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Online Typography Assignments

Clean, smart typography makes you (or your client) look clean and smart, too. Clunky, incompetent typography...well, you know the drill. Good typography is a pleasure to read; bad typography sucks the energy out of your content and leaves it for dead by side of the road.

What You'll Learn

  • Sans + Structure. A great sans family is a palette of light and dark tones. Learn what gives a sans serif typeface its special character.
  • Serif + Details. Learn to exploit the fussy details of a full-bodied serif type family.
  • Slab + Customization. Slab faces are heavy furniture. Learn what to do with them.

What You'll Make

You will understand how to recognize and exploit great typeface and how to create intriguing, seaworthy compositions. You will create a business card using the typography elements covered in each lesson.You will complete this course knowing how to clarify your message and add meaningful complexity to your work.

Take this course if you are a beginner who wants to unlock the power of type, or if you are a designer looking for a quick refresher. Artists, writers, illustrators, and developers will all find something useful in this free workshop.

Presenting beautiful type on your website nowadays could not be easier. With popular web font services such as Adobe Typekit, Google Fonts, and Hoefler & Co.’s Cloud.typography, getting web-ready typefaces to display on a site is as simple as adding one line of markup. Unlike the old days of web design when all you had to work with were a handful of default system fonts (Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, Georgia, and Times New Roman), now you have thousands of fonts to choose from. However, with too many choices at your disposal, the process of selecting and combining typefaces can be time-consuming, overwhelming, and intimidating.

In this book, my goal is to prove that typesetting is fun and rewarding—not intimidating. Whenever applicable, I will share the process that helped me make the appropriate type selection for specific assignments in my work as examples for you to examine. Through my process, I hope to inspire you to discover your own. I will also cover CSS techniques that are related to typography and try to keep the technical aspects as simple as possible. You will have the chance to download all the example files, which I have uploaded to GitHub, to play with.

To be upfront, I am not a type expert. I learned typography through obsessive and extensive reading on the subject. I work full time as a web developer and designer at the George Mason University School of Law. Besides the free tuition, one of the perks of working at a university is having full access to the library. Mason has an excellent collection of books on typography and I have read most of them during the past three years. I even started acquiring my own collection with books that I want to keep for reference. Although most of the books I have read apply to print design, my true passion is the web. I started my web design profession early 2002, but the web has only made an exciting transformation within the past few years, thanks to the explosion of web fonts (and web font services to accommodate them). In spite of these fairly recent changes and emergences, typography remains a craft that is honed, nurtured, and acquired over time, with patience and practice. Join me in a journey to explore this craft.