W E E K | F I F T E E N

Half class critiques of groups #1 & #2 M/W with a focus on the specimen, and secondarily on the completion/refinement of the typefaces as follows:


  • 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?

Finished specimen layouts and Refined typeface proofs for our Final next Monday 7th May @ 5.45pm. All digital submissions should be submitted to to this Google drive folder and physical proofs/process work/specimens are due between 4-5pm on Friday the 11th to Aoife's office 341M.
Watch Dan Rhatigan talking about the impacts of technological change on the development of typefaces through history.

W E E K | F O U R T E E N

Individual feedback for groups #01 & #02 (M/W) looking at progress on typefaces and specimen content.

Progress on typeface, by next Monday you should have the full Round 07 complete, and printed drafts of your specimen to look at. Next week we will do two final large group critiques, so again, please sign up for your spot in each group, bearing in mind there is a max of 13 spots on either day.

Numbers from Letters of Credit Walter Tracy

W E E K | T H I R T E E N

Group critique of latest proof including the character set for Round 05 at a minimum with groups #01 & 02 on M/W. Introduction to Specimen project.

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 next week, please bring sketches and early digitizations for your specimens to discuss. Sign up for your feedback day here.

W E E K | T W E L V E

Individual Feedback Groups #01 & #02. Rest of class, 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. 

Continue working your way to Round 05. The set of letterforms included in Round 05 are due Monday 16th April as per the updated schedule here. If you have already completed this set, you can start on Round 06 and Round 07.

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

W E E K | T E N

Half group 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 of Round 01 & Round 02 proofs when completely happy with shapes of Round 02; (feel free to email Aoife over the break for input, I want you to keep moving so please don't hesistate!)
  2. Continue to Round 03 proof.  I'm also including Round 04 and Round 05 here in case anyone gets really into it and moves quickly. Each of you has different briefs and shape languages to work on so the pace will vary according to the level of difficulty of your brief.
  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.

W E E K | N I N E

Group critique of progress on Prototype. Review of procedure for spacing in Glyphs. 

Next week we will do individual critiques of the set you have so far splitting the class in two again. Please come to BOTH class sessions, as I the group not getting individual feedback will work as a group to review progress while I give individual feedback. Please sign up here for whichever class you would prefer. Max 11 per class session.


  1. Refine letters a d e o n p H O D (and proof using this Round 01 proof). Proof multiple times and refine more before moving on to Round 02.

  2. Continue to letters of Round 02 proof (marked in magenta).

  3. Bring printed proofs to both sessions next week, updating the proof to suit the letterforms you have (as the missing forms will cause havoc in spacing)

    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 

W E E K | E I G H T

1/2 class Individual feedback in two groups Monday/Wednesday reviewing sketches derived from logotype and briefs. Focus on consistency: do you have a clear strategy for stems, bowls arches, widths, openness and weight. 

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 for class next Wednesday 14th (Class does not meet Monday the 12th). 

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

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

Review of PDF presentations of logotypes by students in small groups & 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. It's ok if you are still refining, this process should help you discover and leftover inconsistencies. You should aim for sketches for the letters HODadeoin for next class based on this dissection.
  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?
  3. Read & Play with: 
    For another overview Typofonderie's write up is easy-access

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

Review of logotypes. Full class critique. Continue to work on shapes, and prepare a PDF presentation to showcase your logotype for next class. BEGIN research on typefaces for next project (second page) 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)


C L A S S | N I N E

UPDATED Feb 15th

Individual Feedback on sketches/In-class sketching. Continued research on reference material. Bear in mind that you are aiming to build a library of references for shapes with your personality words in mind.


  1. Continue sketching aiming for at least 18 sketches for 6 approaches
  2. In a short paragraph, for each wordmark, outline the key aspects in abstract terms relating to personality (3 words for each direction at least), purpose and features. 

N.B. We are a class behind where we should be, so please come with lots of high quality sketches for next class for you to choose from, based on quality references. You are aiming to create personality through form, so the references help you to define what shapes give what personality or feeling. Your references can and should go beyond typography, but avoid using color or texture as references too much for now, except as secondary references. You should be looking at how shape and form reflect personality.

Calligraphic Resource from THE ABC of Custom Lettering

C L A S S | E I G H T

Final crit for And Per Se And project reviewing ampersands and monograms. Introduction to Logotype Project.


  1. Continue to 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 continue to 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 between now and the end of class on Wednesday (18 total) 
  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.

Submit your And Per Se And Glyphs files, OTFs, and a single pdf digitally <<<here. The PDF should include:

1 page with 3 ampersands side by side

1 page per ampersand/monogram (5 total) shown large (roughly 2-3” in height) and also @ 50% scale in B&W, reversed out of black and in 50% grey

1 page where you apply color or tonal contrast to the forms in your monograms shown side by side

C L A S S | S E V E N

Second group critique of monograms/ampersands. Class time to work.


  1. Continue refining your monograms, aiming to have 2 finished monograms for Monday's final critique

  2. Finish any refinements to your ampersands to show alongside your monograms on Monday

  3. Begin to think of words for your hypothetical word-mark and collect as much reference material as you can for next class. Consider words that will give you DNA to play with. Useful letters are lowercase a, e, i, o, n, s, and uppercase H, O, D, E, S, A

N.B. For Monday's critique please print your work as follows:

  • 1 x letter-size proof (B&W) showing your 3 ampersands side by side
  • 2 x letter-size proofs (B&W) showing each of your monograms on a single sheet at the same scale
  • Any related explorations at same scale to compare and markup

C L A S S | S I X

Lecture/Demo on Spacing, Related forms, Alignments. First group critique of ampersand progress/refinements


Continue digitizing/refining your uppercase letters in combination with your 2 ampersands in 2 monograms. 

