Teaching Thursday: Type Games

When you go to graphic design school, the biggest learning curve is in figuring out how to use type correctly. From kerning to justification to hyphenation to choosing compatible typefaces, it’s no wonder that type is one of the most difficult things students in my program have to master. Today on Teaching Thursday I’m sharing three games that will help you to hone your type skills while having fun!

Kern Type by Method of Action

Kerning refers to the space between letter pairs. Designers often have to manually kern (adjust) the space between pairs of letters in order to make the word look balanced, especially in larger type settings such as headers or subheads. This game asks you to drag the letters in a word left or right using your mouse and then gives you a score out of 100 based on how close you came to the right solution. I did this game last year and then again this year and noticed a huge difference in how well I scored!

Shape Type by Method of Action

Type designers go to school for years to understand how to design a typeface that works well down to every last detail. In this game you get to play type designer as you drag handles to reshape a letterform, much like how a type designer would refine their vectorized concepts. You are then given a rating based on how well you did and can compare your reshaped letter to the original typeface design.

Type Connection by Aura Seltzer

Love romance movies? The concept for this game is based on the metaphor of sending two typefaces on a date to see if they are compatible. The challenge is to choose a pair of typefaces that will work well together and not clash, just like designers do when creating books or websites. Choose from four different strategies (rely on family, seek the similar, embrace the other, or explore the past) and try to pick the best partner for your soulmate-seeking script. The game will overlay the two typefaces and explain their similarities and differences, making this a valuable teaching tool for anyone who wants to learn how to pair type.

That’s all for today! Let me know what you want to see on next week’s Teaching Thursday by leaving a comment below.

Till next time,


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