RISD Summer Programs Introduction to Typeface Design

Introduction to Typeface Design

Visual representation of language through the creation of letterforms spans centuries and stands at the heart of human communication. Typeface design is an essential skill for designers that serves to give meaning to what is being read. Currently there is a huge demand for custom fonts to provide the software and tech sectors with new product support, brand distinguishment and multi-language translation. Through lectures and a series of exercises students gain a foundational understanding of essential type components, families and classifications needed to understand the creation of a cohesive alphabet. Discussions cover character anatomy—including height, width, spacing and proportion—along with solutions related to grouping and combining letters. Technical skills needed to draw letters on the computer and sources of inspiration provide the springboard for students to consider an initial character design. Essential aesthetic considerations of rhythm, balance, positive and negative space, and contrast further inform conceptual development of the foundation of a unique, unified alphabet. Student laptop required with the following specifications and English language software loaded: latest version MacOS (preferred) or Windows, Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Course specific requirements will be discussed and additional software downloaded during class. Students in all SIGDS courses pay for their own printing and can expect to spend $75 or more depending on the course and desired outcomes.

(Photo by Jo Sittenfeld MFA 08 PH)

Course #2884
Dyana Weissman

Schedule 3
July 22–Aug 2, 2019
9 am–4 pm

Tuition $2,975
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,380

3 Credits


Dyana Weissman

Dyana Weissman is a typeface designer who for 16 years has worked with brands such as Adidas, Ford, and The Washington Post. She is the custom type director at Type Network, and previously was senior custom designer at The Font Bureau. She has lectured at Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI), TypeCon, Type Camp, and PromaxBDA, and at universities throughout North America. Her recent work with branding agency loyalkaspar for Comedy Central won an award from Communication Arts. She was a judge for The Type Directors Club 64th annual Typeface Design Competition, and writes for Typographica.org and Alphabettes.org. She holds a BFA in graphic design from RISD.