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Making Typeface Families focuses on drawing a complete alphabet from start to finish, then adding bold and italic variations. Students will choose a sample document for which they'll create a typeface, translate concepts from rough pencil sketches to digitized finishes, and establish cohesiveness in a small trial range of selected characters. Through study of various letterform elements, students will establish how these parts need to come together in a logical way to form a set of related letters and eventually, an entire typeface.
This course is in adaptive mode and is open for enrollment. Learn more about adaptive courses here.
Session 1: Picking a Purpose and Getting Started (February 19, 2019)
In this session we’ll talk about how we’re going to pick a direction for a new typeface, and check out an overview of the software we’re going to use to make it.
Session 2: Drawing Control Characters (February 26, 2019)
Last time we picked a text document to design a new text face for, did some sketching on paper for it, and got a quick and dirty intro to font editing software. This session we’re going to do the first twelve letters of our first typeface.
Session 3: Completing the Alphabet, Numbers, and Punctuation (March 5, 2019)
Last time we drew our control characters and expanded on them. This session we’re doing ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ELSE in the typeface. That includes the rest of the alphabet (uppercase and lowercase), the numbers, and some standard punctuation.
4. Completing the Alphabet
6. Punctuation & Conclusion
7. Assignment: Completing the Character Set
8. A Conversation with Nina Stössinger
Session 4: How to Make an Italic and a Bold (March 12, 2019)
In this session we’ll identify what makes up the structures of an italic and a bold, and I’ll walk you through how to draw one of each of your own to accompany your textface.
2. Italics & Not Italics
3. Making Italics: Skewing & Correcting
4. Making Italics: Tailing & Narrowing
5. Sketching Bolds
6. Making Bolds
7. Keeping It In the Family
8. Assignment: Italic & Bold
9. A Conversation with Luisa Baeta
Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.
- Ability to recognize consistency in the design elements and color of a typeface.
- Ability to demonstrate proficiency in font editing software and vector drawing.
Creating your Typeface
- Ability Create a complete draft of an original typeface.
- Understanding the principles of how to properly construct italics and additional weights.
Instructors & Guests
Victoria Rushton was trained as a type designer by the great folks at Font Bureau, amongst whom she now runs her own foundry on TypeNetwork. She has a degree in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design, but discovered while there that the only thing she really wanted to draw was letters, so here we are.
She has made custom typefaces for corporations and for individual folks, released two of her own original typeface families (with many more on the way), and she draws lettering when all the fonts start to be too much. She tends to move every few years and finds herself enjoying Baltimore right now.
Victoria likes to write for Alphabettes, make silkscreen prints in her dining room, and has spoken at Typographics NYC and the Type Directors Club. The only thing she cares about more than letters themselves is making the industry the most welcoming space possible to type nerds of all backgrounds.
Nina Stössinger is a Senior Typeface Designer at Frere-Jones Type in Brooklyn. Originally from Basel in Switzerland, she studied multi-media design in Halle/Germany, and type design in Zurich and The Hague. Nina teaches Type Design at Yale University School of Art, frequently lectures internationally and serves on the board of directors of the Type Directors Club. Her type designs include Conductor (with Tobias Frere-Jones), FF Ernestine, and Nordvest.
After earning a Masters degree in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK, Luisa Baeta spent three years designing type at Dalton Maag, in London. She now lives in New York and works and a graphic and type designer focusing on branding.
What You Need to Take This Course
- Drawing Paper
- Tracing Paper
- UFO-based font editing software such as RoboFont (used in this course) or Glyphs
- Adobe Creative Suite
Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member does not affirm that the learner has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by School of Visual Arts.
If a student signs up for the Complete Typographer program, it is recommended that these courses are taken sequentially.
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