Typography workshop

What does it take to design a set of characters? In this hands-on workshop, I explore the connection between anatomy (graphic characteristics) and the voice of a typeface, laying the foundation for a design exercise using a custom-made deck of cards.

Design your own typeface

Delivered to a mixed audience composed of remote and in-person participants, this 1.5 hr workshop consists of two parts.

In part one I analyse what make a typeface as such: a system of self-designed rules ensuring consistency among all the characters. We recognise elements and proportions composing single letters and how small differences can entirely change the perceptions of the geometrical signs in an alphabet.

In part two we put those findings to work, with the aid of rulers, pencils, paper and tracing paper.

Participants are firstly invited to draw two cards from two separate decks.

One deck contains typologies of characters by their anatomy (e.g. serif, modernist, grotesque, sans serif etc) and the other contains characteristics related to the “voice” or the personality (e.g. playful, delicate, authoritative, laud etc).

After each participant has selected one card from each deck, the sum of the two cards will be the brief to design a typeface.

For sake of time, rather than a whole typeface, participants were asked to start with the letters composing the word “Typography”.



Ilaria Oberto © 2022