Whether you want to create fonts for personal use or for profit, check out these 12 Skillshare Font Design Classes to learn the basics of typography and font creation.
Thank you Skillshare for sponsoring this post! All opinions are 100% my own.
Since I started designing, I always wanted to learn to design my own fonts. It wasn’t until I was browsing through the hand lettering classes on Skillshare that I found some really helpful Font Design Classes, and I designed my own fonts within a month of taking those classes!
For those who aren’t already familiar, Skillshare is an awesome online learning community I’ve been using to improve my lettering skills. They actually have over 18,000 classes in everything from hand lettering and watercoloring to graphic design and photography, really on anything you’d want to learn! Plus they’re extending a special offer to get THREE whole months of Skillshare Premium membership for just $0.99! Just click the link below to sign up.
I have listed some must take classes, along with some helpful typography basics. You can also scroll down to download FREE Printable Graph paper!
Before we get started, I want to break down a couple definitions for you. I’ll be talking about fonts, typefaces, and glyphs, so it’s important to know the difference when you’re creating a font of your own (whether it’s for personal use or profit).
What is a Glyph?
A glyph is a symbol – yep, that’s it. A font has a defined symbol for each letter, number, and character. Some fonts have decorative glyphs of the same letter (and you’ll have access to those in programs like Adobe Illustrator).
What is a Font?
A font is a set of matched glyphs. It’s probably the easiest definition to remember 🙂
What is a Typeface?
The basic definition of a typeface is a font family. So, you can look at fonts this way: A glyph is an individual, the font could be the immediate family members, and the typeface is the extended family. They all have a similar gene pool, but different characteristics pop up every now and then.
A typeface could include different sizes, weights, and styles of a certain font. Many typefaces have a script version, serif version, and sans serif version. To get a better understanding of the types of fonts, I recommend watching the font basics classes from Skillshare.
12 Skillshare Font Design Classes
Font Design Basics
Typography Fundamentals by Wanda Granata: Understanding the different types of characters and typeface classes, plus the anatomy of type will greatly help you in creating a professional looking font. Not only will it go over the individual glyphs and letters, but this class will tell you how to create a font that will look great in sentences and paragraphs.
The Art of Typography by Faye Brown: This class will take some of the basics you learn in the class I mentioned above, and add a creative twist. I think her exercise in video 3 tells you how important typography is when creating your designs.
Font Pairing: Learn to Choose Cohesive Typefaces by Nick DePasquale: If you would like to create a collection of fonts or sell a typeface, I recommend taking this class to see what fonts pair well with each other.
Font Design Classes
Design Your Own Fonts from Paper to Screen by Natanael Gama: I think Natanael says it best in the 2nd video…when you create a font, you have to look at the full picture, not each individual glyphs. This class teaches you how to create a perfect font, as well as giving tips to be more efficient (because font designing is extremely time-consuming).
Simple Display Type by Kyle Wayne Benson: This is a quick overview of creating a display font. Display fonts work great for posters, tees, and logo design. It’s a great companion to the class by Natanael.
Create Your Own Hand Drawn Font by Jenn Coyle: This class has 301 reviews…and everyone recommends taking this class! She’ll teach you how to draw out your font, prepare it in Photoshop and Illustrator, then create it in Glyphs (this is currently a mac based program. Though it’s not the same, I really like using FontCreator).
Create Your Own Font on the iPad by Peggy Dean: I took Peggy’s class when creating my own fonts (which will be available later this year to purchase…but for now, you can see some of them in many of my designs). Because I letter the best on my iPad, this was the best option for creating the first draft of my font. This class is perfect for basic hand lettered serif fonts (script fonts are a little more complicated because of the connections). This is by far the fastest way to create a lovely handwritten font!
Designing a Font from your Handwriting by Christine Nishiyama: By now, you can tell that there are many ways to create your own font. This class gives you another option for font creation software and techniques. I especially love her video on cleaning up a font. Christine critiques the font she uploads to her computer, which gives you a better idea of what you should look for when refining your font design.
Unique Font Design
These skillshare font design classes are best for font creation in the design phase. Not every class will tell you how to digitize your font, but it’s still important to try different styles and techniques.
Intricate Floral Forms by Gemma O’Brien: I’ve been eyeing this class since it came out a couple months ago. It’s such a fun take on typography, and this style would make a gorgeous font!
Decorative Grid Based Typeface by Evgeniya & Dominic: If floral designs aren’t your cup of tea, but you’d still like to learn to create a unique typeface, this class is amazing. The grid-based technique is really unique – I wouldn’t have thought to try it when creating a font, but now it makes total sense!
Watercolor Alphabet by Amarilys Henderson: Not only does she go over creating a gorgeous alphabet, she also teaches you to vectorize it in Adobe Illustrator. You can use a program like Fontself to convert your designs into a color font.
Create an Animated Typeface by Mike Martin: Okay, so this is one of those I’m going to take it if I have time, but I think it’s so cool! This class will teach you how to animate your typeface in Adobe After Effects.
Download FREE Printable Graph Paper
I hope these Skillshare Font Design Classes will encourage you to make your own fonts and stay tuned for when my font shop opens! And remember that you can take advantage of Skillshare’s incredible offer for 3 months of Premium Membership for only $0.99!