Foundations of Typography

with Ina Saltz
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Foundations of Typography
Video duration: 0s 2h 23m Beginner


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


- Typography is a deep and wonderful universe. Looking at letter forms, we can see that they are independently beautiful as works of art. In addition to being beautiful, letter forms also form words, sentences and thoughts. These are the very foundation of our history. Letter forms enable us to communicate with one another and to transmit every aspect of our civilization from one generation to the next. I'm Ina Saltz and I'd like to welcome you to the world of typography.

Typography is everywhere. It has traditions, practices, functions, and a language all its own. Type plays a vital role in every form of media. The whole idea of this course is to give you a solid foundation in the basics of typography, whether you are designing a brand identity, a book, a website, or just a brochure for a local business. If you've never had any formal training in typography there will be plenty of material in this course to help you make better decisions about your typographic usage.

Even if you are not new to the field I think you will find this course to be a great refresher and you may even discover some new concepts and practices that will improve your use of typography. We'll explore universal and timeless principles of typography, and explain good typographic practices. We're going to get up close to the details of type, so you can get a better sense of why it works the way it does. We're going to talk about basic principles of type to help you make the best design choices for your projects.

And we'll go over naming conventions, so you can speak about type with professionalism and confidence. I'm passionate about letter forms. For more than 30 years I've been deeply involved in the world of type, and I'm excited to share with you the foundations of typography.

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