Tt TotallyType

Totally Type Lessons

TotallyType lessons were written as a resource for educators to expand their curricula and as as a crash course for professionals entering new mediums or students learning typography for the first time. Each lesson is positioned within the larger system and subsystem it is part of and scaffolds knowledge to form a holistic view of typography. Seventeen lessons are currently offered with more on the way.


Typography is an all-encompassing field, the rendered character. Chapter one provides the necessary foundation for working with the many applications of type. We will learn how to classify and place typefaces into context by examining how typographers have responded to technical and social change and introduce the terminology and technology behind digital type.

  1. What is Typography?the rendered character

  2. History & Classificationfrom 1440 to today

  3. Familiestypefaces, fonts, families, superfamilies

  4. Measuring Typethe five units of type


A typeface is a system of stylistically related characters; uppercase and lowercase, letters, numbers, punctuation marks and symbols. We already know what most of these shapes are but it is through understanding their form that we learn to use them. This chapter covers the parts of characters and how to use them across media.

  1. Anatomy the parts of a character

  2. Punctuationhyphens, dashes, quotes & more

  3. Figuresnumbers


The primary goal or function of typography is to convey a message and make that message accessible. In this chapter we will explore how the relationship between multiple characters and the space between them affects the legibility and readability of type.

  1. Reader Experiencelegibility, readability & accessibility

  2. White Spacethe invisible characters

  3. Kerningthe space between characters


In this chapter, we will learn to set running text by exploring the relationship between words, sentences, blocks, and the page. We will also cover font selection and pairing, emphasis, and working with reversed type.

  1. Selecting & Mixing Typefacesan interactive app

  2. Size & Measureproximity, characters and words per line, & columns

  3. Line Spacingthe space between lines

  4. Alignmentalignment, justification, rags, widows, orphans, & hanging punctuation

  5. Indentationindents, drop caps, initials & paragraph formatting

  6. Emphasisthe exaggeration of words in a text

  7. Reversed Typewhite text on a black background