Creating a Typeface Workshop

This week at University is workshop week in which interesting and engaging workshops our available each day. Today was my first session with tutor Nick Deakin which focused on creating a typeface. We have previously had sessions with Nick similar to this; they were however, more experimental. Nick wanted us to start creating a typeface that is less experimental and more of a legible consistent family.

We began the session by watching a video of practicing graphic designer and typographer Sarah Hyndman called “Wake up and smell the fonts”. Nick showed us this video to give us an indication of influential and powerful typography can be. Sarah talks about the importance of type and how it can tell a story using associations. I found the talk rather interesting and could completely see where she was coming from- but for someone who isn’t interested in graphic design or typography, the messages most likely will not be clear.

When creating a font, it is important to know the purpose of it. This is because, its function will completely influence its form. If it is to give off a professional and serious vibe, it may perhaps use a bold sans serif. Or for a more fun and decorative font- serif may be more appropriate. Workshop week offers 3 typography sessions, in which are supposed to work well together and carry on from one another. However, I decided only to do the first session with Nick. I am interested in some workshops which clash with the typography sessions, but still wanted to participate in at least 1. I chose Nick’s as it gave me the opportunity to practice my type sketches.

Typeface Sketches

Using the provided paper, I began my sketching different font styles to get a feel for typefaces and to try establish the purpose of my own intended type. There were certain characters that I preferred more than others, such as the M, however I knew that it would be hard to create a family out of that typographic style. I decided to look less at my decorative fonts and more and the basic styles.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t establish a favourite to undertake, therefore began sketching on a new piece of paper, inspired by my letters I and J. I liked the idea of a basic font which alters in thickness. I tried to ensure consistency throughout my reusing the same vertical curved line and straight horizontal line approach. However it was quite difficult to do and I soon became frustrated with my type.

Typeface Refined

As I had already started, I wanted to finish the alphabet. Once it was complete, I wasn’t very satisfied. I think my chosen approach wasn’t very me, therefore I lacked enthusiasm in creating it. The next step was to refine the type on a piece of grid paper. I wish we started out on grid paper because I find it much easier to use when sketching typography. As I wasn’t very confident with my typeface, I decided not to bother refining it. However, this doesn’t mean that I can’t come back at a later stage and do so, or even try something else!

I found today’s workshop enjoyable as it gave me the opportunity to practice sketching type, however I would have been more satisfied having an end result in which I felt happy to continue progressing.

Thanks for reading!

Logo idea 3 Refined