week #15

Half class critiques of groups #1 & #2 T/Th 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?

    Print Submission:
    Final specimen printed and bound in appropriate full-color media, to scale (if for print) or supplied as a digital file to the Google Drive link

  • Final typeface proof (Round 07) including any extra characters at large size, in spacing strings, and in the body of paragraph.

  • Process work for entire typeface from sketches to iterations in proofs, organized sequentially where possible so I can follow your trajectory through the project.

    Digital Submission:

  • PDF of final ‘Round 07’ proof with an extra characters (as above)

  • PDF of specimen, saved as spreads, no crop marks


  • link to final video/web site etc.

class #24

swapped proofs for feedback. individual feedback looking at progress on typefaces and specimen content.

Progress on typeface, by next Tuesday you should have the full Round 07 complete, and initial digital drafts of your specimen to look at. Next week we will do two large group critiques, focusing on the specimen so use this week to really hammer out any issues in your typeface and please sign up for your spot in each group for next week, bearing in mind there is a max of 8 spots on either day.

week #13

Half-class critique of latest proof including the character set for Round 05. 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. Thursday we will have a short class to accommodate our visiting lecturer, Meaghan Dee, who will be giving a lecture at 6pm. For this reason, I will be aiming to see more of the group on Tuesday than on Thursday.

For next week, please bring sketches for your specimens to discuss.

class #21

Swap Glyphs files/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. Individual feedback.

Continue working your way to Round 06 and Round 07. Bring printed proofs for next class.

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

class #18

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.

class #17

Review progress. class time to work.


  1. Refine letters a d e o n s p H O D (and proof using this Round 01 proof need to add ‘s’). Proof multiple times and refine more before moving on to Round 02. (use adhesiontext.com for generating extra text for proofs as you move through character set—in Safari)

  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 

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

class #15

review of pdf presentations of logotypes by students in small groups & discussion. logotype dissection! begin prototype(b).


  1. 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

class #14

work from home completing your logotype presentations. email Aoife for feedback on your progress.


  1. Alongside completing your pdf presentation, please follow the steps below. This will serve as a visual reference for your written brief. (It's ok if you are still refining, this process should help you also discover any leftover inconsistencies in the shape you are working on):

    • print your logotype in black and white and 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;

    • annotating these features with respect to how you might bring them into a typeface design.

  2. Based on the notes you made about the shapes you have made in the word mark, begin to sketch what the letters HODadeoin might look like for next class based on this dissection. Feel free to explore taking just a couple of features together at a time and iterating, looking for references as you go. The goal is to have a range of explorations to look at before you write your type design brief.

    N.B. We will have some time in class on Tuesday to complete the second part of the homework, task but please do begin to sketch so you are ready to hit the ground running then.

class #13

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 your prototype project 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 for the accompanying typeface, it should clearly outline:

  • personality

  • contexts of use

  • 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. Remember also the TypeCooker tool in this context for variables to play with.

class #11

review sketches for logotypes, visual references and contexts. Choose two words from your 18 sketches to digitize. N.B. if you did not have 18 sketches in class today, make sure you do at least this many, before selecting at least 2 to refine at different scales, considering the shape of the word(s) on the page, as well as the details of the shapes themselves.

Homework: REMINDER This project is DUE next Thursday 28th

  1. In a short paragraph, outline the key aspects of each of your approaches in abstract terms relating to personality, context of use, and key stylistic features you are aiming to make a feature of (this will be folded into your final presentation)

  2. Collect 3 typefaces that embody some or all of the characteristics of each of your wordmark(s)

  3. For next class bring your high quality final sketches, and begin to digitize and print for critique at a range of sizes. For next week, you should have both digitized for critique next Tuesday.

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

class #10

Short Review of Beautiful Group. Introduction to Logotype project.


  1. Finish Beautiful group assignment. OTF, Glyphs file, PDF proof + printed proof.

  2. Come up with 6 potential words/mastheads/logos and sketch 3 approaches for each
    (18 total) These can start loose, but should be cleaned up and ready to digitize for next 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 samples of letterforms, lettering and type that relate to your initial sketches

  5. Collect examples of contexts in which your wordmark will be seen

Read & Play with: 
(helpful for trying out different forms of your glyphs)
ILT's guide to Open Type features
Glyphs Tutorial on OpenType Substitution 
For another overview Typofonderie's write up is easy-access

class #08

Lectures: Typeface design practice, Modularity in Typeface Design, Spacing. Individual feedback. Class time to work on digitizing letters ahHA.

Homework for Tuesday 12th:

  1. Continue to digitize and refine ahHA set and add dnoDO to group.

  2. Create a proof based on this template, updating with www.adhesiontext.com per the letters you have in your set (ie. if you do not yet have all the letters, just use the ones you have to generate dummy text using that set) N.B. Use in Safari—seems to be down in Chrome

class #07

Reviewed Beautiful group project + Sketches for


Refine sketches, gather more references. Sketch for extended set ‘d n o D O’
Begin digitizing ahHA. We will review spacing and exporting to proof in class on Thursday and I will do a couple of lectures at the start of class, so please be on time! =)

Please bring your process work for the AndPerSeAnd project on Thursday, collected neatly into a folder. This should include all your sketches, prints and and any references.

class #06

Thursday 31st: class cancelled due to POlar vortex inclemency.

virtual class:

  • review Beautiful group assignment sheet.

  • Using Type Cooker tool set to ‘easy’ (unless you feel like a challenge!) generate a random brief for your genre of letterforms. To get a new brief, simply refresh the page and the parameters will keep changing.


  • Based on your random brief, begin gathering references

  • Sketch ideas for the letters ahHA!

  • Read: 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.

  • Read/Review
    Mark Jamra's Form and Proportion in a Text Typeface
    Type Basics (TypeWorkshop)