What's Your Taste in Type?
Type! We're surrounded by so much of it daily, we don't even notice it. Like the proverbial fish unaware of its environment until the water is gone, most type is invisible to us until it's so glaringly awful that we're stopped in our (visual) tracks.

In 1972, Steve Jobs stumbled into a calligraphy class at Reed College. Little did he know how much his love of typography would influence not only the development of the Macintosh but also a worldwide awareness and appreciation of typefaces and fonts. 

This issue is an exploration of typography. You'll learn a little more about this specialized world — and perhaps never look at a headline the same way again. Enjoy!
Welcome to my digital postcard filled with 3 things related to Visual IP*. It's designed to quickly inform, then get you on your way. In each issue you'll find an inspiring quote, an image, and a link to an essay or resource.

* Visual IP (intellectual property) = proprietary frameworks, diagrams, and drawings based on your ideas, which help you explain, influence, and persuade

This issue forwarded to you? Sign up to get your own each week.


"Type designers are, at their best, the Stradivarii of literature: not merely makers of salable products, but artists who design and make the instruments that other artists use.”
― Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

The Anatomy of Typography

Meet the vocabulary of the world of typography: words such as stroke, serif, foot, bowl, ligature — even gadzook

This colorful infographic is the header to a longer article that describes the individual elements of a typeface. It was created several years ago by Seattle designer Janie Kliever for the graphic arts software company, Canva.

The visual glossary illustrates all of the subtle details that go into designing a typeface. Now that I've attuned you to these elements — at least a little bit — the next time you are comparing typefaces, pay attention to details, such as the closed counter of a letter (that's the space inside an "o" or an "e") or the curve or sharpness of a shoulder (for example, in "h" or "m").

Three letters I always look at when comparing typefaces: the lowercase "g" and "y" (the descenders always have personality), and the uppercase "R" and the slant and joint of the lower stroke. So many variations!

And to answer the question: What's the difference between between a typeface and a font? A typeface is the design and what you see. A font is what you use — in earlier times metal type, but these days, software. So you buy a font (generally as a downloadable file) so you can design with a specific typeface.


Typewolf is a comprehensive online resource for all things related to typography. It's one of those wonderful digital rabbit holes — a site with more than 2,500 pages of content (!) that reflects the passion of its creator — and we all get to benefit.

Designer Jeremiah Shoaf has gathered a collection of guides, fonts, learning tools, and other resources that cover hundreds of fonts, for designers and non-designers alike. His free weekly newsletter showcases websites using typefaces in visually interesting ways. His written guides can help you select and pair appropriate fonts. And if type is truly your thing, check out Jeremiah's Flawless Typography Checklist and get an interactive visual reference that's also a master course in typography.

Typewolf's Typography Resources page is a marvel. You'll find a collection of learning resources, type designers and foundaries, places to buy or rent fonts, type blogs and forums, sources for inspiration, books, organizations, handy type tools, and more.

Jeremiah has clearly gathered the best collection of type resources from around the web, and it's all in one spot for us to explore. Thanks, Jeremiah, for sharing your passion and talents in typography.

More Mini-Essays Shipped

I'm past the halfway point in my month-long essay-writing odyssey. Recent topics include: Slaying Procrastination Dragons, How I End Each Day to Jumpstart the Next One, and The 9 Meanings of a Circle in Your Visual Communications.  Come follow along on my special Ship 30 blog, or on my Twitter feed.

Thanks for joining me this week. Here's to enjoying the beauty and utility of type.

As always, if there are others you think might enjoy these types of ideas and resources, please forward this on.

Until next time: Make something happen!

PS: Was this email forwarded to you? You can sign up to get your own copy on my website.
Forward Forward
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Copyright ©2022, Make International, LLC
All rights reserved.

Update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp