Typeface Design


Typeface Design (TD), optional course

Summary of the subject contents: Planning, design and production processes for new typefaces. Analysing of the typographic use. Parametric design. Double-pencil method. Digitalisation. Vector based glyph drawing. Open-type features. Testing font files. Checking typeface functionality.

Subject Obligations+

Lectures, seminars and practical course should be attended on time. Products must be delivered to agreed deadlines.


The individual parts of the subject require the presence of: lectures 80%, seminar 80%, practical course 90%.

In case of insufficient attendance, the student can not complete the course in the academic year 2019/2020.


The final grade (100%) is composed of: presence (20 %), question (10 %), products (50 %), presentation (20 %).


Lectures take place on Wednesdays between 13. and 14.30 (P-006).

26th of Feb. Typeface Purpose Information, Identity, Community, Function
4th of Mar. TypeCooker Parametric Design of Typefaces
11th of Mar. Tipo Brda Workshop Presentation 
18th of Mar. Correspondence Consultations
25th of Mar. Basics about Typefaces Typography, Presence, Use, Editing
1st of Apr. Article Presentation Student-to-Student
8th of Apr. Typeface Details Classification, Specification, Elements, Modules
15th of Apr. Typeface review Typeface Comments and Corrections
22nd of Apr. Form and Counterform Form & Counterform, Ductus, Proportions, Rhythm, Contrast
29th of Apr. Typeface review Typeface Comments and Corrections
6th of May Grid Basics
13th of May Typographic Style & Hierarchy Problems & Solutions, How to read the pages
20th of May Typography & Poster Types of Posters, Poster Typeface
27th of May Typography & Screens Screen, Fonts, Visibility, Understanding
3rd of Jun. Conclusion Review of work

Seminar takes place on Wednesdays between 14.30 and 16.30 (P-006).

Draw letters based on the given parameters and put them in a word with at least 6 letters. The word doesn’t have to be meaningful; important is rythm of white space and black strokes. Cut out the letters and paste them into the final word. Final drawings should be accurate and contrasting. Outline them with a thin and fill them with a thick marker. Draw letters with x-height of 5 cm so you can develop details and that they are visible from a distance.

Practical Course+

Based on the given parameters (TypeCooker), form alphabetic and non-alphabetic characters. The work is done individually; each student creates her/his own set of letters.

Each typeface should include the following characters:

  • A, B, C, Č, Ć, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, Š, T, U, V, Z, Ž, X, Y, Q, W
  • a, b, c, č, ć, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, š, t u, v, z, ž, x, y, q, w
  • 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • . , : ; ! ? „ “ (ali » «) + – ‒ — ( ) [ ] @ # % & € $


Group 1 | Wednesday, 11 am−12.30 pm | R-304

32017318 32017297 32017061 32017056 32017053 32017046 32017041 32017024
32017022 32017018 32017013 32017008 32017007 32016019 32016014 32016010

Group 2 | Thursday, 15 pm−16.30 pm | R-304

32017359 32017058 32017051 32017050 32017049 32017045 32017044 32017036
32017035 32017033 32017030 32017028 32017026 32016053 32015027 32017065

Presentations! On 1st of April the presentations of articles will take place. Prepare up to 3 pages, where you will briefly outline the essence of the article and acquaint the others with the content. The presentation should be a landscape .pdf format. Where it is stated that the same article reads more people, you distribute the content in equivalent parts (even in this case, each person prepares his own work on up to three pages). Short lectures should be uploaded to google drive in the BRANJA_NP_19/20 folder one day before presentation (31st of March).

1 A Discussion on Type Design Revivalism 32017007, 32017008
2 Aesthetci Innovation in Indigenous Typefaces: Designing a Lushootseed Font 32017318
3 Approaches to Applying Spacing Methods in Serifed and Sans-Serif Typeface Designs 32017013, 32017065
4 Braille, A Tactile Writing System 32016010
5 Copte Script, Design of a Coptic Font for Science and Publishing 32017018
6 Design of Multilingual Type Families exchange
7 Display Phototype in New York: Folks, Forms and Fonts 32016014
8 French Type Foundries in the Twentieth Century 32017022, 32017024, 32016019
9 Hearing Type 32017026
10 Modularity: An Elemental Approach to Type Design 32015027, 32017051, 32017028, 32017030
11 Of what Consequence, Design? 32017033, 32017035
12 Punch Cuts: The Modern Page, 1843 32017359
13 The “Revival” of Slab-Serif Typefaces in the Twentieth Century 32017036
14 Rythme in Type Design 32017041, 32017044, 32017045
15 Serial Type Families 32017046
16 Some Elements of Proportion and Optical Image Support in a Typeface 32017049
17 The Design of Rumba: Concept and Process 32017297, 32017050
18 The Golden Age of Hand Lettering in American Advertising 32017053
19 The Scribe and the Silhouette 32016053
20 The Story of Perpetua 32017056, 32017058
21 Type Rules: Basic Fine-Tunning and Tweaking 32017061
22 The Eszett  32014350
Famous Typographers+

The final task (diary) should contain (on one side) important information about typographer assigned to you. Summarise the work, important achievements, highlight what you think is the most representative for a particular person.

