All the right type(s)

Moving into graphic design means that we’ll be looking at typography.  Typography is the design and use of letters or, what some people call, fonts.

One of my favorite uses of type (eh, who am I kidding, I don’t have a favorite, I love it all), is kinetic typography, or moving type used in videos.

Unlike brushes and patterns, we are fixed with the type that is pre-installed on our computers.  As limiting as that may be, you’ll learn to look for and select the correct or right fonts for the purpose.

When I look at fonts, I look at a few things: design, readability, spacing (kerning) and relationship to other graphical elements.

Things that you should look at with type:

Letterform.  The “ductus” determines the overall type shape, as seen in the lowercase “g”s.  The general uniqueness or movement of the typeface.

Weight.  Normal, light, bold… the weight of the character determines its strength.
Contrast.  The thickness versus the thinness makes for contrast.

Axis.  The lean or angle that characters are designed on (visible on these lowercase “o”s).  This is not the same as italic.

Kerning. The overall default spacing of a typeface.


Things you need to know in the Character/Paragraph window:

  • Character
  • Style
  • Size
  • Axis
  • Leading (Line Spacing)
  • Kerning
  • Vertical scale (Character height)
  • Baseline shift
  • Horizontal scale (Character width)
  • Colour
  • Buttons: Bold, Italic, Full height capital lock, Small capital lock, Superscript, Subscript, Underline, Stroke
  • Smoothing
  • Alignment and justification
  • Indentation
  • Warped text


Using your (new?) knowledge, you are going to design your name in a visually appealing manner, using the typeface of your choice, adjusting the various elements into a pleasing shape.  You are not limited to one typeface.

Make your canvas size 1000 x 1000 px with a resolution of 200 px/inch.

We will be using this graphic for the next two assignments, building on typography and graphic skills!  Due Wednesday, Feb 15.

Check out these amazing resources: