It’s time you finally learned what it takes to make your first real font.

Whether you’re a designer, a developer, an intern or an experienced pro, there’s one thing we can all agree on — you’re as much of a type nerd as the rest of us.

And that’s a fantastic thing — you’ve found your people here. But how many times have you been scrolling through countless type specimens, appreciating with wonderment as you examine the beautiful lines, perfectly balanced curves, and mind-blowingly well-kerned word combinations.

Whether it’s the most recently released neoclassical masterpiece from your favorite big-name foundry, with delicate serifs and subtly genius curves of that two-story lowercase g — or that unexpectedly perfect grotesque your favorite indie type designer just posted on her portfolio, with that superbly in-your-face demibold and magically readable super-condensed variation.

Oh sorry, were we drooling again? So embarrassing, that happens a lot.

Look, we get it. But having spent the time you have appreciating, ogling, and using each and every one of your favorite fonts in more combinations and pre-finished mockups than the world will ever know — you have to admit there’s always kind of that nagging devil in the back of your mind, saying “How on earth does someone make something like this?”

Maybe you’ve researched! Maybe you’ve nabbed a copy of your favorite font editor or just spun up Illustrator (which we all know isn’t the same but don’t necessarily know why). And if you’re the type to boldly go like that, we have the utmost respect for it.

But gosh — type design is hard to teach yourself.

We know, because that’s how we started, too. It’s hard to find great resources on getting started with type design. The books are either too much detail, or not enough; and let’s be honest, the number of books you can even buy on type design could fit on the smallest book shelf you own. Even online tutorials are far and few between, and often don’t really give you a complete picture of beginning-to-end, nothing-to-finished-typeface.

So, imagine you had a teacher. A mentor, even.

Someone who’d not only done it before, but who’s taught it before.

Someone who believed that anyone who commits to it can make an amazing typeface of their own design, and who’s crafted a course to teach you exactly how to do that.

But what would an intro course on type design cover?

Ugh, so glad you asked! We’ve taken a lot of time to pour over what to include, how to teach it, and in what order we think will be the most useful for you to learn it.

Somehow, we’ve whittled it down to a very concise, very precise 12-week course, jam-packed with an amazing combo of thoughtful lessons, practical demonstrations, and real-life, you-actually-create-stuff-and-make-progress-on-your-own-font activities and homework.

We’ve broken it up into 4 distinct sections, each with a different but important focus for people who need different things, and each building on the last to make a complete course.

Course IWeeks 1, 2, and 3

The First FoundationsA free introduction to type design

The first 3 weeks are useful for anyone who's even interested in understanding the concepts behind letters and fonts. We provide a handful of free cheatsheets before you even start, so that we can hit the ground running from the very first sessionan intro to software, anatomy, and drawing.

Week One: Intro to Software & Letters

  • Get free custom-designed cheatsheets on anatomy, vocabulary, software, and structure
  • Walk through the interface of our favorite font editing software to learn setup & basics
  • Dive right into inspecting some open-source fonts, how they're built, and a few tricks only the pros know of how to draw letters

Week Two: Sans-Serif in Detail

  • Understand how to compare typographic details between sans-serif fonts

Week Three: Serif in Detail

  • Understand how to compare typographic details between serif fonts
Course IIWeeks 4, 5, and 6

Learning Letteringincludes First Foundations

Maybe you're interested in type design, but not quite to the point of needing — or caring — to make a full-fledged font. Maybe you've got a logo design project coming up, or want to start taking wordmark projects. Maybe you're just dipping your toes in to see if you've got what it takes to make a whole font.

In these 3 weeks, you'll go from anatomy to prototype. We're going to teach you how to start, which letters will get you the most benefit the quickest, and how to approach drawing strategically.

The important part to understand is that you'll be doing more than anything else. You're here to make type, and we're here to show you how and give you feedback. You'll be tuning in to live videos each week, where you'll be following along as we demonstrate & draw in realtime.