N.B. This project's due date has been updated to be next Wednesday the 14th. We will have one last full-class critique of your monograms next Monday 12th. I have also updated the schedule to reflect the new critiquing structure and this moved deadline.

Martina Flor on Wonderhand
William Berkshire's ILoveTypography article part 1 & part 2 
and write a 200 word response, summarizing the key points and reflecting on the content with regard to your work. Submit this by email before next class.

Mark Jamra's Basic Character Spacing
Walter Tracy's spacing guide
Type Basics (TypeWorkshop)

C L A S S | F I V E

Lecture on Type-Making and the origins of our alphabet. Review ampersand refinements, digitizations of uppercase letters, sketches of adeoin and any ref materials. 


  1. Refine your monograms (combined uppercase letters with 2 of your 3 ampersands) considering how the uppercase letters relate to to the ampersands in alignments, weights and degrees of complexity. Consider ligating the forms, or enclosing them. Or knocking them out of a solid to fuse them into one form.
  2. Refine your sketches for the lowercase letters and make sure you are sketching them at a similar scale, paying attention to the relative widths and degrees of personality in the forms. Not all the letters need to have the same amount of personality, but they should feel balanced and harmonious and echo and reflect each other in their shape language. Consider the relationship between the heights of your lowercase letters and your uppercase/ampersands. For next class, bring all the sketches you have made so far, and the final set you have achieved. This final set should show all  letters at the same scale and with the same alignments, so that you can digitize them to scale easily. We will begin digitizing these next class, or you can start over the weekend.


  1. Remember to make sure your sketches show your letters as a solid grey or black so that you can make sure the color you are achieving is consistent across the forms. 
  2. Make sure your sketches are crisp and that related forms like serifs, in-strokes, stems and curved parts are considered and bear a relationship to each other. 

If you have not already read/watched the readings from last class, please read these for next class as well as Mark Jamra's Form and Proportion in a Text Typeface

C L A S S | F O U R

Review of ampersand proofs. Lecture on Approaches to the Design of Letterforms, Intro to adeoinHO. Typemaking. Individual Feedback.


  1. Refine ampersand shapes based on feedback from critique.
  2. Begin to digitize your accompanying uppercase letters.
  3. Sketch the lowercase letters a d e o i n.
  4. Bring any references you have been using to discuss alongside your high-quality sketches.

Note: The letters you are building to match or complement your 2 ampersands are not those that you will be making into a typeface. This first project is a drawing practice assignment, and aimed at getting you up to speed in Glyphs. After this you will have another discrete project before moving into the large scale type design project, so don't worry if you are not completely in love with your ampersands currently. However, do try to be experimental, and gather references for the shapes you build. The benefit of the smaller character set is you can make some weird and wild shapes and not have to worry about building hundreds of related forms all with the same level of weirdness. So now is the time to throw caution to the winds!

Gerry Leonidas' The Origin of Adhesion or watch the video 
William Addison Dwiggin's letter to Rudolph Ruzicka
Classification/Anatomy of Type Scans

C L A S S | T H R E E

Continued Demo of Glyphs basics. Individual Feedback. Class Time to Work.


  1. Continue to digitize and refine your ampersands 
  2. Sketch for your additional uppercase letters
  3. Name your glyphs 'ampersand', 'ampersand.alt', and 'ampersand.alt2' 
  4. When happy with your shapes, name your font in the Font Info Window, Generate an OTF and install your font (you can just drop it in your 'Fonts' folder or install using FontBook or another font management software
  5. Use this template proof to show your 3 ampersands on one letter-size sheet. It should look something like this when finished.

Glyphs Sketching tutorial
Glyphs Drawing Good Paths tutorial

C L A S S | T W O

Review of sketches, discussion & selection of 3 to refine/work on and add two uppercase letters to (aiming for 2-3 monograms)
Introduction/installation of Glyphs font editor & in-class bezier drawing from sketches. (Digitize selected ampersands (3and begin to refine)


  1. Continue to digitize and refine your ampersands 
  2. Sketch for your additional uppercase letters
  3. Name your glyphs 'ampersand', 'ampersand.alt', and 'ampersand.alt2' 
  4. When happy with your shapes, name your font in the Font Info Window, Generate an OTF and install your font (you can just drop it in your 'Fonts' folder or install using FontBook or another font management software
  5. Use this template proof to show your 3 ampersands on one letter-size sheet. It should look something like this when finished.

Glyphs Sketching tutorial
Glyphs Drawing Good Paths tutorial

Please send your payment to info@glyphsapp.com in the amount of the kind of license you wish to purchase. Georg or Anna will then send you a license file which you can drag onto your app icon to activate.

C L A S S | O N E

Hellos, Syllabus & VCD Policy Review
Type-Making and the Origins of our Alphabet lecture.

TypeFaces! exercise
AndPerSeAnd begin researching / brainstorming / sketching

Range of sketches for And Per Se And exercise, to serve as basis of your digitizations (aim for 20-30)
References as printed or photocopied to show in class

Shady Characters
History of the Ampersand

Refer to:
Ascender Fonts_Coming Together
Font Aid