I stumbled on Skillshare recently and promptly signed up for emails, which is how I found myself in a free class called Typography That Works. Each lesson has a few videos that provide a bit of background and another video that generally walks you through the assignment. The project itself is broken down into small steps and you can check them off as you go with the option to share your progress and ask for feedback from your classmates. The big project is to design a business card. I am provided with business cards by the college and I’m not a freelance designer, so I’m designing it more as a calling card.
Since all these classes are designed by different people, I can’t speak to how Skillshare runs in general. This class was taught by Ellen Lupton of Thinking with Type. I can say that this particular class is very much focused on typography and assumes some background in design and associated software. This class seems to be directed towards the freelance designer and not to the “ beginner who wants to unlock the power of type” as the class was billed. It will not hold your hand and tell you the mechanics of how to make things happen. I’ve been using my beloved InDesign with side trips to Photoshop to blur out personal information and create collages of options before posting my project publicly. The last class in the series of three mentions specifically that the assignment works best with access to Adobe Illustrator, which I don’t have, so I was unable to fully explore the assignment as directed. I’ve also had some trouble because I haven’t been able to try out most of the fonts suggested. I’m wondering if it’s a Mac vs. PC thing, because I know for sure that have used some of the suggested fonts before. Anyway, I don’t suppose it matters that much because there’s always a substitute available. It would just be nice to be able to play around a bit more.
I’m pretty pleased with my final result, although the signature green color I used is much less electric in print. It’s interesting to really think about type and typefaces. I know that I’m sensitive to type as it relates to my name and how it is presented. M’s and G’s tend to be pretty distinctive letters, and I’ve been know to choose a typeface for professional documents like my CV based on how the G’s are designed. I’ve added Thinking with Type to my wishlist. If you are interested in a fairly quick, three-session workshop in the super slow January season, I recommend it.