles of stature/connection or facets of the shape DNA, and include any comments on forms that might be adapted well for text type. This will serve as a visual reference for your written brief.
  2. Referring to your visual and contextual research, sketches and examples of typefaces and uses, create a written creative brief for your text typeface project. (Here are some prompts) This should be a brief brief(!) covering the ground in as concise a way as possible. It is a brief for you, to keep your process on track, so use it to include things that will help you stay on target along the way. Please email this to me by the start of next class.


  1. Scans from Hermann Zapf's About Alphabets: Some marginal notes on type design [1] [2]
  2. Thomas Phinney on What does a typical typeface brief look like?

C L A S S || E L E V E N

Review of logotypes. Individual feedback. Continue to work on shapes, and prepare presentation to showcase your logotype next class. (5 mins each) Research typefaces and begin writing brief.


Finalize logotype, wrap into 'client' presentation to include:

  1. Logoform @ 3 sizes 
  2. Logoform reversed out of Black and 50% gray
  3. Moodboard/examples of use context highlighting media type (paper, plastic, screen, etc.) and 3 uses for an accompanying typeface.
  4. Printed Proof to use next class.

Begin research on brief, it should clearly outline:

  • personality
  • context
  • purpose
  • audience
  • width
  • weight
  • contrast
  • variety of potential media
  • related typefaces and influences

Check out this doc with some prompts for you to consider in writing your brief.

Tobias Frere-Jones new Intro to Type Mechanics 
(as a reinforcement of what we've been discussing in class)

Read & Play with: 
For another overview Typofonderie's write up is easy-access


C L A S S || T E N

Small group review of logotypes and paragraph descriptions. 

Digitize or refine your shape(s), testing at different sizes, reversed out. Begin to put in different settings. Prepare a document highlighting the key features of the shapes, the potential uses and the personality. This will serve as the basis of your brief for the accompanying typeface. This project is due on the 25th of February.

C L A S S || N I N E

Discussion of wordmark sketches. Selection of two to refine first and then and digitize. 


  1. In a short paragraph, for each wordmark, outline the key aspects in abstract terms relating to personality (3 words), purpose and features. 
  2. Collect 3 typefaces that embody the personality of your two words (6 total)
  3. For next class bring two wordmarks or 1 wordmark in two approaches refined to high quality sketches or digitized (depending on the feedback you got today)

We don't need new fonts
Don't design webfonts

C L A S S || E I G H T

Lecture on Modularity. Introduction to Logotype project. Begin researching and sketching.


  1. Brainstorm ideas for your semester-long project and, conscious that certain letters are more helpful to a type designer than others, begin to think of words for your hypothetical word-mark and collect as much reference material as you can for next class.
  2. Refine this brainstorm into 6 potential words/mastheads/logos and sketch 3 approaches for each (18 total) (may be useful to practice some lettering first and refer to Flat-tipped pen exercise from 'Lettering & Type' provided in class)
  3. Focus on personality and context of wordmark. Give it a real world purpose so that you have a starting point for an accompanying typeface later. Be as expressive and creative as possible. Show off your hand-lettering skills or set yourself a challenge.
  4. Collect examples of contexts in which your wordmark will be seen. ie. newspaper, screen, book, signage, packaging etc.

Lettering & Type photocopies:
pp.57-59 Creating Text Letter and Book Type
pp.97-98 Behind a Face