topics typography

pimp your glyph


Project 1: The Font

Deadline: December 17, 8pm

If you want to hand in revised work for project 1 do the following:

1. Reprint the magazine (if there are changes)
2. Bring the print to our last session on Monday December 17
3. Go to dropbox/project1
4. Create a folder called “improved” inside of the folder with your name
5. Upload all files that you improved into that folder

Project 2: 45 symbols

Deadline: December 17, 8pm

1. Print/Finalize your work
2. Bring that final work to our last session
3. Go to dropbox/project2
4. Create a folder with your name
5. Upload a PDF with the first 10 symbols you created
6. Upload a PDF of your work (or several) with at least 200dpi


Deadline: December 17, 8pm

You are invited to showcase your font and the related work on fridayfonts.

If you have received an email that invites you to display your work on fridayfonts simply reply to that mail as described. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask!

11_26 Research and brainstorm: all those symbols


For next Wednesday select 3 projects that you find online or in publications that you consider relevant for the 45 symbols project. Be prepared to introduce the projects and talk about one idea / ideas you have for the second project.

The second deadline to hand in improved work for project 1 is December 17 when you also have to hand in project 2. Make sure to send me an email that states clearly what you hand in for the second round.

Type Experiments by Ruslan Khasanov on behance.

11_20 Thanksgiving Inspiration

be inspired

Pinterest board: 45symbols: physical typography

Typographic poster combining handmade type and digital type:
Poster Metamorphosis

Typographic poster

The Happy Film Titles – Including animation

Type Construction / Paper Type

Colorful Stitches

think (on the plane)

Sculptural Type
Pyramid Experiments

Parallax2D \\ 3D \\ 2D Typography – Final Project by Ohad Zlotnick

The Alphabet Pop-up Book

DecodeUnicode The Movie on vimeo… Hypnotic 2.30 hours…

The noun project – watch the video

Mimi Goese & Ben Neill – Cusp

eat turkey

Melvin Galapon: T.E.A.M Together Everyone Achieves More. On typetoken – on tumblr

Shawn Smith: Pixelated Sculptures

Information Design: Brochure for Nobrium by Mervyn Kurlansky / Pentagram 1971 spread 1, spread 2

A magazine to distribute stickers globally: wallspankers

Patterns and culture and fashion:
Ivana Helsinki

11_19 wrapping up P1


La Vita Nova – Magazine for the iPad

360 Sound – The Columbia Records Story iBook

DESSAU Display Font

Melvin Galapon: T.E.A.M Together Everyone Achieves More. On typetoken – on tumblr


On Tuesday you will have 5 minutes to present your typeface/magazine and receive a very short feedback from the class. You do not have to prepare any digital slide show but should rather show the printed magazine and bring it in context. You should also bring a print of your font if it is not positioned clearly in your magazine.

For all deliverables check the project 1 brief again.

Make sure that you copy all files into the class dropbox. You will find a folder called “project1″ in which you should copy everything within a folder that has your name. You are only allowed to upload 4 PDFs and one .otf or .ttf.

This will be graded but you will have a second option to hand in improved work at the end of the semester. However you need to hand in all deliverables – incomplete submission will affect your final grade.

Second part of the class will be a discussion on how to proceed with project 2 – depending on time.

Melvin Galapon: T.E.A.M Together Everyone Achieves More. On typetoken – on tumblr

11_14 3 symbols and 26 letters


Swisscom rebranding by Moving Brands (via Housseynou)

Some printers in NY (contributed by Nadine)

New project by Peter Biľak. Works That Work is a new design magazine that looks beyond mere portfolios, a magazine dedicated to inspiration and observation, to conditions and contexts, a kind of National Geographic of design. Support him?


Finalize the 3 symbols that we select/discuss in class on Wednesday Nov 14 and upload these into the dropbox by Thursday Nov 15, 3pm. Make sure you add a one-sentence description and tags and that you have the 3 symbols in one AI file on three different layers.

