20 great free resources for learning typography

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Whatever design discipline you work in, a decent knowledge and understanding of typography is one of the most important things you need to develop.

Luckily, the web is packed with free, quality resources for learning about typography – if you know where to look. Whether you’re a newbie starting from scratch, or want to build on your existing typography skills, you’re sure to find plenty to sink your teeth into with the following offerings.

01. Typography rules and terms every designer must know

Learn the basic terms and rules with this comprehensive introduction to typography

Typography is, quite simply, the art and technique of arranging type. It's central to the skills of a designer and is about much more than making the words legible. This comprehensive glossary sets out the fundamental concepts and terminology of typography in words you can understand.

02. Butterick’s Practical Typography

This free online book by Matthew Butterick, author of Typography for Lawyers, is a great introduction to everything you need to know about typography. The book begins with the five key rules of typography (which should only take 10 minutes to read and digest), followed by chapters on why typography matters, type composition, text formatting, font recommendations, page layout, and sample documents. With a comprehensive appendix, there’s everything here to help raise your typography knowledge from newbie to intermediate.

03. Infographic: a designer's guide to typography and fonts

The Logo Company's stylish infographic clearly explains the alphabet of typography terms

There's a lot more to typography design than meets the eye. In fact there are a range of rules and technical terms relating to the construction and make up of fonts that most people simply don't know about. To help demystify things, The Logo Company has put together this stylish infographic that clearly explains an alphabet’s worth of typography terms.

04. Typography cheatsheet

Typewolf’s cheatsheet will help you use typographic characters properly

Typewolf is an invaluable blog for keeping up with the latest in fonts and typography. And here it's supplied a handy cheatsheet to help you use typographic characters properly, including quotes and apostrophes, dashes and hyphens, and correct grammatical usage.

05. Master the finer points of typography

Typography is an essential part of the communication process, whether it’s used in print, on screen or in any other media. It’s used to attract attention, engage the reader and convey meaning, and this article explores the aesthetic dimension of type to see how it serves and enhances design.

06. How to choose the right typeface

When it comes to picking a typeface, you can't rely on gut alone. Making the right choice depends on function, context and a whole host of other factors. These quick tips will help ensure you go about it the right way.

07. Guide to font pairing

This article explains the basics of choosing great font combinations

Picking great fonts can seem like an impossible dark art for most people. This article explains the basics of choosing great font combinations and then offers the author’s favourite combinations to try out in your own designs.

08. Four techniques for combining fonts

Building a palette is an intuitive process, and expanding a typographic duet to three, four, or even five voices can be daunting. Here, Hoefler & Co explains its approach for mixing font families, by keeping one quality consistent, and letting the others vary.

09. Expert tips to improve your kerning

Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between letters to achieve a visually pleasing result. Some designers find it easy, others a tricky process where success is achieved more by luck than real judgement. This article brings together 10 tips to put you on the right track.

10. Guide to typography on your homepage

These top tips will help you nail the typography on your homepage

Typography can often make the difference between a good and a great website. This article brings together five tips to nail the typography of your homepage.

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