Practica One / Mechanics

6 weeks
Live and online
Nov 8–Dec 15, 2022
Tues and Thurs @ 12p

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 Practica 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 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 8 / Course and project introduction, lecture: display vs. text type
Nov 10 / Lecture: type design work flow, intro to spacing and proofing
Week 2 Nov 15 / Review of students’ font files, core topics
Nov 17 / Lecture: setting up your font file, basic OT features, vertical metrics, etc.
Week 3 Nov 22 / Group feedback session with visiting critic Laura Meseguer
Nov 24 / No class, Thanksgiving in the US
Week 4 Nov 29 / Review of students’ font files, core topics
Dec 1 / Lecture: typical optical adjustments
Week 5 Dec 6 / Review of students’ font files, core topics
Dec 8 / Lecture with Cyrus Highsmith: black strokes and white shapes
Week 6 Dec 12—16 / Individual feedback sessions (optional)
No formal class this week
Tuesday classes are 2.5 hours. Thursday classes are 1.5 hours.
Classes begin at 12pm Chicago / 3pm Buenos Aires / 7pm Berlin / Convert

Are classes recorded? →

The schedule is subject to modifications.

Caroline Wilkie, Kombucha

Nicole Dotin
Lead instructor
Process Type Foundry
Sol Matas
Lead instructor
Hungry Type
Cyrus Highsmith
Visiting Lecturer
Occupant Fonts
Laura Meseguer
Visiting critic
What’s included
  • 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 and one guest critique
  • Access to our private Discord community
  • Free trial Glyphs license

This course is full and enrollment is closed.

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