Latin One / Mechanics

Status: Closed
Class is full
6 weeks
Live and online
Nov 7–Dec 14, 2023
Tues and Thurs @ 10:30a

Add a professional level of finish to your next typeface.

A great idea isn’t enough. A typeface also needs to be well-executed to knock it out of the park. That’s what Latin One is all about — execution, craft, mechanics.

We’ll start by discussing a typical type design workflow and then head into our core topics: spacing, drawing with Béziers, managing local contrast, making optical corrections, and working in a font editor. We’ll touch on these topics multiple times, so we consistently deepen and reinforce our understanding of these key elements.

At the same time, you’ll put this new knowledge into practice by applying it to a typeface of your own. Feedback sessions and font file reviews take this course from purely theoretical to fully practical.

During feedback sessions (one group and one 1:1), you’ll receive concrete advice on how to improve your typeface. A sampling of student’s font files will also be reviewed so we can highlight and fix common errors in the files — whether it’s a missing point, a problem with overshoots, or a letter whose spacing needs improvement.

No matter where you are in the type design process, we’ll help you give your great idea a professional finish.

What you’ll learn

Techniques to improve your Bézier curves and add snap to your letters

How to make informed decisions about vertical metrics

The importance of spacing on the overall quality of your font and how to improve yours

How to move more consciously through the type design process

The design difference between fonts meant for text vs. display

How to make optical corrections and small adjustments that improve the overall color of your font

To notice the details without losing sight of the larger system of your typeface

How to use proofing as a tool to make your typeface better

Ways to boost creativity and find inspiration for future projects

Practica helped me build my sensitivity to type design and gave me tools and processes to be confident while working.

Seth Haller, Graphic Designer

Week 1 Nov 7 / Course and project introduction, lecture: display vs. text type
Nov 9 / Lecture: type design work flow, intro to spacing and proofing
Week 2 Nov 14 / Review of students’ font files, core topics
Nov 16 / Lecture: setting up your font file, basic OT features, vertical metrics, etc.
Week 3 Nov 21 / Group feedback session
Nov 23 / No class, Thanksgiving in the US
Week 4 Nov 28 / Review of students’ font files, core topics
Nov 30 / Lecture: typical optical adjustments
Week 5 Dec 5 / Review of students’ font files, core topics
Dec 7 / Guest lecture with Maria Montes
Week 6 Dec 11—15 / Individual feedback session (optional)
No formal class this week

The schedule is subject to modifications.

Tuesday classes are 2.5 hours. Thursday classes are 1.5 hours.
Classes begin at 10:30am Chicago / 12:30pm Buenos Aires / 5:30pm Berlin / Convert

Are classes recorded? →

Caroline Wilkie, Kombucha

Nicole Dotin
Lead instructor
Process Type Foundry
Sol Matas
Lead instructor
Hungry Type
Maria Montes
Visiting Lecturer
Designer, letterer, illustrator

Take both: One then Two

Latin One was designed to be taken as a stand-alone course or in conjunction with Latin Two. Students who enroll in Latin One will be able to enroll in Latin Two before the general public, skipping the application process entirely and simply signing up.

What’s included
  • 19 course hours
  • Live classes held over Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Lectures, two feedback sessions, and font file reviews
  • Ability to watch lectures again (lectures are live, but recorded)
  • Individual feedback on your typeface
  • One guest lecturer
  • Access to our private Discord community
  • Free trial Glyphs license
  • Certificate of completion
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Enroll by Nov 5

Tuition is on a sliding scale and you decide which tier you pay according to your means. No matter what tier you choose, the course is exactly the same. Fees are stated in US dollars.

Why is tuition on a sliding scale? →
Are there scholarships or other tuition help available? →

Enrollment is closed.

When’s the next edition? ✉️ Subscribe to our email list to get updates.

Who is this course for?

Latin One is geared toward someone who is self-taught, has experimented with making fonts on their own, or has taken shorter courses in type design (for example, a 10-week introductory course or an intro to type design course at university). Students should be familiar with using a font editor and want to have a better understanding of type design fundamentals.

Important dates

Monday, October 23, 2023 — Enrollment opens
Sunday, October 29, 2023 — Scholarship applications due
Sunday, November 5, 2023 — Enrollment closes, last day to enroll
Tuesday, November 7, 2023 — Latin One begins, first day of class

Do I need to have a typeface designed to participate in Latin One?

Not necessarily, but ideally yes. The course is designed for you to work on a typeface you started outside of class and improve it as we go along. The feedback sessions and font file reviews—where we discuss students’ progress on their typefaces—are optional if you prefer to learn through observation.

How far along does the typeface I start the course with have to be?

It does not need to be finished, or even near finished. If you have something like 10 characters, that’s a great place to start.

How much time am I expected to work outside of class?

We recommend committing a minimum of a couple of hours per week to work outside of class, if you choose to work on a typeface during the course.

Can I take Latin Two if enjoy Latin One?

The two courses were designed to be taken separately or one after the other. Students who enroll in Latin One will have the opportunity to sign up for the 2024 Latin Two before the general public, giving them priority enrollment. Another benefit of taking Latin One is that students will not need to go through the application process for Latin Two. They can simply sign up.

Based on our past experiences with students, we expect that most people interested in taking Latin Two will also want to take Latin One. If taken together, Practica One will get students ready for all Latin Two has to offer. Taken on its own, Latin One gives you the opportunity to dive deep into the execution side of type design, ask questions, and receive personalized feedback.

Do I need to use a specific font editor?

All demonstrations using a font editor will be conducted in Glyphs. Many of the concepts are universal (like drawing or spacing) and will easily translate from one font editor to the next. There is a lot to learn that is independent of a font editor. Although any font editor is welcome, just know that some content is Glyphs-specific and our primary fluency is with Glyphs. If you are interested in trying Glyphs, you can opt to use the trial license that comes free with the course.

What’s the difference between Practica One and Latin One?

They’re the same course, we changed the name to better differentiate our evolving offerings!

Are there scholarships or other tuition help available?

All Practica courses are offered on a sliding scale, which can reduce the amount of tuition a student pays.

We’re also offering one full tuition waiver for this course but the deadline to apply has passed. The recipient will be notified on or before November 1, 2023 by email and must accept their spot by the end of the day on November 3, 2023. The scholarship recipient will have the option to continue on to the upcoming edition of Latin Two, once again under a full tuition waiver.

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