Learning Activity – Typography.

Learning Activities



Typography :


  1. Define the term “typography” in your own words.
  2. Write a few sentences explaining what typography is not.
  3. Find a case study on typeface development on the Internet (similar to the ones in Addendum A). Explain which medium (small format printing, large format printing, mobile devices, etc.) the font developed is best suited for and why. Keep legibility, size and style in mind.


What is Typography :

Typography is important in everyday life. It appears everywhere, on packaging, web, books, bottles, store fronts, road signs and cars. The list goes on.

Typography is useful because it conveys information to the reader, be it on a subconscious level or very clear and maybe even glaring manner. Depending on what the typography is used for, it can be designed to catch the readers eye or as very readable information about contents of medical packaging and nutrients on foods as well as for other descriptive purposes.

Arranging lettering and wording can have a massive impact on the readability and composition in a piece of wording.The arrangement in relation to other words and titles as well as placement within artwork, magazines and newspapers affects the experience of the reader.

Typography comes into play specifically  when we choose fonts, review and decide upon spacing of lettering, words and lines. When we choose the size of the letters as well as the length of the lines. With this we ensure how the copy of text looks like as well as ensure it is as easy as possible to read and flows well for the eye.

What typography is not :

Typography is a lot of things, however it is easy to get the definition wrong so it is important to understand what typography is not.Typography can be a very broad term however it can often be misunderstood. Handwriting along with lettering for instance is not typography. it may contain elements used in typography, however these things along with sign writing, graffiti, are not, even though they can be supported by typography.

Confused yet ?, i am.

Recap : Typography is not hand lettering, graffiti and sign writing etc. however elements like line spacing, size and composition as well as placement of lettering is.

Typeface Development :

The making of Tundra : http://tinyurl.com/mmxeqcc
by Ludwig Übele.

Tundra, this is an example of where naming of the font describes the inspiration of its creation.The designer mentions specifically that the name of the font was in place before he started creating it.

The font Tundra is created for comfortable and easy reading. This is a Serif typeface which is preferable for longer text copies. This means that it would work well as a font used for the main text in a book.

By manually graduating the weights of the font the creator made six different weights, meaning the font can be used with different weight sizes and can be applied appropriately for the particular design you may have in mind.




Practical assignment (2 days)

  1. Complete the exercise files that came with the Lynda video Indesign Typography. Upload them to WordPress.
  2. Use your design software to design a newspaper front page. Pay special attention to typography (size, leading, column width, etc.).
  3. Use your design software to design a double-page spread (DPS) for your favourite magazine. (Look at an example of a DPS here.)



PDF of the front page : graphic-news-front-pagegraphic-news-front-page



PDF of the Double Spread : double-spread





Research and written assignment  (observation and analysis)                                                                              (1,5 days)

  1. Document one day of your life acting as an observer of typographic design. Produce a comprehensive diary of the typographic experience of your day from first thing in the morning to last thing at night.
  2. Keep this diary within a research folder or sketchbook. You should be prepared to use photography, photocopying and other means where necessary to evidence what you find, as well as collecting first-hand examples of typographic design.
  3. Make notes or comments to reflect on what you have collected and documented. Your notes should help you to consider what kind of design it is that you are recording. For example, a cereal packet may have some large obvious lettering / typographic device on the front of the box, but there will also be typography in the form of information design within a “nutritional information” table on the packaging. So are you looking at promotional design/branding or information design? Or are you looking at typography? Is it lettering?
  4. Choose two examples of design that you have collected that you consider to have either good or bad qualities. Try to analyse these further in terms of their typography. Can you identify the typefaces being used? Does the typography communicate successfully? If so, why? If not, why not?

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