5 Online Typography Exercises to Improve Your Skills
To many outsiders, typography is nothing more than picking a font and opting for a point size from a drop-down menu on your PC or Mac. However, it is much more than that, especially if you want to become a highly sought-after graphic or web designer. Typography is both an art and a science that, when mastered, can have you wielding type like a professional. This hybrid may seem somewhat intimidating, but with dedication, consistent practice, and time, you can become a maestro. And you can even get there faster by taking advantage of the myriads of typography exercises and games out there.
You can make use any of them to not only flex your knowledge of typography but to also sharpen your skills without end. In this article, you will come across at least six crucial steps of graphic design process via a handful of interactive resources that will help you to learn as well as appreciate the nuances that make skilled typography distinguished or eminent. So, it does not matter whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro in graphic design; these six typography exercises can help you polish up your typography skills, thereby making you one of the masters in the game.
Here they are in no particular order:
The ability to recognize typefaces by sight is one of the best fringe benefits of a designer. Typewar is a fast-paced online game that challenges you to identify some typefaces based on a single-sample letterform readily. Sounds easy, right? If your job is to determine what font a letter is, that shouldn’t be too difficult to do. But the thing is, you will be surprised when typographic curveballs come your way until you become flustered in a good way.
Typewar’s typographic patterns keep you alert by showing several font pairs such as Garamond vs. Didot, Helvetica vs. Univers, etc. while expecting you to identify the unobtrusively perceptive, individual traits of different typeface’s letterforms. You will even see statistics or the levels you achieve and compare them to other online players of the typographic game so that you can accurately gauge how well you are doing.
Kerntype is an online game that teaches beginners or those who are not too confident about their kerning skills how to become pros within a short period. And this is very important because kerning – i.e., the space between letters – greatly influences aesthetics and readability. And of course, it is a crucial typographic skill that you or any other designer must know. The game throws a series of progressively challenging kerning situations at you and expects you to use your keen eyes – and your mouse or arrow keys – to determine the spatial relationship between the letterforms. You will see your scores as well as how well you fared when compared- i.e., by hitting the “Compare” tab – with an ideal spacing solution. You will be pleasantly thrilled to discover that several nudges to the right or left can make a significant impact on the arrangement of letterforms.
3. Type Connection
If you can readily pair several typefaces like a pro as a designer, this invaluable skill can take you places in your career, especially if you are working in publication design, brand and logo design, or even in web design. And the typographic game that can help you to hone this extraordinary skill is Type Connection.
Type Connection – otherwise referred to as the “typographic dating game,” – is a game that can fuel your font-pairing ability with instant or split-second decisions that will help you get up to speed at every level. The interactive typography game is framed in such a way that the tasks mimics a dating compatibility test while assigning the role of typographic matchmaker to you. Your job is simple: pick the designs that harmonize or go well together. But you need to have a thorough understanding of why some pairings make a perfect match or date. This magnitude of relevant information is an excellent way for creative professionals to appreciate why some typeface designs can best be used as body copy or text, thanks to their exceptional readability while others do well as bold, display faces in headlines or sub-titles. If you also need the background details of every typeface you know or have come across or featured, Type Connection is the place to go as it is loaded with lots of informative typography history.
4. Shape Type
One highly essential skill that every designer worth his/her salt must know or learn is the ability to draw characters and letters using vector shapes. Shape Type is an interactive online tool that is designed to gamify typography. You will be allowed to shape letters by moving or shifting vector anchor points to the correct location. Shape Type is a tool that helps designers to learn how to absorb the fundamental differences or subtleties in the components of a variety of typeface styles.
“Rags are usually the most overlooked detail in typography.” This is a statement that is credited to the creators of this unique typographic game. Rag, in typography, refers to those vertical margins of a text block, i.e., the right margin since paragraphs are, in most cases, left-aligned. If the rag is uneven, it could have a considerable impact on the readability of the text. So, Ragtime is that typography game that can help you to fine-tune or improve your rag-setting skills in no time. You will be presented with a block of text, and your job is to adjust its right rag until you get it.
It is hoped that you will enjoy having fun – and learning – as you poke around these remarkable typographic resources that are bound to enhance your skills, irrespective of the level you are as a creative professional. So, use them at your leisure, and you will begin to see a massive improvement in your work.