Become a better designer through a deeper knowledge of creating and using typography

Typography is the foundation of all graphic design. And if there’s one sure way to improve as a graphic designer, it’s to become more confident and more sophisticated in your use of type. Evolved from hundreds of years of craft, typography has more than its fair share of rules and conventions. If you’re aware of them, it’s all to easy to make mistakes. Just knowing what not to do, can significantly improve the quality and credibility of your type. And once you become sensitive to type, your eyes are opened to the importance of detail and nuance in typography. It’s a whole new way of seeing.

But there are also times when these rules, once learnt, can, and should, be broken. To quote influential type designer Jonathan Barnbrook, “learn the basics, then your work will have the underlying authority to be subversive.”

Using Adobe InDesign as our primary tool, this workshop takes a detailed look at core typographic concepts like readability and legibility, type color, leading, kerning, tracking, and optical alignment. We’ll look at the messages—intentional or otherwise—that our type choices send, and how to effectively choose and combine typefaces. As the week progresses, we’ll take a hands-on look at the benefits (and rigors) of working with grids. We’ll venture where few fear to tread into InDesign’s hyphenation and justification settings and drill down to the most arcane of type-related preferences. There’ll also be opportunity to look at InDesign’s extensive OpenType features to see how using them can really elevate your typography and make your work stand out from the crowd.

Most importantly, we’ll examine why all these things are necessary, how they are applied, and how much is enough.

Practical exercises and projects involve working with type in a number of different scenarios: in posters, books, magazines, digital magazines, and epubs.

By the end of the workshop, you’ll have a solid understanding of the full range of InDesign’s type capabilities—and you’ll be a better designer because of it.

Prequites: Students should have some experience working with Adobe InDesign.


Nigel French

Nigel French is a graphic designer, author, artist, and trainer with more than twenty years experience in the graphic arts. He is author of InDesign Type: Professional Typography with Adobe InDesign, and Photoshop Unmasked (both published by Adobe Press), as well more than 30 titles in the online training library. He is based in Brighton, UK.

His work can be seen at

© Nigel French

Course Dates

Oct 18 to Oct 24



Class Size