Join Justin Seeley for an in-depth discussion in this video What is typography?, part of Introduction to Graphic Design (2016).
- [Instructor] In this movie, we're going to be talking about typography, one of my favorite graphic design topics. If you're new to graphic design though, you might be wondering: what is typography? Well, simply put, typography is the art or process of setting type for a design. I'd like to emphasize the art form part of that statement by the way, because truly great typography is an art form in my opinion. In traditional typesetting, letters were laid out individually using blocks of lead or wood in order to form words, sentences, and even paragraphs. Designers would work for hours manually setting type to get it just right for the work they were going to print.
Nowadays, we all have the power of those tools at our fingertips by using software like Adobe InDesign which makes life so much easier. However I would highly recommend you study up on the history of typesetting because it'll give you a better understanding of many of the terms we still use in design today, as well as a deeper appreciation for just how easy you've got it now that computers are a part of everyday life. Type is one of the most underrated parts of design in my opinion. We're surrounded by type on a daily basis. You see type on everything from traffic signs to building marquees, and even on your daily cup of coffee I'm guessing.
Type has a starring role in every single design project, but in most cases, it's something that we, the viewer, take for granted. Take a look at this advertisement for the city of Las Vegas. Now look at it without the type. Big difference, right? The same holds true for this advertisement here. At first, you might not even know what this ad is in reference to. Add some type and it's very apparent that we're talking about Coca-Cola. Type is the glue that holds a design together. It provides context and gives a voice to the design that would otherwise be silent.
Type has the ability to control our emotions, and to tell stories, but not just with the words, but also the visual design and style in which it is portrayed. Look at these examples. They use very few images if any, yet they're all captivating pieces of design. They all tell a story, evoke emotion, and draw your attention in their own unique way. True designers will pore over every single detail of the type they use in their work, making sure every last detail is in place before it leaves their desk.
Ultimately, it's the responsibility of the designer to choose the right look and feel for the design, and convey the message of the client correctly through the use of typography. For a more in-depth study of typography, I highly recommend that you watch Ina Saltz's course on the Foundations of Typography. Ina is passionate about type, and if you are too, this course will take your love and appreciation for the art to a whole new level. Typography means something different to everybody in the world.
Every ligature and serif have the ability to change the way each of us perceive a finished piece. My motto on typography has and will forever be, choose your words wisely, and your typefaces even more so. Only then will you truly understand the complexity and wonderment that is the art of typography.
Note: These tutorials were revised in 2016 to make sure they are current with the latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud. Mini Bridge was retired this year, so Justin uses alternate methods to open and organize assets.
- Understanding the impact of color
- Sketching your ideas
- Removing unwanted objects from images
- Cropping and editing photos in Photoshop
- Resizing and saving images for print
- Drawing basic shapes in Illustrator
- Creating a custom color theme with swatches
- Setting type
- Building wireframes
- Creating tables in InDesign
- Preflighting documents
- Packaging files for print