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Designing a Typeface: A Beginner’s Guide to Typography Week 5

Week 5

Over the past few weeks, we have touched upon some of the fundamental aspects of typeface design, along with a brief look at some of the type design tools available. To conclude, here are some final points to consider.

1. Read, read, read

If you’re really keen to develop an understanding of typeface design, be prepared to learn from those with experience. What has in the past been a fairly enigmatic discipline, typeface design has become a more open and transparent activity with many people having a go at creating their own designs and sharing their knowledge. Scour books and investigate the many discussion threads in typography forums such those at typedrawers.com. Specialist libraries are few, but places such as the St. Bride Library in London house an enormous collection of books, type specimens, and print artifacts. However, if this is not an option, the reading and references provided below should get you off to a good start.

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Designing a Typeface: A Beginner’s Guide to Typography Week 4

Technical Options:

Having decided upon the purpose of your typeface design, and having invested a considerable amount of time drawing letters and trying out different variations and combinations, you may wish to attempt to digitise of your typeface; effectively making a font.

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Designing a Typeface: A Beginner’s Guide to Typography Week 3

Week 3

Types of typefaces

Obviously, typeface designs come in thousands of shape variations, and as well as Serifs and Sans Serifs, there are specific classifications for these variations. One such classification system is that crated by Maximilien Vox in 1954. Within the current version of the Vox System there are nine groups identified as such:

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Designing a Typeface: A Beginners Guide to Typography Week 2

Week 2

Terminology & Anatomy

Even if you are an experienced calligrapher or lettering artist, designing a typeface is an altogether different process, and before you start it’s worth becoming familiar with some fundamental typographic concepts and terminology.

You have probably heard of the terms fonts and typefaces and these two terms are often used interchangeably, and there seems little harm in doing so. However, strictly speaking, there is a distinct difference in meaning between the two.

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Designing a Typeface: A Beginner’s Guide to Typography Week 1

Week 1

Typeface Design

A typeface “is the collection of thousands of years of collective human social, technological and economic history, combined with the passion, skill, experience and personal history of its lone creator.” (Earls, 2002)

An introduction typeface design

If you’re a fan of type and lettering and you’re up for a considerable, yet potentially rewarding design challenge, then you might consider designing a typeface. Then, should you want a further this challenge you might also consider ways of digitizing your work. There are a number of ways that you can approach this—some being far easier than others. Whatever approach you decide to take, a certain amount of patience and understanding will go a long way.

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