typographer

erinww's picture

Hi Everyone..I'm new to Typohile, and I would like to know what process I should undertake in order to become a typographer. I have already graduated college with a degree in graphic design, but I would love to specialize in typography. Any ideas? Directions?

Thank you!
Erin

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Hi there. Well, my first suggestion would be to try to find a design studio that does a lot of book or magazine design -- that would give you the opportunity to set large amounts of text. Book design, especially, will allow you to do more nuanced work than in other areas of design.

charles ellertson's picture

Book interior design is fine, but remember that a degree in graphic arts could be a disadvantage. Rich Hendel use to say that the best training for book interior designer was to be a compositor -- or a simply a reader.

Remember that what's hot or new in the design world may address only a very small audience, which in a book is usually the wrong audience.

Of course, Rich's degree was in commercial art, so it can't be too great a disadvantage . . .

will powers's picture

Pull a book text off the web. Project Gutenburg, maybe. Then set it as a trade book. Work out the problems. Start with prose, fiction or non-fiction. Then do the same with a poetry text. Work your way up to a complex academic work with all sorts of apparatus. Wrap your brain and eyes around long text. Find typographers who'd be willing to critique your work. Revise the work. Then you'll have the beginnings of a portfolio and you can start looking for staff work or freelance work.

Forty years ago I'd have suggested serving an apprenticeship, but that's gone these days.

There are many days when I wished I had done more formal study in graphic design or commercial art. Just to have my eyes open a bit wider than they usually are.

Good luck. Keep your eyes on this site; at times we have enlightening discussions.

powers

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

And check out Typophile's own TypoWiki for a list of books about type and typography.

Nick Shinn's picture

If you are young and want to work with type, consider motion and the internet, rather than print.
Wouldn't those be growth areas, and don't they have room for growth?
Do you like Trollbäck's work?
For the internet, the challenge is to get things which are pretty basic to print (which I'm sure you're already familiar with through your studies) to work online, in html and flash. And you have to wrap your head around screen rendering and hinting, and if you can figure that out, and how to make type look good on screen, then that would be valuable to typography.

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