For Monday continue the work on your specimen magazine print/iPad/iPhone. In case you have an iPhone or iPad the quickest way to check the PDFs is to install dropbox and Acrobat Reader on your device. Copy the PDF into your dropbox on the comupter and open it on your device where you can download it into your iBook or Acrobar Reader App. I will bring my devices to class for testing.

Wht is a book – ebook by Paul Chan. Here is an Interview with him and his publishing company

11_7 45 symbols


The Disc of Phaistos: There are 241 tokens on the disc, comprising 45 unique signs. Many of these 45 signs represent easily identifiable every-day things.

The unicode consortium: Browse a few of their charts.

Decode the unicode and access it in a more social way:DecodeUnicode is an independent online-platform for digital type culture, developed at the Department of Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz.

DecodeUnicode The Movie on vimeo… Hypnotic 2.30 hours…

And a faster b/w version for unicode

BALTA – A font representing a culture. Remember we are not only looking for pictograms/dingbats. Also think about type related elements.


Read the brief for project 2
Prepare 10 elements that you suggest to be included within the 45 NYC symbols font. They should be black/white only printed individually on a letter format.

Continue the work on your typeface magazine – especially the iPad and iPhone versions. Remember that you can upload them into my dropbox in order to check them on Monday.

Monday we will spend one half of the class discussing/selecting 45 symbols and the other half on critique project 1.

10_8 oasis of calm = good work


Gira Sans – Proof Press Promo Clip by Rui Abreu

Cleaning up a font for a logo design: Saubermachen by typejockeys

Browse some magazines again to identfy spreads that are welled designed and studied. Also online – for example here:

Living in Williamsburg? Check the Hipster font

Erik Spiekermann on Type on Screen / Branding on small screens. A 20 min lecture he gave 3 weeks ago in Berlin

Mastering patterns: Marimekko – Art of Printmaking on designmilk


Groups for the coming week:
Monday (10/29): Emma, Elda, Housseynou, Laura, Ambar, Jennifer, Julie, Melanie
Wednesday (10/31): Tiffany, Ashley, Francisco, Anjana, Sylvia, Nadine, Jay, Jun, Wesley


Monday (10/22):
I will introduce 8 typographic systems which will be helpful to continue the work on your magazine but which will also apply to our next project. We will have time to discuss the development of your magazine individually – while I talk with you one-to-one I will have a little assignment for everybody. Make sure you bring a few sheets of paper, a pen, and the lyrics of any song you like.
In the end of the class I will demonstrate again the settings in fontlab for exporting your font.

Wednesday (10/24):
We will have another session focusing on technical issues. Which means I will be in the cdt lab on Floor 10 of 2 West 13 and talk with you individually. You might also use the time to finalize your magazine or start working on the iBook version.
Bring: Your 100 word abstract printed on letter
Hand in: Name your font: yourname.otf and upload it into the dropbox folder I am sharing with you. You will still be able to work on it but I want to make sure everybody knows how to go through all technical steps.

Visit Buero Destruct – A Swiss based design collective. See how they work, what they have for lunch and how they created the “edding font” MaRKR. Great short movie on vimeo / Buero Destruct Website

10_8 being editorial


coverjunkie: A huge archive of magazine covers that can be filtered by typographic, sexy, classic, …

Take some time to browse through the great editorial work of Mario Lombardo and his studio.

Take a look at some magazines on ISSUU:
Slanted 14
Quick Brown Fox Magazine

Printer Resources for Independent Art Publishers via Julie


This Wednesday (10/10):
I will be in the cdt lab on the 10th floor of 2 West 13th during our class hours. You might bring your own laptop or use one of the lab computer to work on your font. I will troubleshoot your individual problems but each student should have a functional font on Wednesday evening. You can still change/add letters after that.

Next week (10/15 – 10/17) we will meet in two groups and discuss your specimen magazine in group. Therefor you should bring all pages of the magazine printed in original size (mounting ok). You are welcome to join the session you are not defending your work but you might also use it for personal research.
Monday (10/15): Tiffany, Ashley, Francisco, Anjana, Sylvia, Nadine, Jay, Jun, Wesley
Wednesday (10/17): Emma, Elda, Housseynou, Laura, Ambar, Jennifer, Julie, Melanie

Shape Type a letter shaping game Crafted by Mark MacKay for Method of Action
via Housseynou

10_3 try to be swiss. or at least a little german.


