Type Revival


Katherine's san serif lowercase

Abish's modern serif lowercase

YiTing's san serif uppercase

Brad's serif lowercase

Elle's san serif uppercase

Duration: 3 weeks
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Bookmark Project

Project Brief

Using the provided type samples, design and create a a sample of letters for a full functioning typeface heavily inspired from your chosen inspiration each week. You will need to categorize and research your chosen type sample to assist you in the process.


  1. Research your chosen type sample. How would you classify it? What are the distinguishing characteristics of this classification? 
  2. Using your sample and the research, draw your plans for all of the following letters in uppercase or lowercase. HAMBURGEFONTSIV
  3. Using Robofont or Gylphs vectorize your letters and begin reviving your type.
  4. Test install or preview your font using the following InDesign file

You will be given approximately ten letters to base your typefaces on. You will create the core of the typeface in either uppercase or lowercase using the following letters HAMBURGEFONTSIV. Each week you are expected to further refine your glyphs to create polished samples of three typefaces.

Each week you will choose another sample of letters to help guide your work for the week. If you pick Uppercase the first week the second week must be lowercase.

Week One
San Serif
Geometric/Grotesque / Humanist

Week two
Oldstyle/Transistional / Modern / Slab

Week three
Free choice either from my sources or your own

Learning Objectives

Research and properly identify distinguishing characteristics of the following typographic styles.

  • Old Style Serif
  • Transitional Serif
  • Modern Serif
  • Slab Serif
  • Geometric Sans Serif
  • Grotesque Sans Serif
  • Humanist Sans Serif

Demonstrate ability to create letters that work together as a system. Have consistent stroke weight, serifs, counters, etc.  

Identify characteristics of a well constructed and optically balanced typeface. 

Gain an appreciation for letter shape and design by closely examining existing letters and understanding why and how they are made.


Students submit a total of 3 exported fonts including the following letters in uppercase or lowercase HAMBURGEFONTSIV. One font should be serif, one san serif, and the third is a free choice.


Typeface Mechanics 001

Typeface Mechanics 002

OhNo Spacing

Assignment Sheet & Rubric


I've done several variations on this project. I think the most important thing to understand is managing expectations and end goals. This is not a project to create a new masterful typeface, it is in essence a master copy or study. I use it to help students in our first typography course gain an appreciation for how type works, and the details that go into each letter.

The most successful examples are from students that choose a solid typeface from the get go, something that to many of them seems boring or unoriginal. Don't let them pick crazy experimental type samples.

I've done this as a group project where as a team they design the entire typeface over several weeks. The downside is this only exposes them to one style of typography rather than a broad range.

Depending on the class I've also ditched the 3rd week and instead used that as a time to further refine their first two samples a little more.

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