Typography in Practice, and Where to Go from Here

The goal of this last lesson in typography is to provide a wide-angle view of this fascinating field, and highlight resources from some of its best practitioners to direct you as you continue your studies beyond this course. The first three links focus on the technical aspects of practical typography, including some important guiding principles, an introduction to structuring your work with grid systems, and a lecture on the challenges of designing for screens. This is followed by some resources to help you engage with the ongoing conversation surrounding typography today. Have fun!

  1. The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web

    In design school, my first-year typography professor once said to me that if I read Robert Bringhurst’s Elements of Typographic Style, I would not need to attend any of his classes. Bringhurst's book has been referred to as a "typographer's bible," and this website translates Bringhurst's principles to web design in an elegant yet accessible way.

    Take a look around, read the introduction and the first five principles in chapters 2.1.1 to 2.1.5. The rest of the short chapters are also a great read, extra points if you get the chance.

  2. Five Simple Steps to Designing Grid Systems by Mark Boulton

    Grid systems are the foundation of any graphical layout: think of them as pillars that give your design structural integrity. Mark Boulton has written a series of six blog posts outlining five simple steps to designing better grid systems. Read the blog posts, and then sketch a few grid-based layouts for a personal design project.

  3. "Type on Screens" by Erik Spiekermann

    One of the greatest living typographers of our time, Erik Spiekermann is also an active designer solving real problems for real clients. In this talk, Spiekermann takes us through some of his latest design projects, hitting on some crucial issues and limitations of typography on desktop and mobile screens. Watch the lecture and take some notes on all the cheeky design jokes Spiekermann makes.

  4. Typographica

    A typographer's online portal, Typographica features font reviews, books and commentary about the latest and greatest in the world of typography. Click around and read a few type reviews like Doyald Young's Young Finesse or the review of The Elements of Typographic Style's 4th edition, or see Michael Beirut compare tight spacing of photocompositor typography to the sexual revolution.

  5. TypeRadio

    TypeRadio is an online gem, a library of hundreds of conversations with designers about typography. Listen to a few episodes with any designers you recognize by name. I would recommend episodes with Irma Boom (one of the most prolific living book designers) or the four episodes with Massimo Vignelli (you might remember him from the movie Helvetica).

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