Course Description

Project Lab is a new series of online courses geared towards helping you build your skills as a graphic designer. These intermediate-level courses offer:

  • flexible learning options
  • no more than 20 students in a class
  • personalized feedback on your work every week
  • a digital certificate that demonstrates your accomplishment. 

Read our FAQ to learn more.

Course Description

In this course you will be bridging the gap between creative lettering and typeface design. You will develop an original idea for a typeface from initial pencil drawings to functional digital fonts. In the first section of the course, through your research and sketches you will identify an idea for an original typeface (of at least 26 characters) and begin building the formal vocabulary to support that idea. In the second part of the course, you will digitize and refine your font, learning techniques for drafting, spacing and font software development. You will finish the course with a new typeface in the form of a working digital font. 

Please note this is a process-intensive course. You will be asked to submit work-in-progress and/or specific assignments every week for feedback from the instructor. Doing so will help you succeed in the course, and it will also make you a better designer. To learn design, you need to make design! Read our Online Course Readiness Guide for more information.

Learner Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will: 

  • Recognize, express and analyze the ideas behind typeface designs.
  • Demonstrate several different approaches to ideating and sketching typefaces.
  • Review and practice key techniques for drawing typefaces such as Bezier curves, spacing and kerning strings, and proofs.
  • Create a working typeface that demonstrates a clear formal or conceptual idea.


  • Familiarity with vector graphics and/or experience with Adobe Illustrator.
  • It is recommended you complete, or at the very least review, CalArts’ course Introduction to Typography on Coursera before starting this course.
  • Open to artists aged 18 and up. 

This course is not available for enrollment at this time. Click "Request Information" to be notified when enrollment for the next section opens.