And then the real work comes from you working on your own project between each week. We'll use your and your classmate's work each week to critique, showing everyone how to improve drawing, design, and fundamental letterforms practically.

The concepts of these first two tiers equip you with the mindset and techniques (and tech) to rapidly achieve awesome, effective, professional-quality lettering, and gives you good fundamentals to go forward.

Course IIIWeeks 7, 8, and 9

Beginning Type Designerincludes First Foundations + Learning Lettering

If you're here for the meat, potatoes, and homemade bread of making your first font from scratch, this is where you need to be.

While you get great foundations with the first two tiers, you'll end up with only a handful of the beginning characters in a full font — that's perfect for what some folks are looking for, but for you, you're interested in making it complete.

In these next 3 weeks, you'll be going from prototype to font. You'll discover how to re-use the work you learned in the first two tiers pragmatically, re-using pieces, learning new professional techniques to expand your characters into a full lowercase & uppercase set, with punctuation & symbols.

We'll be moving fast, but by now you'll have learned techniques, gotten critiques and feedback from us and your classmates, and will be more confident in drawing, moving quicker, and seeing your letters as a system that works together.

We'll include professional type design proofing sheets that we ourselves use to test characters with your eyes, off-screen, for free. You'll get more detailed feedback, more fine-grained critiques, and we'll be holding your hand less — to show you that you ride your own typoraphic bike yourself.

You'll walk away feeling like you can make an entire font. Because you'll walk away with an entire font, that you designed yourself.

Course IVWeeks 10, 11, and 12

Mastering Your First Fontincludes First Foundations + Learning Lettering + Beginning Type Designer

For those of us who are serious about taking this craft to the next level, for those of you want to publish your font, distribute your font, and — even better — sell your font, we're offering this final, crucial piece just for you.

Besides getting a slew of important benefits — like more detailed, professional proofing sheets for free, a smaller group of similar peers to critique with, and more direct access to personal instructor feedback on your work, there's an unmatchable benefit to following through completely in mastering.

Mastering enables you to start selling your fonts.

Of course, there's plenty that goes into selling besides just mastering, but we'll be teaching you what you need to submit your fonts to places like MyFonts, Google, and even The League itself.

Let alone the understanding you need to sell fonts yourself, making sure they're professional quality. With the right strategy, following through to the end could give you the tools to help you earn back the amount you're spending to learn — and start a career for yourself as a type designer.

There's a lot of finesse that goes into a professional-quality typeface, and if you're interested, we want to teach you everything. These last 3 weeks will focus heavily on your font, critiquing your system, and helping you learn some of the finer finishing techniques that will kick it up a notch.

We're going to show you things like:

  • Kerning groups
  • Punctuation class groups
  • Finishing numeral systems
  • and even file mastering

And of course, the biggest win of these last few weeks is that you'll get personal, hands-on mentorship from us specifically on your work. You'll have professionals critiquing your stuff each week, helping you get exactly where you need to be.

But I’m a newbie — don’t I need experience?

Yes. And you’re going to get it right here.

We care a lot about making sure you’re successful with this course, so we’ve got a plan to help you prepare and get up to speed before hitting the hard stuff — that’s part of the design of the course. We’ll be giving you homework — sometimes in the form of research and critical analysis, sometimes in the form of literally drawing characters — and if you can commit to it, we believe in you and your ability to learn this stuff.

We’ll be giving you extra resources to help with the hard areas, connecting you with other students to help each other, and, if you’re interested and brave enough to really go for it, we’ll be offering direct mentorship and one-on-one feedback on your work.

How does the course work? What’s the schedule?

We have plenty of experience with both teaching and type design, but this is our first League course, and we’re really dedicated to making sure it’s an amazing experience.

What we’re offering here is a livestreamed course — starting January 2018, each week, we’ll meet on Wednesday evenings, from 7:30pm - 8:30pm EDT. Understandably, that timezone won’t work for everyone, but the benefit to doing this livestreamed is enormous.

