Type Design

One thing I believe I excelled at during my Illustration degree was quite simply research. A lot of the other students on my course saw it as a chore – the boring bit you had to do, however, I saw it as the most vital part of my creative process and something I was gifted to do.

Research informed me of what exactly it was I wanted to create (01), who currently excelled at it (02) and how I could do it myself (03).

I broke it down like so:

01 / Discipline
02 / Practitioner
03 / Process

I have finally the complete and utter freedom to choose what to design for myself. Yes, design and not illustrate.  I found design is what I’m good at and what I thoroughly enjoy doing. Therefore, you shouldn’t create anything your not passionate about or others will see through that.

What has research got to do with Type Design?

I believe you are here right now because you are researching into the creation of Type Design.

My freelance career is right at its beginning, and I’m learning more now I’ve finished university because I’m researching into what I’m truly passionate about. Research is literally the foundations of my creative process and I’d like to share this process with you, so that you can see the real benefits of research

For my first personal (post-graduate) project, I have decided to create my very own font. To start, I would like to create two Script typefaces based on my handwriting, one all caps and the other a brush. To progress, I would then like to try attempt creating my own Serif font then progress to a Geometric Sans Serif font. All of which will be great to stockpile for my own design work.


01 / Discipline

Now I wouldn’t use wikipedia for university, but these were just quick overviews of definitions, I thought would be good to familiarise myself with these terms as I’d never explored type in this much detail.

This blog is amazing:

Anatomy of a Typeface:

Arm/leg – An upper or lower (horizontal or diagonal) stroke that is attached on one end and free on the other.
Ascender – The part of a lowercase character (b, d, f, h, k, l, t) that extends above the x-height.
Bar – The horizontal stroke in characters such as A, H, R, e, and f.
Bowl – A curved stroke which creates an enclosed space within a character (the space is then called a counter).
Cap Height – The height of capital letters from the baseline to the top of caps, most accurately measured on a character with a flat bottom (E, H, I, etc.).
Counter – The partially or fully enclosed space within a character.
Descender – The part of a character (g, j, p, q, y, and sometimes J) that descends below the baseline.
Ear – The small stroke that projects from the top of the lowercase g.
Link – The stroke that connects the top and bottom part (bowl and loop) of a two–story lowercase g.
Loop – The lower portion of the lowercase g.
Serif – The projections extending off the main strokes of the characters of serif typefaces. Serifs come in two styles: bracketed and unbracketed. Brackets are the supportive curves which connect the serif to the stroke. Unbracketed serifs are attached sharply, and usually at 90 degree angles.
Shoulder – The curved stroke of the h, m, n.
Spine – The main curved stroke of the S.
Spur – A small projection off a main stroke found on many capital Gs.
Stem – A straight vertical stroke (or the main straight diagonal stroke in a letter which has no verticals).
Stress – The direction of thickening in a curved stroke.
Stroke – A straight or curved line.
Swash – A fancy flourish replacing a terminal or serif.
Tail – The descender of a Q or short diagonal stroke of an R.
Terminal – The end of a stroke not terminated with a serif.
X-height – The height of lowercase letters, specifically the lowercase x, not including ascenders and descenders.

Typographic Terms Glossary

Click to access typographic_terms.pdf


A font is a grouping of typefaces that have similar characteristics.
A typeface is referring to an individual family member of that font.


02 / Practitioner

Jessica Hische http://jessicahische.is/talkingtype


03 / Process









Typography Tutorial – 10 rules to help you rule type

Learn How To Use Type— Typography Manual Critique

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