Anybody know of a good Type Design forum?

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Does anybody know of a good type design forum where someone can post their work for critique, or bring up some new and interesting type deign ideas and actually get a few meaningful responses? I thought this might be the place. Perhaps it was years ago. Now however this place seems to be made up of mostly old grumpy people who are stuck in their ways and look down their noses at anything new or radical. But hey, I guess it's a good place to discuss Retina displays and politics.

blank's picture is growing. It was created to provide an alternative to Typophile. Typeboard sources server hosting from a vendor known for reliability rather than using home baked solutions. And problem Typophile members have been blocked from creating accounts at

Jackson's picture

The good news is you've recognized the shortcomings of posting on forums where only the loudest, most persistent, and most obnoxious voices come through.

Best advice I can think of: start going to conferences and workshops and meet people who's work an opinions you respect. If you want people with good opinions to help you, you will need to proactively build a relationship.

aluminum's picture

"Now however this place seems to be made up of mostly old grumpy people"

Says the new grumpy people?

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

What Jackson says.

daverowland's picture

You might want to try actually posting your new and radical designs in the critique section before moaning about not getting any useful critique.

blank's picture

If you want people with good opinions to help you, you will need to proactively build a relationship.

That is very true, but a good forum is still a great place to get one’s feet wet. I never would have known type conferences existed if it wasn’t for Typophile.

dezcom's picture

I know many grumpy old men/women who have been more than helpful to me. I also know an equal number of grumpy young men/women who have been helpful to me. Come to think of it, I know an equal number of not-at-all grumpy men or women who have been helpful to me.

Grumpy Old Geezer

Nick Cooke's picture

If by 'Grumpy' you mean people who actually criticisize, rather than just give a positive response, then yes, there are a few of those. But if you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen. Not everybody is going to fawn over your new and interesting ideas, especially those with many years of trial and error in type design, ie. experience.

Nick Shinn's picture

…bring up some new and interesting type deign ideas.

You young fogies come up with some half-assed, half-baked type deign and think you’ve invented the friggin wheel. You should be thankful that deigners who were around when type deign was really pushing the envelope are still around to put your feeble efforts in perspective!

paragraph's picture

How many type design forums should there be? I would have thought two was plenty ... How young are you, Ryan? More than twelve? You certainly have the right attitude for a creative fellow.

daverowland's picture

Ryan, you'd also probably get more response if you actually hung around a bit in the threads you start; put a bit of info about what you're after in the critique (the one I saw, you just posted a jpg and nothing else - how are other deigners supposed to know if this is your work up for critique, an example of something you've seen, your kid's doodlings in MS Paint...); and lastly, maybe try coming across as less of a dick ( You're welcome.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Serenity now

typerror's picture

I looked in earnest at your letters. I think the old grumpy people (with lots of time and experience behind them) may look at your "new and radical" with tempered eyes and see it as naive and flawed. There are some interesting qualities in some of the individual letters but there are also some "mishaps" in your forms. I would look to some other ancient forms to resolve some of the forms. I thought of three instantly when I was looking at your work. "Forms can be adapted across time."

I have found, when you challenge on this forum, members tend to take up the shield and sword. So approach it with dignity and humility instead of throwing a "hot bowl of soup" in their face.


Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Not sure which forum you all have been reading but I have been nothing if not humble and dignified in my posts till now. Oh, and also utterly ignored. Someone posted that recently all I did was was post a jpg and nothing else of my work, obviously they didn't even bother to scroll down through the thread to see the extensive 'brief' I posted there. But it's cool. I can understand that a lot of you don't give a shit. Why should you? It's not like I'm some famous type designer or something. I'm just asking, are there any real forums out there where people are really trying to help each other design type? Cuz Typophile sure isnt one.

Nick, you and Hrant are like the 2 people that I didn't want to piss off, so, my bad.

Typerror, would love to continue this conversation viz email if you are willing.

Dunwich, Typedrawers sounds good, I'll have to check it out.

Nick Shinn's picture

Ryan, you didn’t piss me off, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to play my GOM card :-)

paragraph's picture

… but I have been nothing if not humble and dignified in my posts till now

dberlow's picture

Our first foundry was just a hole in the ground by the side of the road. We used an old dry-cleaning bag to cover the paper when it rained, stole pencils from the blind and scraped up dried squid guts for ink. There were three kinds of questions: good questions, (like "What's the x-height?") they’d strangle ya for, bad questions (like "What's an olde style?") they’d chop off your feet, and really bad questions (like "Can I get 1¢ a year more please?") they killed ya.

Many died screaming in the pencil sharpener, and yet you come before us after a mere 32 weeks, one font, and an overly compressed avatar seeking another forum!? Well I never...

hrant's picture

There are limits to anything - don't expect miracles, and be patient.

Typophile has its flaws, and its ups & down, just like anything else. And it's no substitute for going to conferences. And certainly no substitute for quiet observation and deep introspection. But it's still a very good place (and by far the best online place) to do what you're trying to do, and in my experience a superb place to start and build relationships. Not everybody can handle everything about it, and you should try to change it into something you prefer, but most of all just see how you can grow with it.


jacobsievers's picture

You're being too hard Ryan. Typophile totally sucks. But it totally sucks in exactly the way all web forums will always totally suck. You have to interact with real live people or your brains will turn to angry mush.

dezcom's picture

"dry-cleaning bag" you had dry-cleaning bags?

dberlow's picture

"There are limits to anything - don't expect miracles, and be patient."

Thanks, but don't worry, it's okay now.

" had dry-cleaning bags?"

Not "bags", bag."

And we made it last from 1978 until we replaced it with old condoms in '87 or '88.

Nick Shinn's picture

Ryan, you’re making a maelstrom out of a molehill, in a teacup.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

It was an attempt to be humorous, and anyway I was addressing myself, so you can't really say I was treating anybody else that way.

gfrederickk's picture

Thanks David for making me think of this.

Re the conversation: Professional organizations are contemptible things. Breeding grounds for egos and back pats. But there's a lot to be learned if you look in the right places. And listen.

Re "a good place to discuss Retina displays": I started that thread because I had some legit questions re the impact of technology on type design and anticipated adjustments by foundries. The thread changed organically, eventually becoming a different discussion all together. Which was beautiful, I think.

And Ryan, I thought your attempt to be humorous was very funny. Got a kick out of it.

dezcom's picture

"...we made it last from 1978 until we replaced it with old condoms"
So at least the paper you young guys used practiced safe sex.

Us old timers didn't have paper yet, we used to write on the sidewalk with blood from our fingers. There were no condoms then either--not that it mattered, we were not allowed to have sex out of wedlock. The 50s were tough.

.00's picture


dezcom's picture

Your babies had tears?!
It was so hot where we were that tears couldn't form. Of course nowadays, you young'ns could just PhotoShop them in.

dberlow's picture


Oh, those young farts stole that whole skit from us. Most people think the word "luxury" is used? It's not what you think. They are saying "lookshery", "look sure eeee"... "look Cherie", as in please check my time card, boss, to make sure I stamped it exactly one second before I'm leaving the "office", no matter how long ago i arrived at work.

"...tears...", "...urinate..."

One breath would destroy the 1/33" = 13.3333 light years scale of our paper drawings. You fellows didn't have to wear deep sea diving suits while you drew, did ya?

joeclark's picture

I like your attitude, Ryan, but basically you suck, so it balances out.

Now post your type designs and we’ll consider them, grumpily or in whatever way we wish.

Syndicate content Syndicate content