Proportion as a type design concept is relative. We have in each of our minds an idea of what a normally proportioned typeface looks like. That innate sense lets us know when something is more compact or extended than usual. Type designers develop this sense of proportion to manipulate it for technical or expressive ends.
- [Instructor] Many attempts have been made…over the centuries to define…the construction of letter forms,…to unlock a secret geometry.…The truth it seems is much more mundane.…The proportion of letter forms comes from those…that were made before.…The off-sighted source of proportions and capitals…is the Trajan inscription,…a Roman inscription from the first century.…The Trajan letters can be divided into two camps:…those that fit roughly into a square,…and those that fit into a vertical rectangle.…
There are outliers of course,…but the majority adhere more or less to these two shapes.…Lowercase letter forms were initially based…on Renaissance calligraphy.…Early types by Jansen and later Garamond…became the models for proportion for later type designers.…These models of proportion, Trajan and Garamond,…don't need to be your models.…Too much time and evolution stand between you and them…but they were and they are models nonetheless.…
A careful study of proportions…in historically important fonts like Baskerville,…
- Why study typography?
- What makes a typeface great?
- Stroke angle, weight, and contrast
- Shape variations
- Finding good models
- Typeface vs. lettering
- Drawing the basic glyphs
- Producing a functioning font
- Printing, critiquing, and revising
Skill Level Beginner
Graphic Design Foundations: Typographywith Ina Saltz2h 23m Beginner
Allan Haley on the Evolution of Typeface Designwith Kristin Ellison1h 38m Appropriate for all
Creating a Hand-Drawn Type Portraitwith Von Glitschka1h 31m Intermediate
1. What Makes a Typeface Great?
2. What Makes a Great Typeface?
4. Drawing the Basic Glyphs
5. Producing a Functioning Font
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