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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Rhitt Growl

Posted on 7/3/18 4:38:42 PM Permalink

Paula Obrien

Posted on 6/29/18 2:38:22 AM Permalink

CalArts has a great ​resource for typefaces and typefamilies. They've also got some free courses on typography which helped me learn about the connotative meaning of fonts. I am still very much a novice in the study of typography, but find this topic to be extremely interesting and useful in eLearning.

Cindy Kringelis

Posted on 5/23/18 6:02:24 PM Permalink

​Scott Kelby has a great class on typography for beginners on KelbyOne.com.

Ragen Morgenstern

Posted on 2/14/18 9:45:51 PM Permalink

​I'm so glad I found my way here, I was completely lost in knowing where to start learning about typography, all of the information here has been so useful! Many thanks to everyone that has contributed to this thread.

Katherine Eccleston

Posted on 1/12/18 3:34:21 PM Permalink

As a technical writer used typography as a way to communicate information hierarchy and ​creating reader-centered documents on a daily basis. My fallback resource has always been an older book one of my college instructors introduced me to, Jan White's Graphic Design for the Electronic Age. I now teach document page design via Adobe InDesign CC, and I'm always seeking out new and interesting resources on document design and typography to pass along to my students. Some great tips/responses here, thanks.

Kari Horst

Posted on 11/14/17 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 9/25/17 1:57:07 PM Permalink

Cindy Kringelis

Posted on 5/23/18 5:39:28 PM Permalink

​Love that 5 minute guide! Wish everything could be presented so concisely!

Rhitt Growl

Posted on 8/9/17 2:29:11 AM Permalink

Gladys Chow

Posted on 8/3/17 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):






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 8/4/17 7:25:41 PM Permalink

Thanks for sharing these resources!​

Sheila Hutchins

Posted on 7/26/17 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 7/15/17 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 7/15/17 8:37:52 PM Permalink

Thanks, Rhitt. Some very useful sites.​

Deb Vaughan

Posted on 7/16/17 2:09:30 AM Permalink

Yes! Thank you, Rhitt.

Deb Vaughan

Posted on 7/14/17 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 7/11/17 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 7/11/17 2:58:22 AM Permalink

Ari Vega

Posted on 7/8/17 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 7/7/17 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 7/6/17 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 7/5/17 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 7/4/17 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 5/14/16 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 1/7/16 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,


Rhitt Growl

Posted on 6/13/15 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 2/16/15 2:59:23 PM Permalink

Aalia Rahman

Posted on 2/18/15 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 2/14/15 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 2/18/15 8:38:58 PM Permalink

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

Rhitt Growl

Posted on 2/13/15 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 5/4/15 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 2/3/15 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 1/30/15 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.