Type 1 Fall 2018

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Week 8 HW


In this project you will create a type specimen that shows off the formal and graphic qualities of a typeface of your choice. After using only Helvetica and Minion for most of the semester, you probably have a more informed idea on the strengths and weaknesses of both typefaces. However, so far we’ve been only scratching the surface. The goal of this project is for you to get acquainted with a different typeface by learning about its history and using it extensively.

Design and produce a 16-page type specimen with additional type specimen sheet inserts. 

A type specimen is a booklet that demonstrates the range of a typeface, applied to headlines and text in a variety of sizes. Each variation of the typeface should be labelled on the page. Type specimens have existed for centuries to help designers pick a font for a project. Type specimens today can be wildly flamboyant or classical in their approach. See the Resources section below.

Choose a typeface for your project that has a substantial number of styles, such as Univers, Helvetica, Caslon, Baskerville, Garamond, Futura, or Bodoni for example. Look at a variety of typefaces before you choose one, and be sure that you have access to a good “cut” of the face (a full type family). I must approve of your choice.

Gather text for your project by researching about your typeface either online or at the library. Make sure to check out the Resources section on this blog entry.

As a starting point, you must fill out the form below before the end of class and use that information on your type specimen. Feel free to revise and expand that information on your type specimen. I expect you to know this information whenever we discuss your specimen during critiques.

Name *
Write a brief historical/factual description of the typeface. Please don't forget to cite your sources.

All the information from your in-class research is required. You are welcomed to revise and expand your research during the week. 

For all other content, you're free to use any piece of literature that is under a Creative Commons license. Make sure to check out Project Gutenberg and other links on the Resources section of this blog entry.


  • Size: 5 x 7 inches (10 x 7 inches spread) or 5 x 5 inches (10 x 5 inches spread). You may choose either one of those two sizes for all versions of your type specimen.

  • You must use Master Pages to set up your grids (columns, rows, and baseline grid) as well as page numbers and any other relevant information.

  • You must offset your text boxes to leading and align your text to the baseline grid. See Week 7 HW settings.

  • You must have a cover page, colophon, and a table of contents in your total page count.

  • You must use text and paragraph styles.

  • You are only allowed to use black and white—gradients, other colors, transparency, or gray values are not allowed.

  • The type family must have more than 4 styles and must include obliques or italics.

  • Binding: Staple Saddle Stitch (this method requires back-to-back printing).

    How to bind a book with staples (saddle stitch binding)

    DIY Staple Saddle Stitch Bookbinding Tutorial | Sea Lemon


  • Week 8 (in-class): First draft of the type specimen. Use the content that you submitted on the Research form and the word "Hamburgefontsiv" set on your typeface in every weight and style in which it is available.

  • Week 9: Three 8-page versions of your type specimen (formal, graphic, and experimental).

  • Week 10: One 16-page version of your type specimen and three type specimen sheet inserts. 

  • Week 11: Revised and final version of your 16-page type specimen with three type specimen sheet inserts.

This assignment was adapted from Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton


BELY by Roxane Gataud


ROBINSON by Greg Gazdowicz


Our favorite Typefaces of 2017 by Typographica


For Reference























Bring 3 printed and assembled Type Specimens — 8 pages each.
Export and email me PDFs of your specimens with the following naming convention:

  1. YourName_TypefaceName_TypeSpecimen_Function.pdf

  2. YourName_TypefaceName_TypeSpecimen_Form.pdf

  3. YourName_TypefaceName_TypeSpecimen_Experimental.pdf

Version 1 — Function
This version focuses on function over form. Make a type specimen that shows the typeface's formal qualities. Establishing a concise grid, a clear hierarchy, a balanced layout, a clarity of intention will make this design successful. In order to get you in the right mindset, think of this: you're trying to sell this typeface to a person who is looking for performance. This person is a Creative Director, has a refined visual taste and years of design experience. You're trying to show them how this typeface works in different typographic scenarios. Whether the typeface works best in large headlines or small lines of text. It’s you job to figure out, through testing, how to make your typeface looks its best.


  • Specimen Cover

  • Typeface History (Research)

  • Type Designer(s) Biography Extended (Research)

  • Showings of all the fonts in the typeface using the word Hamburgefontsiv or a word that shows the key characters of the typeface

  • Short paragraph samples showing each font in the typeface

  • A sample page or a spread showing how all the fonts work together

Version 2 — Form
This version focuses on form over function. Make a type specimen that shows the typeface's more graphic qualities. All of the tip for success from version 1 apply to this version. In order to get you in the right mindset, think of this: you're trying to sell this typeface to a person who is looking for something unique. This person is a Senior Designer and will be working directly with the typeface everyday. They’re looking for something that is not only a workhorse but can also possibly shine on a book cover, if necessary but not a requirement. Showing that the typeface is versatile but also has charm—loud and quiet moments—will make this type specimen successful.


  • Specimen Cover

  • Type Designer(s) Biography Brief (Research)

  • Type Designer(s) Typographic Portrait

  • Character Set

  • Typeface anatomy spread showing key characters of the typeface and highlighting important details.

  • Large-size showings of each font

  • Fonts in Use

Version 3 — Experimental
This version focuses on personal expression. Make a type specimen that shows your taste as a designer. All of the tip for success from version 1 and 2 apply to this. In order to get you in the right mindset, think of this: The Creative Director and Senior Designer are almost sold on the typeface. However, they still want to see how far the typeface can be pushed (graphically speaking) before it stops working. Your task is to show them how you personally see this typeface being used.


  • Specimen Cover

  • A mix of large and small size showings in playful compositions

  • Fonts in Use

  • Mockups of designed objects

Answer the following questions:

Name *

Type Specimens List

Alfonso 👉 Alegreya Sans

Allen 👉 Roboto

Chris 👉 Escrow

David 👉 Rubik

FX 👉 Neue Haas Unica

Hannah 👉 Signo

Jayy 👉 Input Serif

Liping 👉 Josefin Sans

Lupe 👉 Spectral

Qingqing 👉 Noto Serif

Rosalie 👉 Nunito

Shara 👉 Mrs Eaves XL

Teng 👉 PT sans