Many articles and ideas about the grid:

Grid: An introduction and How-to by Andrew Maher

Ellen Lupton explains the history and usage of the grid

Kerning again:
A few tips on kerning type on designshack

Your lowercase “t”:
After finalizing amlost all letters check them in groups: As a word and in sentences to make final changes. Take a look at your “t”. It seems to be too long? Shorten it to the cap height or even less.


For next Monday:
Bring PRINTED and in ORIGINAL SIZE (check project site) the title page and at least one spread of your magazine. Bring more if you want. Your grid might be quite simple but it should position all repeating elements throughout the magazine.

For next Wednesday:
A lab is reserved. I will update you about the location. Make sure to bring all letters in two fontlab files or in Illustrator. We will finalize and export your font. You can still improve it after this session.

10_1 it’s a game: kerning


fontlab studio 5 DEMO version and manual free download

Step by step introduction on youtube on how to work with illustrator and fontlab

OpenType vs TrueType – Microsoft

OpenType by Fontshop


For next Wednesday:

Bring all your letters printed on a tabloid paper with baseline, x-height, ascender and descender lines. (yes, again)

Select one spread in a magazine, study the grid and draw it on top.

Design a mockup for the title page of your magazine. This can be sketchy and disregard any grid at this point. Print it for class (it is ok to print on letter and tape it at this point). Bring any material that is inspirational to you.

9_24 Specimen


Type specimen magazines/books:

Occupied Mono typeface by Luke Robertson

Sauna – read naked, by Underworld. Read the description…

Wolfram typeface by Ida Kristine Gismervik

Neuzeit Grotesk by URW on vimeo

Focused on details and beautifully designed: Replica Specimen by Norm flickr1 flickr2

TJ Evolette by Timo Titzmann & Jakob Runge

MA Typeface Design at the University of Reading

Signage Typeface by Ralf Herrman

Option: Apply and document your font for the magazine. Bone font by Filiz Sahin

Isometric Typeface,

swissted project by mike joyce


UPDATE: I will be in the cdt lab (2 West 13th, 10th floor) on Wednesday from 12 to 2 to answer fontlab questions or lettering/typedesign issues. On Monday we will work on fontlab so please bring your laptop with fontlab demo installed.

Download and read TypeDesignSpacing from the LORE website.

The next step will be creating promotional material for your typeface/lettering. This will inlcude an 8-page (facing pages) tabloid sized printed magazine and the adaptation of this for display on the iPad and iPhone. I will provide the detailed formats and measurements soon but I want you to start thinking about this as we won’t meet next Wednesday.

Browse the examples on the left and find new ones. Think about the strength of your font and analyze how it could be represented best – by its own, combined with photography or illustration, or even integrated in the environment. Important: All elements you are using for this magazine must be produced by yourself.

Find the magazine requirements on the project1 page

For next Monday:
Bring all your letters printed on a tabloid paper with baseline, x-height, ascender and descender lines.

Specimen of the Occupy Monospace Typeface by Luke Robertson printed on newspaper



Barricud – Interesting concept of light/regular/bold

Iwan Reschniev Typeface – A digitization and interpretation of a typeface by Jan Tschichold

Letterhex Tilefont


While we work on display fonts and lettering, designing a good font takes a long time and years of experience. If you want to dig deeper into the topic Designing Type by Karen Cheng with many details might be interesting to check. I do not recommend to buy it at this point but you might want to take a look at it in any library.


Download two new readings / technical instructions from LORE. Read them to be prepared for class on Monday.

You might want to install the DEMO version of fontlab on your computer. Just remember that the DEMO does not save all 26 letters and exports with watermarked logos.

