51 top typography tutorials

Typography tutorials
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The internet is full of typography tutorials, but sifting through them to find high-quality examples is no mean feat. We've found the diamonds in the rough and listed them right here, so you can bring your skills and knowledge up to speed.

You may be searching for a great introduction to the fundamentals of typography, or perhaps you're yearning to develop and extend your type abilities even further. Whichever your desire, you'll find what you need in this guide, which includes traditional text-and-images tutorials, animations, video and even games.

In need of a crash course in jargon, see our guide to typography design. And if you want to save a penny or two, check out these brilliant free fonts. But for now, we'll start by looking at tutorials to help you with mastering the fundamentals of typography – skip through to another page if you're after something more advanced.

01. The ultimate guide to basic typography

Typography tutorials: basic typography

(Image credit: TutsPlus)

If you're just getting started with type then this guide to basic typography will set you on the right course by teaching you the essential terms, clarifying a few terms that tend to get misused, explaining different types of font files, figures and symbols, and even going through some useful typesetting terminology.

02. Typography basics explained

Not sure exactly what typography terms mean? This video gives you a short and snappy overview of the six most important terms, namely typography, body copy, display type, hierarchy, kerning and leading. 

Six further terms (tracking, widows and orphans, serif fonts, sans-serif fonts and script & cursive fonts) are explained in part two, which you can watch here.

03. Beginning graphic design: typography 

This quick cartoon video from Learn.org, complete with a jaunty elevator-music soundtrack, runs through the basics of typography including the different types of fonts and common typography terms. You’ll find the text version of the tutorial here.

04. Everything you need to learn typography basics

This introduction to typography starts from the point of view of a marketing professional, who recognises its importance in strengthening a brand and highlighting the central message of a campaign. 

Author Brittany Leaning went on a typography course at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and here she explains the fundamentals of what she learned, including a detailed look at the anatomy of type.

05. Lecture 110: Introduction to typography

This video, one of our favourite typography tutorials, provides an academically rigorous overview of typography, including both a definition of terms and a practical guide to how to place text and create character and paragraph styles within Adobe InDesign CC

It’s actually a straight recording of a university lecture (by Grant Adams at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California). So you’re best off skipping the first three minutes, where the remarks are purely focused on the students about to take the course.

06. A crash course in typography: The basics of type

Typography tutorials: Axy typography explanation

It's probably wise to get back to basics before you go running off into the typography sunset. Here, Cameron Chapman gives you the lowdown on everything from fonts to displays.

07. Paragraphs and special characters

Typography tutorials: paragraphs and special characters

In this typography tutorial, Cameron Chapman is back to tell you that yes, designing headers and titles may be more artistic, but the set body text is just as important. Discover why with this step-by-step guide.

08. Principles for combining typefaces

Combining typefaces can be dangerous business, especially if you mix two that certainly don't belong together. Avoid any upset with this typography tutorial that shows you the importance of contrast and mood.

09. Pulling it together

Now you've got the basics down and you've dabbled in paragraphs and combining typefaces, take a look at how to pull it all together. In this typography tutorial, Cameron Chapman rounds it all up and shows you how to finish in style.

10. Typography terms every designer must know

Typography tutorials: rules and terms

Our article, Typography design, introduces the fundamental concepts and rules of typography, followed by a detailed illustrated glossary of its main terms. Learn about choosing a font, sizing, leading, tracking and kerning, measure, hierarchy and scale, and more.

11. How to work with type in InDesign

Art editor Jo Gulliver shows you some of her most valuable typographic tools in Adobe's publishing software. Focusing mainly on the Character Formatting control panel, she explains how these options can be used on a day-to-day basis to help speed up your workflow in InDesign.

Next page: more advanced typography tutorials

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Tom May

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.