1 Lucian BERNHARD 32017007 18 Herb LUBALIN 32017033
2 Charles BIGELOW 32017008 19 Max MIEDINGER 32017035
3 Neville BRODY 32017318 20 Stanley MORISON 32017359
4 Matthew CARTER 32017013 21 Robin NICHOLAS 32017036
5 Vincent CONNARE 32017065 22 Gerrit NOORDZIJ 32017041
6 Lucas DE GROOT 32016010 23 Aldo NOVARESE 32017044
7 Roger EXCOFON 32017018 24 Paul RENNER 32017045
8 Adrian FRUTIGER 32016014 25 Emil RUDER 32017046
9 Tobias FRERE-JONES 32017022 26 Freda SACK 32017049
10 Eric GILL 32017024 27 Robert SLIMBACH 32017297
11 April GREIMAN exchange 28 Fred SMEIJERS 32017050
12 Jessica HISCHE 32016019 29 Erik SPIEKERMANN 32017053
13 Jonathan HOEFLER 32017026 30 Jan TSCHICHOLD 32016053
14 Kris HOLMES 32015027 31 Carol TWOMBLY 32017056
15 George W. JONES 32017051 32 Gerard UNGER 32017058
16 Heinrich JOST 32017028 33 Herman ZAPF 32017061
17 Zuzana LICKO 32017030 34 Massimo VIGNELLI 32014350
Final Assignment+

The exam consists of a diary, typeface specimen and presentation (oral exam). The diary (e-publication), typeface specimen and presentation should be uploaded to google drive before the exam (the day before or according to the agreement) in pdf format.

The diary should include reasonable number of pages (no more than 20), use A5 format (portrait or landscape). It represents an overview of the subject’s work. In your own discretion and selection indicate the important and interesting stages of planning, designing and producing typeface. Here you give short comments.

The diary, typeface specimen and presentation must have similar and meaningfully connected graphic design.

The diary and typeface specimen should include the following: Name and surname | University of Ljubljana | Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering | Department of Textiles, Graphic Arts and Design | Chair of Information and Graphic Arts Technology | Typeface Design, 2019/2020 | Mentors: Nace Pušnik, Ana Mendizza.

  • 19th of June 2020 | 10 am | exam room will be posted later 
  • 28th of August 2020 | 10 am | exam room will be posted later

Typeface Purpose (26th of February)

  • typefaces for a special purpose
  • different user groups
  • dark / bright vs. bright / dark
  • typeface and visual identity
  • urgency of thorough knowledge of the problem

TypeCooker (26th of February & 4th of March)

  • parametric typeface design
  • identification of letter characteristics
  • analysis of letters through random parameters
  • parameters: construction, width, contrast (amount), stroke endings, stroke weight
  • plan & design 6 letters based on parameters

Basics about typefaces (25th of March)

  • typography, alphabet, typeface, fonts
  • letter function
  • kerning, tracking, adjustment
  • composition and rhythm
  • single- and multiple-typeface family mixes

Article presentation (1st of April)

  • article summaries are available on the Google Drive (Branja_NP_19/20)

Typeface details (8th of April)

  • typeface classification (Maximilien Vox)
  • the shape of the serif (Aldo Novarese)
  • purpose of typography
  • visibility, legibility, readability
  • concept (based on the tool, based on the element)

Typeface overview (15th of April)

  • consultations

Form and counterform (22nd of April)

  • letter form (source, space between letters, composition)
  • ductus (individual shapes, tools, repetitive forms, perfection)
  • counterform (black and white, counterform as a space between letters, consistency)
  • rhythm and balance (attention, convention, expectations, letter placement)
  • contrast (translation, rotation, expansion)

Typeface overview (29th of April)

  • consultations

Grid (6th of May)

  • why grid, what it allows, what it is intended for
  • 9 items explaining grid (A. Filoli)
  • elements of grid
  • modular grid
  • page distribution and ratio 2 : 3 (J. Tschichold)

Typographic style (13th of May)

  • the role of the grid in the past
  • reading comfort
  • faster and slower reading rhythm
  • recommended typeface sizes
  • problem of closed block (solutions)

Typographic hierarchy (13th of May)

  • gestalt and proximity
  • unity, alignment, contrast
  • hierarchy
  • emphasis and variation in the hierarchy
  • how we read

Out of office

I will be away from December 10th to January 5th. Office hours are cancelled during this time. With a delay I reply to the e-mails.... read more


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