Typeface design education from Cooper Union
Principles typedesign gif

Principles of Typeface Design: from sketch to system
with Marie Otsuka

Understanding the foundations of type design can be helpful for any designer working with letterforms, whether as a user of type or someone who has to create or alter letterforms. Through this ten-week introduction, we will take a closer look at typefaces, explore how they work, and learn how to draw our own.

We will begin by getting a feel for the basic components of type — black and white shapes — through hands-on sketching, then transition into using the Glyphs font editor to draw vector outlines. By the end of the course, you will have an understanding of the principles of typeface design, with a draft of your first typeface.

The ten-week program will consist of the following:
Lectures: introductions to key concepts and strategies for design
Activities: in-class exploratory exercises and general work time
Critique: a combination of group critiques and one-on-one reviews of your work
Assignments: take-home assignments ensure you are reaching milestones in the design process

The course is open to beginners with vector-based tools such as Adobe Illustrator, graphic designers, as well as those interested in developing a type portfolio for application to further type design studies. We recommend you allocate at least an additional 3 hours of project time per week to gain the most from your experience. Due to the nature of the course, it will be limited to 14 students.

Experience using vector-based drawing tools

Registration is now closed

Wed, June 7 – Wed, August 9, 2023

Where: On campus

About Marie Otsuka

Marie otsuka
Marie is a type designer at Occupant Fonts, where she works on retail and custom projects focusing on original designs. In addition to drawing type, she helps make tools and websites that help expand the creative potential of those fonts. Marie holds an MFA in Graphic Design from RISD and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago.