Computer Arts | Type Tips

I was asked by Computer Arts magazine to contribute to a ‘Type Tips’ feature
(with beautiful type illustrations by Deanne Cheuk) pulling together some great advice on typography, typographic design, illustrative type and font management. I wrote 4 brief pieces (see below) about Woodtype, Color in Type, Best Type reference, and Font Mangement.





Against the Grain: Wood Type

If you want to achieve the look and feel of wood type but don’t have access to a press, you can still capture the unique aesthetic using an alternate method. Purchase or find a physical set of wood type characters from a local defunct print shop, or ebay. Set your type, transfer it to a scanner, alter the type image in any way you want. You could buy a “wood type inspired” typeface, but there’s nothing quite like handling physical letter blocks.

Elements of Typographic Style

Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst is considered by many to be a typographic bible. If you’re serious about typography, study it’s history, learn the basics, and understand the guidelines until you’ve gained the knowledge to break them.
Also consider (among many others): The Typographic Desk Reference by Theodore Rosendorf, and the online resource I Love Typography.

The Color of Type

Most of what we encounter is black type on a white surface: books, periodicals, newspapers, documents, online, etc. The use of color with type, especially display type, can have a huge emotional impact on a project as long as much consideration is given to maintaining strong contrast, clarity, and readability. It’s common to work in black initially, adding color when appropriate.

Font Management

Unfortunately, when it comes to font management there isn’t a completely viable solution. This is a good reason to be selective with the amount of typefaces you collect and activate on your machine.
Collections can become bloated quickly, causing font management software to become unstable. I’ve tried several font management applications, but Linotype’s FontExplorer® has been most reliable.


  1. Awesome. Congrats man. I’m def coppin’ that issue.

  2. So cool. The cover looks like candy.

  3. Nice! I think the cover could be brighter, just my opinion.

  4. Wow that is incredible. I love the cover, it reminds me of those pencil puzzles, where you had to find your way to the center. The connection of the colors really make for an interesting perspective. Fantastic!

  5. Solid tips and commentary – Looking forward to seeing this in my hand

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