Bring the letters you have so far to our lab session on Monday in lab D701 in 6 East 16th

9_12 hamburgefonts


Great type sketches by JOSEPH WALSH – Graphic design student

Conceptual Type Peter Bil’ak

Erik Spiekermann – Putting Back the Face into Typeface

Visit the talk by Louise Fill, Thursday, September 27, 2012, 6:30PM Check-in, Tishman Auditorium
Lobby, 66 West 12th Street. MAKE SURE TO REGISTER


Continue to sketch and strengthen your concept.

We will meet on Wednesday 9/19 in our regular classroom. This allows evaluating and critique the iterations of your font before we go into the details of realization. I will give a brief overview of the process to familiarize you with it and to allow you setting up the environment in Illustrator. On Monday 9/24 we will start working with font lab in lab D701.

For the next session in lab bring 5 letters – they do not have to be final – as digital footage. You can trace them during our session or before at home but they have to be vector graphics. We will study the process of how to create the font which might also inspire you for new directions. I will send out an email to inform you in which lab we will meet on Monday Wednesday.

via Nadine

9_10 Baseline, x-height, ascender and descender


Case study: Novel

Quest display font

TypoTalks – Lectures taken from Typo Berlin

Julian – the making of by Peter Bil’ak


Keep working on your glyphs and do not stop sketching on paper. Make sure you use modules and/or a grid the best way possible.

For the next session print (sketch or copy, cut and glue – you do not have to use the computer at this point) the word “hamburgefonts” using your glyphs twice. Black letters on white paper only, paper size: tabloid (17″x11″):
1. without any lines or grid
2. with baseline, x-height, ascender and descender.
If you use an existing classic font as a guide for your letters also print this one.

crozline by LAI Ka Ying on fridayfonts

9_5 Meet your glyph


Meet your type Free typography PDF tutorial by Fontshop.

Rio 2016 The Olympic Font

It’s ll about the classics:100besttypefaces

Online tool to create fonts. Browse the gallery, play with it but then get back to pen and paper… fontstruct


We hopefully have selected a direction in class today for your work. Focus on that and continue the development of glyphs. Consider uppercase and lowercase letters, make sure you work with baseline, x-height, ascender and descender after sketching your basic idea.

For the next class bring your output printed – size and paper are up to you, just make sure you can present your idea. We will have a working environment which means you can work in class and get feedback on what you are doing by peers and instructor

The Rio 2016™ Olympic Font Design by Dalton Maag

8_29 Get in the mood


First steps in Font Design:

A tutorial by ComputerArts on how to create a geometric typeface Scroll down and download the PDF.

Newzald: From Moleskine to Market Article on ILoveTypography

The making of Fundra Article on ILoveTypography

How to design a font on GOMEDIAZINE

Paula Scher Moleskin

Wim Crouwel about his New Alphabet on vimeo


Browse Font Design projects:

Great platform of fonts developed by students:


If you haven’t done so far, upload your Love For Sale redesign to the LORE class website: Topics Typography on LORE

Like with every (design) research project you should open up in the very first phase and find as much inspiration as possible. See exhibitions, browse the web and our library. Throw yourself out of your comfort zone: Take a walk on the Highline Park and observe tons of tourists this weekend, go to the Bronx Zoo to see nasty animals, visit the Museum of the Moving Image in Brooklyn or put yourself in an empty white room. Collect.

From your collection decide which direction you want to take and create a mood board. This should be digital, black and white only, landscape 1280×1600 pixel. Find elements and modules that will be an inspiration for your font and start to sketch letters and words.

As we will critique your first concept in group to make sure you get the feedback from all your peers you should compile the mood board and all findings/sketches in one PDF and upload it to LORE before class.

After this session we will mostly critique your work printed.

The vibrate font by LEE Lap Yan. See more of it on fridayfonts

23_love for sale


Freshen up your typo knowledge. These links will be helpful:
Ellen Lupton:

A comprehensive guide to the anatomy of type:

Newsfeed by fontshop:


Sign up for LORE and our class: Topics Typography on LORE

Redesign the album cover as you think the designer assigned to you would have done it. You need to use the title “Love For sale” and the name of the group “Boney M”. Create ONE PDF that has three pages introducing the designer and what he stands for (visuals, maybe key facts) and one page with your redesign.

Love For Sale by Boney M, listen to the music