Learn the fundamentals of typography.

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Course details

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Learn the fundamentals of typography.

What you’ll be able to do — competencies

  • Describe the history and purpose of typography 
  • Describe the anatomy of typeface 
  • Describe typeface terminology and classifications 
  • Explain units of measure associated with type 
  • Describe and demonstrate letter-spacing techniques such as kerning, tracking and leading 
  • Explain and demonstrate methods of handling text such as measure, good leading, smart hanging quotes, even grid alignment, orphans and widows, applying emphasis, and handling rags 
  • Describe the management of hierarchy with text 
  • Describe and demonstrate the use of numerals 
  • Explain theories around typeface selection 
  • Demonstrate the use of Decks, Callouts and Pull Quotes 
  • Demonstrate management of margins and gutters in text-based designs 

Course description

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This course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about the fundamentals of typography. Students will learn about type weight, scale, style, font, kerning, leading, alignment and more. Class includes lectures, discussions and group exercises. 


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Session 1 

  • History of typography 
  • Purpose of typography 
  • Anatomy of typeface 
  • Emphasis 
  • Quote marks 
  • Hyphen, en and em dashes 
  • Using numerals 
  • Dingbats and pictograms 

Session 1 Assignments 

  • Letterforms as images 
  • Bring in 35 examples of type in use 
  • Reading: pages 857 

Session 2  

  • Managing hierarchy with text 
  • Kerning 
  • Upper and lower case 
  • Limiting type faces 

Session 2 Assignments 

  • Working with font families 
  • Bring in 3 or 4 magazines, brochures or annual reports 
  • Reading: pages 58107 

Session 3  

  • Tracking and leading 
  • Type “Color” 
  • Optimum line lengths 
  • Orphans and widows 

Session 3 Assignments 

  • Design a 1panel 2-sided brochure 
  • Bring in a magazine or newspaper 
  • Reading: pages 108157 

Session 4  

  • Type alignment 
  • Text grids 
  • Typographic furniture 
  • Callouts and pull quotes 
  • Margins and gutters 

Session 4 Assignments 

  • Keep looking, thinking and making! 
  • Reading: pages 160205 

Next available start dates

We aren’t currently offering this course, but we do update our course offerings on a regular basis. Please check back or browse our catalog for more courses that may be available now.

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