Week 2 – The week of January 14th – 18th: Modifying Type with Lettermarks/Wordmarks

In class

Review the in class assignment from last week. Review homework from last week.


Modifying/adapting type & creating letterforms for your business card.

Inclass assignment — Modifying type.
We will be modifying letters using sketches. We will also practice a couple of techniques for drafting custom letters. Then a show and share of sample lettermark sketches/ideation.


DUE NEXT WEEK—HOMEWORK: Your personal business card

Part 1: Like last week's assignment choose one typeface family that have many weights and styles. Design your own business card that plays with grouping text, alignments, hierarchy, scale, weight/emphasis, & negative space.

Potential text your business card: your name, address, the main way you would like to be contacted (either phone or email) and your top three interests/skills (e.g. drawing, photography, typography).

Part 2: Create a custom initial mark for your name. You might chose to adapt/modify a chosen typeface or create your own custom letters.

Do a brain dump of 30 sketches exploring letter combinations for 1-2-and/or 3 initials. The first 10 sketches will probably be your normal sketching process. For the second 10 sketches you could use descriptive adjectives about yourself to explore ideas, e.g. edgy, whimsical, childlike, etc. For the last 10 sketches try out the “Forced Connections” technique, where you take your 3 interests (e.g. hiking, baking, fishing) and make a list of visual attributes that can be combined with your initials to make an initial mark. For example, fishing=fish hook + the letter A. Sketch your 30 ideas and select your top 3.

Click here for a sketch checklist pdf if/when you run out of sketches from your brain dump.


Extra Challenge for those who would like to push themselves:
Trademark category #2: Wordmarks

**Click here for a 3 minute video for iterating wordmarks on Lynda.com


Part 3: When you are satisfied with your business card design(s), place one of your chosen inital marks (either final sketch or a digital rough) into your design for placement only. Print out your card, trim it to the correct size, and bring it to class next week for a work-in-progress review. You may use color and imagery, but only after you have solved the typographic layout, grouping/alignments, hierarchy, emphasis (bold & italic), negative space, and scale.




Required reading:
Modifying Type Lecture (PDF file)
Helpful Hints for Drawing and Modifying Letters (PDF file)


Click here for a sketch checklist pdf if/when you run out of sketches from your brain dump.

Extra Challenge for those who would like to push themselves:
Trademark category #2: Wordmarks

**Click here for a 3 minute video for iterating wordmarks on Lynda.com

Use this guide to help refine your work:
Homework Review.pdf


Recommended links & books for the summer:
Introduction to typeface design/typeface designers:

Introduction to designing typefaces (Site)

Letter fountain (Site)

Designing Type (Book)

Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles, 1901-1938 (v. 1) (Book)
Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles, 1901-1938 (v. 2) 

List of type designers (site)
Type Designers - Historical (Site)



<< And if you are loving lettering, check out more links in the resources section under letterers, type designers and founderies.





Type History & Type Classifications (pdf)

Creative Brief Lecture (pdf)

Modifying Type Lecture (pdf)

Letter Spacing (pdf)

Measurements (pdf)

Punctuation (pdf)

General Overview: Choosing Typefaces (pdf)

A Closer Inspection: Choosing Typefaces (pdf)

Subtle Details: Font Combinations (pdf)

Practical Advice for Chosing Typefaces (pdf)



Type Classification (pdf)

Letter Anatomy Cheat Sheet (pdf)

Letters Anatomy Definitions (pdf)

Drawing Letters (pdf)

Identifying Type (pdf)

Classic Serifs (pdf)

Classic San Serifs (pdf)


Creative Brief Template (pdf)

Creative Brief/Design Brief (pdfs)

Creative Brief AIGA sample (pdf)

Venn Diagram (pdf)

Brainstorming Techniques (pdf)

Style/Concept Board Template (.indt file)

50 sketches (pdf)


Elements of an identity dissected...

How to choose typography for a brand...


Designing Type (book)

Type: A Visual History (book)


Spacing (pdf)

Kerning/Leading Key Commands (pdf)


Setting up typographic space–Indesign (pdf)

Common Ad Sizes (pdf)


19 Top Fonts in 19 Top Combinations (pdf)

Font Combinations (pdf)


34 Typographic Sins (pdf)



Typographer's Glossary

Type Glossary

American Alphabet


16th Century Letterpress Printing

Typography that works: Ellen Lupton

Mood Boards: Dressing for different...

Logo Lounge

60 Minimal Logo Designs


Types of type


Type design trends

Typewolf recommendations

10 Type trends for 2019

Type trends for web design


Under Consideration

Wordmark (view your loaded fonts)

What the font

Font Matherator

Font Squirrel



CounterSpace Type Timeline

Garamond Variety 2

How to Spot Arial


Adobe Capture App
Scanner Pro App


Typeface Design Resources & Tutorials

List of type designers

Early Typographers

8 famous fonts and the designer who made them



Alex Trochut

Jon Contino

Jessica Hische

Jessica Hische and Erik Marinovich —
Title Case Video

Dana Tanamachi

Louise Fili

Joel Felix

Craig Ward

Simon Walker

Mary Kate McDevitt

Doyald Young

Doyald Young Video

Erik Marinovich

Jeff Rogers

Letman: Job Wouters

Margo Chase

Margo Chase Video

Carolyn Sewell

Sebastian Lester

André Beato

There is

Design Sponge

Letter Cult

Better Letters

Hand Lettering Club




Doyald Young

Laura Worthington

Misprinted Type



Lost Type



Type Kit


Kerning Practice (site)

Shaping Type Practice (site)

InDesign Typography (Lynda.com course)


I love typography






Type Worship

80 Beautiful Typefaces...

Design is History

8 Faces

Font Police


The Font Feed

Design Boom


Brand New

Business Cards

Card Observer


Metrix Create Space Laser Cutter Specs

Metrix Create Space


The Dieline

Packaging of the World

Packaging Design Archive

Packaging of the World Pinterest

Packaging Design Served

Lovely Package