20 Of the Best Typography Tutorials
In terms of a design, sometimes it’s the simplest of cues, spacing of elements, and what catches the eye that makes a good design a great one. This is where typography comes into play. In its simplest terms, typography is the art and technique of arranging text in a design. In everyday life, most of us simply go with “what looks good enough,” but in design, typography is important on a number of fronts. Type can convey a mood for you piece, it can draw attention to certain phrases and keep your viewer reading. It can express a hierarchy in the text being presented. On top of that, good typography can simply be beautiful. Because it’s so important to good design, let’s check out 20 of the best typography tutorials below.
Let’s Hit the Ground Running
- If you’re looking for a good reason to jump into the study of typography, as well as some of the end outcomes that come from good typographic choices, Smashingmagazine.com’s feature When Typography Speaks Louder Than Words is a good read. The article touches on just how famous typographical choices have changed the mood of designs and how the proper text can impart more information than the design itself.
- Creative Bloq is a great resource for all things design, and their feature Typography rules and terms that every designer must know is no exception. This outline runs designers through examples and definitions for some of the basic terms that will be built upon in more advanced tutorials. Terms covered include size, leading, tracking and kerning, measure, hierarchy, scale, and an A-Z glossary of more advanced terms.
- Noupe.com’sA Crash Course in Typography: the Basics of Type is for designers who have previously been intimidated by typography, and does a great job of introducing you to the basics of type, as well as dissecting what exactly sets the most common font families apart from one another.
- Because many designers are web based these days, BootstrapBay.com’s All-Inclusive Guide to Web Typography Best Practices serves as a good backdrop for the technical typography talk of the other tutorials by providing some basic thoughts on how good typography can really be emphasized in the flow of a webpage.
- If you have about 2 hours to dive into typography, Lynda.com’s Foundations of Typography course takes a look at typography through history, and dives into both good typographic practice as well as minute differences between different types, moods, and design choices.
Advanced Typography Techniques
- If you’re working in Adobe Illustrator Noupe.com’s feature Typography Without Limits: 40 fresh Adobe Illustrator Text Effects is a great resource both for ideas on which you can build in your designs, as well as built in techniques you can use in illustrator. Each of their designs are attached to a tutorial for creating the cited effect.
- If you’re in search of a strong layout, and keep finding that text is making your work too busy, Creative Bloq’s article Make use of Grids for typographical layouts is probably a good choice. Written by Computer Arts Magazine Art Editor Jo Gulliver, this article shows how a well planned foundation established through grids can help your typographic layout.
- While at times type classifications can err on the side of historical nuance, they’re also particularly useful in pairing historically comparable type styles, identifying type styles, and creating fonts of your own. Check out this Smashing Magazine article Making Sense of Type Classification for a historical overview. And this Typography1st resource for a more in-depth look.
- While also touching on the many other elements that help create a visual heirarchy, this designshack.net article titled Creating Visual Heirarchy With Typography tackles the importance of heirarchy, size, typefaces, weight, color, orientation, space, texture, and the inclusion of multiple types of type.
- The Web Style Guide 3rd Edition offers an entire chapter on the use of typography online. Chapter contents include characteristics of typefaces on the web, legibility, typefaces, emphasis, typography with graphics, and signal to noise ratio.
- Contemporary generative typography is the use of code, visualization techniques, or algorithms to experimentally alter typography. It’s still largely experimental, but on the rise. Creative Bloq has a tutorial on How to Create Web Fonts With Code that’s interesting. Or if you’re looking for ideas, this Pinterest has a number of generative typography examples. A speculation about the future of generative typography may also be found here.
- There are lots of custom fonts out there, but when it comes to finding some unique fonts that look great on the web, no need to look farther than the Top 50 Ultimate Fonts for Infographic Designers that was put out by Template.net.
- If you’re looking for something that tackles responsive design, css, and typography check out this features by Tuts+ titled 6 Ways to Improve Your Web Typography. Oh, and the inspiration list at the end of the article is pretty great for any type of design.
- The Awwwards recognize the best in design, creativity, and innovation on the web. Check out their ranking of over 650 of the best uses of typography online as voted by the site’s viewers here.
- Designers have argued forever whether serif or sans-serif are easier to read. As far as we’re aware, there’s no scientific evidence either way, but there are definitely contextual answers. If you want to test our your typesets side by side, while toggling line spacing, font color, and so on, check out Typetester.org.
- CSS is a veritable playground for designers working with typography. If you’re looking for an advanced tutorial on CSS and typography, check out this Lynda.com course that covers matters like 2d and 3d transforms, kerning, perspective, dimension, web fonts, and more.
(Includes typography in film examples)
- If you’re looking for typography-based templates to base your own works on, check out Smashing Magazine’s collection of 40 typographic layouts as well as their links to their collections of vintage typography layouts, sexy and beautiful typography layouts, and breathtaking typographic layouts.
- If you’re trying to work out your typography in brochures, a number of awesome examples are available at jayce-o.blogspot.com’s feature on 30 Awesome Typographic Brochure Designs
- You may think just one or two fonts are involved, but a variety of factors go into making quality typographic decisions when designing a book. Check out Thebookdesigner.com’s comprehensive guide on Understanding Fonts and Typography in book design if that’s of interest. Topics covered include good combinations of fonts for books, classic book typography, typography on the book page, and typography in e-books.
- Kinetic Typography is text that moves or is animated, as in film and videos. If you’re looking for a quick rundown of kinetic typography as well as some of the basics of working in Adobe After Effects, check out this video. If you would rather try out Adobe’s Edge Animate, check out this series of several hours worth of videos from Adobe itself.