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Foundations of Typography
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Developing your typographic eye


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Foundations of Typography

with Ina Saltz

Video: Developing your typographic eye

To sharpen your typographic eye, first look at the big picture, the macro view. What is your initial impression? Is it dynamic or quiet? Does it engage you and how does it engage you? Is there a focal point? Is there clear hierarchy of information? You also have to look at the details, the micro view and ask yourself is the color of the type even? What about alignment? Is there hanging punctuation? Have proper smart quotes been used? Has the display type been churned well? I look at typography all of the time. it is the first thing I see when I look at anything that has type, a sign, a menu, a package, a building, a T-shirt, a wine bottle, a cereal box, or a book cover.
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  1. 9m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 58s
    2. Why good typography matters
      1m 55s
    3. The power of type
      1m 53s
    4. The theory of typographic relativity
      1m 53s
    5. Getting the most out of this course
      1m 26s
  2. 23m 49s
    1. Serif vs. sans serif
      3m 27s
    2. Display type vs. text type
      3m 39s
    3. Type history
      2m 48s
    4. Type classification
      4m 8s
    5. Other type categories
      3m 24s
    6. Guidelines for combining typefaces
      3m 49s
    7. Using cases
      2m 34s
  3. 18m 28s
    1. Anatomy: Parts and shapes of type
      4m 35s
    2. Size and measurements of type
      2m 18s
    3. Type families: Widths, weights, and slopes
      3m 53s
    4. Reviewing the terminology of type, based on function
      3m 27s
    5. Working with color and tonal weight: Exercises
      4m 15s
  4. 20m 27s
    1. Kerning and kerning pairs
      3m 33s
    2. Tracking and leading
      3m 49s
    3. Exploring variations in type alignment
      3m 55s
    4. Hyphenation and justification
      3m 13s
    5. Indents, outdents, and hanging punctuation
      2m 26s
    6. Other typographic best practices
      3m 31s
  5. 10m 3s
    1. Where type begins: The mark of the hand
      2m 28s
    2. Related parts and shapes: Family resemblances
      4m 35s
    3. Designing a typeface
      3m 0s
  6. 22m 19s
    1. How legibility and readability differ
      3m 48s
    2. Examining factors affecting legibility
      4m 46s
    3. Hierarchy and functionality
      4m 29s
    4. Systematized hierarchy
      3m 52s
    5. Paragraphs, drop caps, and entry points
      2m 41s
    6. Typographic abominations
      2m 43s
  7. 11m 8s
    1. Opposing forces of typography
      3m 8s
    2. The grid: A structure for containing type
      3m 6s
    3. Contrast and scale
      4m 54s
  8. 9m 41s
    1. Typographic expressiveness
      3m 22s
    2. The emotional impact of type
      2m 47s
    3. Three-dimensional type
      3m 32s
  9. 8m 55s
    1. Working with numbers
      2m 10s
    2. Expert characters and analphabetic symbols
      1m 56s
    3. Using typography to navigate content
      1m 51s
    4. Using typography to navigate the environment
      2m 58s
  10. 9m 14s
    1. Managing fonts and building your type library
      3m 14s
    2. Developing your typographic eye
      2m 31s
    3. Breaking the rules
      1m 41s
    4. What's next
      1m 48s

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Foundations of Typography
2h 23m Beginner Feb 01, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Good typography can add tremendous power to your design and your message, whether it is a print- or screen-based project, a still or motion graphic, a 3D or 2D graphic. This course explains good typographic practices, so that you can develop an "eye" for type and understand how to effectively use it. Author Ina Saltz explains type classifications (serif vs. sans serif, display type vs. text type), how type is measured, sized, and organized, and how spacing and alignment affect your design. She also explains how to use kerning, tracking, leading, and line length, and covers the history and current trends in typography. The course teaches the principles of legibility, readability, and compatibility, and how they should be considered when you're selecting and designing with type.

Topics include:
  • What is typography?
  • Differentiating type characteristics
  • Using ornamental and decorative type
  • Combining typefaces
  • Using contrast and scale
  • Kerning and kerning pairs
  • Choosing the optimum line length
  • Aligning and spacing characters, words, and paragraphs
  • Understanding factors affecting legibility
  • Working with three-dimensional type
  • Putting type in motion
Subjects:
Design Typography Design Skills
Author:
Ina Saltz

Developing your typographic eye

To sharpen your typographic eye, first look at the big picture, the macro view. What is your initial impression? Is it dynamic or quiet? Does it engage you and how does it engage you? Is there a focal point? Is there clear hierarchy of information? You also have to look at the details, the micro view and ask yourself is the color of the type even? What about alignment? Is there hanging punctuation? Have proper smart quotes been used? Has the display type been churned well? I look at typography all of the time. it is the first thing I see when I look at anything that has type, a sign, a menu, a package, a building, a T-shirt, a wine bottle, a cereal box, or a book cover.

I get a first impression. I look at details, I deconstruct it, I think about the choices the designer made and the possible reasons behind those choices. And of course I think about redesigning it. That is what designers do, we can't help ourselves. I want you to see typography everywhere like I do and to really think about what you are seeing. That is the best way to educate your typographic eye. Just keep looking, imagine what was in the designer's mind.

Think critically about the designer's choices and think about what you might do differently to improve on it if you have the chance. Don't take anything for granted. In everything you see someone made typographic choices, some good, some great, some bad. The more you look, the more you will see and the more you will learn. Believe it or not, you can learn just as much from bad examples as from good examples. Collect good examples of type usage that you see, maybe even make a note of what you liked about it.

These can be springboards for your own design projects, inspiration is all around you. I'm constantly amazed at the inventive uses of typography that I see every day. The saying there is nothing new under the sun is true in a sense, but everything can be reinvented and can be re-imagined with a twist or a new point of view. And of course, there are so many new typefaces to try, more than you could ever use in a lifetime. Keep educating your typographic eye, type is everywhere.

If you develop a habit of thinking about all of the type you see in your daily life, that's a great start.

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