C L A S S || T W E N T Y - E I G H T (Monday 1st May)

Intro to Kerning. Individual Feedback.

Homework: Continue work on specimen/finish character set. For Wednesday bring print-outs and mockups, full size. Black and white is fine, but you should bring one letter-size print showing colors in use. If yours is a digital specimen, we can look at this on screen.

Great article on Chromatic Type: http://ilovetypography.com/2017/04/03/the-evolution-of-chromatic-fonts/

Kerning tutorial Glyphs: https://glyphsapp.com/tutorials/kerning

C L A S S || T W E N T Y - F I V E (Wednesday 19th)

Small groups to critique early stages of digitized specimen pieces and contextual settings as well as standard typeface proofs.  Look at the proofs themselves here, rather than just the type. Do they fully test the types?


  • 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 - F O U R

Introduction to Specimen brief. Individual Feedback/Small groups.

Homework: For each class between now and end of semester, please continue to work on progressing and refining your typeface, bringing printed proofs for each class showing any progress and seeking feedback from either me or your classmates.

For Wednesday, please bring sketches, reference material and content for your specimens to discuss. We will break into small groups.

C L A S S || T W E N T Y - T H R E E

Individual Feedback for: 
Sam, Dan, Mike, Marissa, Lisa, Natalie, Drew

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. 


Continued progress on your typeface and in-context proofs (incorporating more and more treatments for your specimen) made by adapting proof from Round 07 to include samples of text for your specimen, in context trials etc. Bring printed proofs for next class. I will introduce the Specimen project on Monday.

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

Individual Feedback for:
Stephanie, Maureen, Austyn, JoYo, Dean, Gracie

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. 

Next class individual feedback group is:
Sam, Dan, Mike, Marissa, Lisa, Natalie, Drew, Grant


Continued progress on your typeface and in-context proofs (incorporating more and more treatments for your specimen) made by adapting proof from Round 07 to include samples of text for your specimen, in context trials etc. Bring printed proofs for next class.


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

Small group critiques / 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 || N I N E T E E N

Meet in groups or work autonomously. No official class, as Aoife will be away on Study Abroad, but please work ahead, moving through the proofs.

Move to Round 05 and then Round 06 proofs. (Bearing in mind, as always, not to move to the next proof until you are really happy with the previous one—I'm giving you both to keep you moving but don't feel bad if you stick on Round 05)

Please drop your most recent proof showing all letters you have completed to a good standard to this Google Drive by midnight Friday 31st March.

I will be traveling over the break so I may not be able to respond to emails quickly, but do feel free to email for input on your progress at any point, and I will do my best to get back promptly.

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

Full class critique. 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 EN

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

Critique of Prototype continues today! Peer reviews and mark-up of proofs. 


  1. Refine letters a e o n  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 Monday.

    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 || F O U 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 H I R T E E N

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.
  3. Based on the DNA you have isolated in the above dissection and with reference to your brief, sketch the letterforms a d h e s i o n and H O D S T E A


  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 || T W E L V E

Review of logotypes. Individual feedback/Small groups. 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 highlight 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. The logotypes are due and will be presented next class on Wednesday 1st of March.

  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 for your typeface, 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

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 || N I N E

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