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Aalia Rahman
Graphic Design Teacher

Learning and Teaching Typography

Unfortunately I graduated from a university that failed to focus on the arts and there were no typography classes. Not knowing enough typography can be quiet an issue as I homeschool high school students and I find it hard to teach it to them as well.

Question: Where can I learn typography besides at another university? What are some resources you use to better your typographic skills and have an eye for good typography? What exercises would you recommend I (and my students) do to learn more about typography?

Thanks a billion! 


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Kari Horst

Posted on Nov 14, 2017 7:34:40 PM Permalink

I worked in newspapers for years and learned my foundation for working with fonts there. I follow the rule of no more than 3 fonts types and balancing serif with san serif. Also limiting colors is a good recommendation as your customer's eye follows both type size and color as it flows through a project. Most often the customer looks from left to right and then top to bottom.​

Rhitt Growl

Posted on Sep 25, 2017 1:57:07 PM Permalink

Rhitt Growl

Posted on Aug 9, 2017 2:29:11 AM Permalink

Gladys Chow

Posted on Aug 3, 2017 2:14:48 AM Permalink

I usually show the students different sources for looking at typography, and have them analyze what they think works wells for the layout. Here are some resources (type examples, finding fonts, related articles):

ilovetypography.com

welovetypography.com

beautifultype.net

typeculture.com

fontsquirrel.com

I think it takes time and practice to get a sense of how typography can be utilized. I agree with one of the comments below that Ellen Lupton's Thinking with Type is a valuable resource!

Rhitt Growl

Posted on Aug 4, 2017 7:25:41 PM Permalink

Thanks for sharing these resources!​

Sheila Hutchins

Posted on Jul 26, 2017 1:45:51 AM Permalink

​I love using different fonts in my projects. It's nice to know you should only use two fonts. I need to stick with basic fonts and use script fonts all the time. I like to use girly fonts.

Susan Steich

Posted on Jul 15, 2017 8:40:43 PM Permalink

​Love typography! It is a very important element that is taught in my class all four years that I have my students. I always tell them, "if you can utilize type as part of the design then you become a commodity as there aren't too many designers/illustrators that understand how to use type in a design piece.

Susan Steich

Posted on Jul 15, 2017 8:37:52 PM Permalink

Thanks, Rhitt. Some very useful sites.​

Deb Vaughan

Posted on Jul 16, 2017 2:09:30 AM Permalink

Yes! Thank you, Rhitt.

Deb Vaughan

Posted on Jul 14, 2017 4:39:20 PM Permalink

I find that I notice difference when there are two examples side by side, but at a glance I wouldn't realize that one was better than the other. Is this something that you can learn? If so, I'd like to know more. ​

Karen Akerson

Posted on Jul 11, 2017 10:34:17 PM Permalink

​This is a good discussion with resources and ideas. I appreciate the significance of type and want to learn how to use it more effectively.

Suzanne Dell'Orto

Posted on Jul 11, 2017 2:58:22 AM Permalink

Ari Vega

Posted on Jul 8, 2017 2:04:59 AM Permalink

​When I use text for handout materials, I try to stay within 3 different styles and sizes. Going beyond that is just too much for the eye and the students lose the content to design rather than absorbing the material presented.

I also think about whether the materials will be printed or viewed online. Certain type faces permit various sizes. For example, on the Windows side, the system fonts print various size. Whereas, if I were to use True Type fonts, they can be scale-able. Meaning that when sent to the printer they don't adjust and stay to the size desired.

On the other hand if I changed the typeface, then that brings style and movement to the text.

Melissa Kristiansen

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 10:26:15 PM Permalink

​The variety of fonts can be overwhelming and it is so easy to want to use more than 2. I always remember to Keep It Simple.

Kathy Herold

Posted on Jul 6, 2017 8:57:19 AM Permalink

​I have always been fascinated by typography and used to hoard fonts. Thank goodness for Typekit...so many fonts but I only use the ones I need.

Rachael Pemble

Posted on Jul 5, 2017 6:12:03 PM Permalink

I think that by looking at current design and trends can teach you a lot about how the designer used typography within their work, a good practice to incorporate with that is having yourself or your students try and recreate the design with you own twist. I also agree with the fact that there are endless resources out on the web that can also help you learn more about using type and additional "rules". Best of luck!

Meghan Russo

Posted on Jul 4, 2017 2:32:20 PM Permalink

As an educator I am a huge fan of learning from other educators, designers and even YouTube!

omar khayam

Posted on May 14, 2016 5:02:30 PM Permalink

What I did with my Diploma students in Typo subjects (Year 1) is to cut and paste from magazines on various typography styles and arrangement.
This makes them look at letterform as shapes as well as identifying various type weights like Bold, Regular, etc.
For basic arrangement, the cut and paste type alignments that they associate in Words when writting reports.
They can make simple design out of those weights and arrangement and its looks trivial to them at the begining but it will be usefull in the Typo class.
Only in Typo class do they go into the Typography Fundamentals.

Herbert Weigelt

Posted on Jan 7, 2016 9:07:39 AM Permalink

Hi Aalia,

If I may, I would start with Dr. Google and enter something like "best resources for teaching typography".

Wishing you the best,

Herbert

Rhitt Growl

Posted on Jun 13, 2015 10:46:55 PM Permalink

Not sure if any of you heard about these upcoming typography talks that are being hosted by Adobe. Here are the details from the webpage:

Online talks on typography and design

Famous typographer Jean-François Porchez and his team organise this summer a 5-week typeface design programme. In addition to this programme, called Type@Paris, they will host weekly talks every Wednesday, delivered by famous international designers and typographers. Adobe and Typekit are both partners of this unique series of talks about creativity, design and typography and here’s the good news: we will live stream all the talks! If you’re interested in following, here is the full agenda and links to the live streams.

Rhitt Growl

Posted on Feb 16, 2015 2:59:23 PM Permalink

Aalia Rahman

Posted on Feb 18, 2015 8:38:37 PM Permalink

Those are awesome resources. I actually found out about Butterick's Practical Typography after I posted this discussion. But I still wanted to see what I could get help with. Thank you!

tom perazzo

Posted on Feb 14, 2015 3:32:41 AM Permalink

I'm learning as I teach this stuff. Here's a link to the site for my high school class: http://j207digitalarts.weebly.com/

I found some very cool online games (three of which are on there) that have helped me learn a lot.

Aalia Rahman

Posted on Feb 18, 2015 8:38:58 PM Permalink

I think I might be following your site. Thanks Tom!

Rhitt Growl

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 3:25:31 PM Permalink

One resource I would suggest would be lynda.com. It's not a free source but offers a variety of comprehensive training video courses for tech/design/creative subjects. I did a quick search for Typography on their site and came back with all of these courses.

Eliot Attridge

Posted on May 4, 2015 8:15:17 AM Permalink

I give a thumbs up for this too. There are some great courses and they are really well made.

Ydaliz Negron

Posted on Feb 3, 2015 3:38:13 AM Permalink

Hi Aalia! Nice discussion! Well I can star by encourage you to learn the history of the tipography, how this start and the evolution true the years is very important. To learn to identify you can try to learn the anatomy, classification and composition of the tipography. When you learn The anatomy you know how they express true their parts to combine one font with other you have to understand the classification for the composition.

Nikki Hensley

Posted on Jan 30, 2015 5:27:56 PM Permalink

I will be following your post. We currently teach Types and Fonts and one of our internship places has recently said that our students lack in this. It will be interesting the feedback you get.