For one thing, we’ll be able to talk in realtime to answer your questions, clarify the hard lessons, and adjust our teaching based on what’s best for the class as we do it. You’ll have support from both your main instructor and a co-instructor, there to offer you real help as we cover tough topics.

But then, right after, from 8:30pm - 9:30pm EDT each week, we’ll be having livestreamed, TypeThursday-style critiquesfour 15 minute slots to share your current work in progress andget feedback directly from your instructors. This is invaluable expertise immediately at your fingertips each week, whether you’re getting feedback or watching a critique of your fellow classmates’ work.

And the further into the course you go, the more intimate and direct that feedback gets. Our most valuable top tier pricing includes time each week to get direct feedback with your instructors on your work – once we get to the final mastering stages of really polishing your typeface, you’ll want that expertise giving you concrete suggestions on how you can improve.

We care a lot about making sure you're super satisfied with this course. And we want you to kill it in this course.

So first, we're offering the entire first 3 weeks for free. If you're unsure, sign up for free — then upgrade to the level excites you after seeing how much you love it.

We're also providing a live course, that seriously depends on you showing up and putting in effort. If you show up and try, aren't pleased, and want a refund, you got it.

Course IWeeks 1, 2, and 3

The First FoundationsA free introduction to type design

  • 3 weeks of intro type education, 100% free
  • Get introduced to the interface of our favorite font editor
  • Turbo charge your understanding of both serif and sans serif.
  • Rapidly upgrade your sensibility for typographic style
  • Save yourself hundreds of hours and learn how fonts pair with each other.
+ Amazing Freebies 🎉
  • Free Glyphs & Type Anatomy Cheatsheets
  • 1 month free League Membership
Course IIWeeks 4, 5, and 6

Learning Letteringincludes First Foundations

  • 6 action-packed weeks of hands-on education
  • Expert guidance on how to start your font projects on the right foot
  • Weekly live lessons to teach you the begining steps to custom lettering
  • Exclusive weekly live critiques with fellow classmates & your instructors
  • Level up your digital draftsmen skill with bezier curves and vector paths.
  • Gain the satisfaction of making your own font in weeks rather than years.
+ Amazing Freebies 🎉
  • Free Glyphs & Type Anatomy Cheatsheets
  • Recordings of each weekly live lesson
  • 2 months free League Membership
Course IIIWeeks 7, 8, and 9

Beginning Type Designerincludes First Foundations + Learning Lettering

  • 9 weeks of professional education
  • Create your first full-character font, complete with uppercase, lowercase, and punctuation
  • Weekly live lessons to teach you all the necessary steps to creating your font
  • Exclusive weekly live critiques with fellow classmates & your instructors
  • Direction to help develop a full and functional font for your projects.
  • A methodical process in kerning for perfect spacing.
+ Amazing Freebies 🎉
  • Free Glyphs & Type Anatomy Cheatsheets
  • Recordings of each weekly live lesson
  • Exclusive proof documents to take your project to the next level.
  • 3 months free League Membership
Course IVWeeks 10, 11, and 12

Mastering Your First Fontincludes First Foundations + Learning Lettering + Beginning Type Designer

  • 12 in-depth weeks of serious, pro-level education
  • Ensure your hard work looks great on screens with hinting.
  • Weekly live lessons to teach you advanced production-quality mastering techinques
  • Exclusive weekly live critiques with fellow classmates & your instructors
  • Allow your font be used by any computer in the world with mastering.
  • Get your artistic expression in the hands of others with distribution.
  • Get personal, actionable feedback on getting your font ready to sell, share, and deliver
+ Amazing Freebies 🎉
  • Free Glyphs & Type Anatomy Cheatsheets
  • Recordings of each weekly live lesson
  • Exclusive proof documents to take your project to the next level
  • Professional templates for proofing, ultra-tailored to mastering & kerning
  • 4 months free League Membership

Design & production copyright 2009 - 2017 by Micah Rich, The League of Moveable Type, and individuals as credited. All fonts from The League of Moveable Type are subject to the Open Font License and are free and open-source.