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type design

Type design books for starters?

Hey all,
this question is probably asked a dozen times before, but I did a (very) quick search and didn’t find anything relevant.

I’ve long been a big fan of fonts and typography. But lately I’m interested in learning more about it. And more specifically type design. So I’ve been reading and looking all over the internet for more info. But I’m getting a bit lost in here. So. To have a better understanding of what I’m looking for, I’m now interested in buying a good book on the basics of type design. Oh and it would also be good if it doesn’t only contains the basics, and goes even further on the more advanced stuff.

Thanks in advance,

PS: Any must-read internet links on the subject (for beginners) are always appreciated.

Wikipedia page: Type Design Education

I've started up an entry on Wikipedia about type design education. It is basically a list of schools where type design is taught.


Please contribute. This is a beta page that will be made live as soon as it starts to make some sense. Type design only please (no typesetting, book typography, logo design or pure calligraphy courses).

If you don't want to register at Wikipedia please leave info here.

BTW -- with such a vibrant and active community of typophiles, how come the Type Design article on Wikipedia is still so poor?

Design of @


So I got to thinking that the at sign really shouldn't be aligned with the uppercase, since its primary use is in e-mail addresses, which are always correctly written in lowercase.

MS Character Design Standards however says:
Height alignment : Visually centers on the uppercase height, dependent on the typeface design.

Spacing : Visually center between uppercase H and O.

Gecko (previously Melia)


Here's another project, currently titled Melia. It's a friendly agate design, maybe less successful at its intended size than as a magazine headline font. It's also surprisingly readable on screen even without hinting.

I think some of the proportions are slightly off but need some fresh eyes to tell me which bits. And I should expect my spacing is way too tight as usual :P

Thanks in advance guys :)

3 hour 4 minutes


I claim to have a world record in type design in speed.

When House Industries guys went about their Font Sprint in Vancouver, I promised I would trump their attempt of producing a working font in under 4 hours. They failed miserabily; they had upper and lower case letters, and most of the numerals.

I promised that if ATypI ever came to Helsinki, I would make a whole font in that time.

ATypI did come to Helsinki, so I had to put my money where my mouth was, and since I was one of the organizers, I could. This is the result:

It is ugly as hell, but it's a working Open Type font with 122 kerning pairs.

Feldspar (Nee Mixteca)


Ok, so I thought it time to come back to the crit forum after a bit of a break from here working on other designs.

Here is my new design, Mixteca Serif. You'll see in the pdf a bit of background about the design concept. Any crit would be very welcome; I'm hoping this can turn out to be really useable so tell me if there's anything you don't like or looks wonky. This has been six evenings' work, so I'm sure there's lots more to do. It reminds me a bit of Charter and a bit of FF Olsen, though I was thinking more along other lines: it actually started from playing with my first font, Eternal.

For some reason kerning didn't export with the otf file so the spacing looks a little gappy.

Look forward to hearing your opinions! :) Thanks!

James Arboghast

Indices : Designers : James Arboghast

James Arboghast was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1963, and spent part of his childhood in England. He briefly attended the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology but found the academic focus too stifling even for pretend consideration.

James has worked as a photographer, art director, graphic designer, audio engineer, publicist and creative consultant. He is presently a freelance advertising creative specializing in copy writing and brand development. “Combining a permanent interest in monumental sculpture with written forms and semantics, I’m a philosophical artist who finds typography an ideal medium for the expression of abstract ideas.”

Font Editors

Type Design

Indices : Terminology : Type Design

The craft of devising new versions of alphabets for use in a Font.

Type designers are sometimes mistakenly called fontographers. Fontographer was the name of a popular computer program for designing type, predominantly used during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Relationship to typography.

Typography is the craft of using pre-made Alphabets in designs, type design is the art of crafting new alphabets. Quite often one person occupies both roles, and specializes to a greater or lesser degree in one or the other.

See also How-To