Week 2 – The week of January 8th – 12th: Modifying Type

In class

Modifying/adapting type & creating letterforms for your business card.

Inclass assignment — Modifying type.
We will be modifying letters using sketches. We will also practice a couple of techniques for drafting custom letters.


Review the in class assignment from last week. Review homework from last week.



Create a custom initial mark for your name. You might chose to adapt/modify a chosen typeface or create your own custom letters. Your final inital mark will be scaled to fit on the back of your business card.

Then choose one typeface family that have many weights and styles. Design the front of your business card and business card variations that play with grouping text, scale, weight/emphasis.

Text for the front of your business card: your name, address, the main way you would like to be contacted (either phone or email) and your top three interests/skills (e.g. drawing, photography, typography)

When you are satisfied with your business card designs, print them out and bring them to class next week. You may use color and imagery, but only after you have solved the typographic layout, grouping/alignments, emphasis (bold & italic), and size.

Bring in print outs of the front and back of your business card for next week.




Identifying typefaces:
Wordmark.it (Site)

What the font (Site)

Indentifont (Site)

Scanning apps — converting images/sketches to vector:
Adobe Capture App

Scanner Pro App

Required reading:
Modifying Type Lecture (PDF file)
Helpful Hints for Drawing and Modifying Letters (PDF file)

Recommended reading: review these links below to help you refine your letters:
1. Practice modifying (shaping) type on your own (site)
2. Also to help master the pen tool you can play The Bézier Game: http://bezier.method.ac/

3. When you create your initial mark, consider refining it using grids and geometry: http://www.creativebloq.com/logo-design/6-tips-using-grids-logo-design-11513984

4. Plotting Vector Points with Jessica Hische Video

5. Letter-Building Method One — Scaling and Shaping
6. Bezier Curves in Illustrator

7. Lettering Tutorial site

8. Lettering: Logo, Font & Lettering Bible (Look in Jill's Lessons Folder for complete PDF file)

Creating text effects for custom letters:
1. Creating stroke widths in illustrator

2. Text effects: Drop shadows and line patterns within drop shadows

3. How to warp text in Illustrator

4. 3D Text

5. Decorative text shadowing in Illustrator
6. Creating swirls with variable widths
7. Multiple strokes on text
8. How to create custom lettering in Illustrator
9. Images showing anchor points of custom letters


<< And if you are loving lettering, check out more links in the resources section under letterers, type designers and founderies.


Recommended links & books for the summer:
7 Best New Typefaces for 2017

Introduction to typeface design/typeface designers:

Introduction to designing typefaces (Site)

Letter fountain (Site)

Designing Type (Book)

Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles, 1901-1938 (v. 1) (Book)
Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles, 1901-1938 (v. 2) 

List of type designers (site)
Type Designers - Historical (Site)


Magazine lettering projects (video)





Type History & Type Classifications (pdf)

Creative Brief Lecture (pdf)

Modifying Type Lecture (pdf)

Letter Spacing (pdf)

Measurements (pdf)

Punctuation (pdf)

General Overview: Choosing Typefaces (pdf)

A Closer Inspection: Choosing Typefaces (pdf)

Subtle Details: Font Combinations (pdf)

Practical Advice for Chosing Typefaces (pdf)



Type Classification (pdf)

Letter Anatomy Cheat Sheet (pdf)

Letters Anatomy Definitions (pdf)

Drawing Letters (pdf)

Identifying Type (pdf)

Classic Serifs (pdf)

Classic San Serifs (pdf)


Creative Brief Template (pdf)

Creative Brief/Design Brief (pdfs)

Creative Brief AIGA sample (pdf)

Venn Diagram (pdf)

Brainstorming Techniques (pdf)

Style/Concept Board Template (.indt file)

50 sketches (pdf)


Elements of an identity dissected...

How to choose typography for a brand...


Designing Type (book)

Type: A Visual History (book)


Spacing (pdf)

Kerning/Leading Key Commands (pdf)


Setting up typographic space–Indesign (pdf)

Common Ad Sizes (pdf)


19 Top Fonts in 19 Top Combinations (pdf)

Font Combinations (pdf)


34 Typographic Sins (pdf)



American Alphabet


Typography that works: Ellen Lupton

Mood Boards: Dressing for different...

Logo Lounge

60 Minimal Logo Designs


Type design trends

Typewolf recommendations

Stunning font trends of 2017

Type trends for web design


Under Consideration

Wordmark (view your loaded fonts)

What the font



CounterSpace Type Timeline

Garamond Variety 1

Garamond Variety 2

How to Spot Arial


Typeface Design Resources & Tutorials

List of type designers

Early Typographers

8 famous fonts and the designer who made them



Alex Trochut

Jon Contino

Jessica Hische

Jessica Hische and Erik Marinovich —
Title Case Video

Dana Tanamachi

Louise Fili

Joel Felix

Craig Ward

Simon Walker

Mary Kate McDevitt

Doyald Young Video

Erik Marinovich

Jeff Rogers

Letman: Job Wouters

Margo Chase

Margo Chase Video

Carolyn Sewell

Sebastian Lester

André Beato

There is

Design Sponge

Letter Cult

Better Letters

Hand Lettering Club




Doyald Young

Laura Worthington

Misprinted Type



Lost Type



Type Kit


Kerning Practice (site)

Shaping Type Practice (site)

InDesign Typography (Lynda.com course)


I love typography






Type Worship

80 Beautiful Typefaces...

Design is History

8 Faces

Font Police


The Font Feed

Design Boom


Brand New Classroom

Business Cards

Card Observer


Metrix Create Space Laser Cutter Specs

Metrix Create Space


The Dieline

Packaging of the World

Packaging of the World Pinterest

Lovely Package