Designing Type: The First Steps. Part 2

Last Monday, we introduced you to a few resources that should come in handy if you happen to be a beginner interested in designing type. Today we continue with more useful resources for those new to typography.

Online Tutorials


Never underestimate the power of tutorials! They are made for users who don’t have the time or the money to attend workshops or design schools. Yes, there are more reasons, but that’s not the point. You can even read them on your mobile device on the bus. So, handy is an understatement.

You could start with this series of tutorials published on a couple of years ago. This crash course in typography aims to underline the fact that typography is one of the most important elements of any design project. And that being intimidated by typography is not an option.

The first part deals with the ‘Basics of Type’ and it will teach you the difference between typefaces and fonts, weights and sizes, how to classify type, the anatomy of the typeface, what are the four basic classifications for Sans-serif and so on. In part two, it’s all about ‘Paragraphs and Special Characters‘. The discussion continues with paragraph composition and using special typographic characters, like ligatures and hyphens.

Next, the tutorial dives right into basic typographic layouts, and how to decide on a typeface for your project. Then comes the bit about body copy. That’s what makes up the majority of many websites and it requires you to consider two separate parts: character styles, and paragraph styles. It comes without saying what good paragraph styling can mean to readability and therefore, the amount of time someone is willing to spend reading your copy.

In the fourth part you’ll learn how to effectively combine typefaces. This is a skill best learned through practice. But first, check out the principles covered in this tutorial. You’ll have the tools you need to try out combinations while making educated guesses about what will and won’t work together.

The last tutorial of the series will teach you how to pull it all together. You’ll combine more than two typefaces for things like navigation, image captions, fonts for paragraphs and headlines, as well as for other common type elements, like pull quotes and by-lines.

Not Just Another Book


You might want to add this classic book to your list. The fifth edition of ‘Designing with Type’ has been completely redesigned, with plenty of new information and images. All these new additions make this best-seller an even more valuable tool for anyone interested in learning about typography. This edition has been integrated with a convenient website,, where students and teachers can examine hundreds of design solutions and explore a world of typographic information. Great resource to educate and inspire a new generation of designers.

If you’re an experienced type designer, what’s your best advice for beginners?