Typography 101: Course Material Online

Written by Typographica on August 25, 2004

Update: This post is deprecated. See a more current list of resources here.

I’m pretty honored (and humbled) when I see our journal listed as a resource on the websites of collegiate graphic design courses. John Chastain’s online syllabus and reference for his Typography course at the Herron School of Art is one of the best I’ve seen. A nice glossary (work in progress) and very thorough list of references (both online and off) is included.

One of those references is Designing with Type, a growing resource for typography students and educators maintained by James Craig, author of the book with the same name.


  1. Hrant says:

    What a nice site.


  2. Zara says:

    I discovered Typographica on a syllabus as well. One of my type teachers at Emily Carr recommended this site as a great resource for inspiration and knowledge. Be proud, feel warm and gooshy inside, you deserve it.

  3. Nicole Ferentz says:

    the site is pretty, but that guy is going to be grading non-stop!

  4. I have a problem.
    I always tended to refer to typefaces such as Helvetica and Univers as “industrial” sans serifs, while I always kept the term “grotesque” sans serif for faces less “cold” with a quirkier appearance, of which Franklin Gothic or Trade Gothic can be seen as the more “homogeneous” ones.

    In general I tended to “classify” like that:
    1) Industrial or Rational Sans Serifs (Helvetica, Univers, Forma)
    2) Grotesque Sans Serifs (Bureau Grotesque, Franklin Gothic, Meta, Fago)
    3) Geometric Sans Serif (Futura, Kabel, Avant Garde, Avenir)
    2) Humanistic Sans Serif (Gill Sans, Frutiger, Stone Sans, Scala Sans, Balance)

    I see Akzidenz as the most consistent predecessor of these, and Akzidenz, beside having a one-storied g, is “quirky” (I like it), while Helvetica, Univers, et al have always struck me as very “square”, more “rational”, if you see what I mean.
    Of course these “cathegories” are elastic. Frutiger is more homogeneous compared to Stone, while Kabel is warmer and lively than Avant Garde, but I hope you get the idea.

    To make things clearer: to me Akzidenz’s numeral “2” is the “essence” of “grotesque”, but I find nothing “grotesque” in Helvetica. Should we use just one word for “Industrial”, “Grotesque” and “Rational” lineales?

  5. Dan Reynolds says:

    Oh, this is beautiful! Does anyone else do any sites like this? The only one that I know is Hannes Famira’s from the Schule fr Gestaltung in Basel.

  6. Hannes rocks, but it’s in German (sigh!)
    Anyone about my question?

  7. Keith Tam says:

    Claudio I probably wouldn’t call Univers, Helvetica, etc ‘industrial’ sanserifs. They are often referred to as ‘neo-grotesques’, where the designers rationalized and regularized the early 20th century grotesques. They are quite different in spirit, I agree. What I would call ‘industrial sanserifs’ or ‘industrial grotesques’ are Highway Gothic (perhaps also Insterstate), DIN-Schrift (or FF DIN) and generally sanserif that were designed by engineers instead of designers.

    ‘Gothic Sanserif’ is an oxymoron I’ve never heard of that. I find it a bit confusing.

    The site is very nice. It’s always great to see what other type instructors are doing. It is a very rich resource. I wish I was as organized as them. I’m surprized they’re not using database-driven technology to run the site. The updating and maintenance would be a little inconvenient. I am in fact planning an educational resource site for Emily Carr students myself, but with little knowledge in database-driven technology, I don’t think we could get it up and running for the next semester. But watch this space – I’ll keep you posted.

    Designing with type is excellent.


  8. Another nice course site: Steven McClenning’s Typographic Design class at the Pratt Institute.

    Would love to see more. If you’re a student reading Typographica and your course page is publicly available, please post it here.

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