A Quick Guide to Type Anatomy

Ever want to design lettering that causes eyes to glaze over in amazement, such as the letterings of Jessica Hische or Louise Fili? The first step is to learn the basic letterforms. From HOW Design University’s course with Type Camp, Letterform Design, we grabbed some useful diagrams on type anatomy.

Letterform Design covers how to design lowercase letterforms of the entire alphabet plus symbols. Dr. Shelly Gruendler from Type Camp says that the goal of the course is to have the students experiment: “I’ll be there to point them in a direction, but I want them to try and screw up and create ugly things and then realise it’s ugly (but doesn’t matter) and then learn from it.”

View the basics of typography letters in the diagrams below and begin your journey to designing letterforms.

A Quick Guide to Type Anatomy

typographic-nomenclature

counter-stem-aperture-bowl

crossbar-arm-legs

With the knowledge of typography anatomy under your belt, and with tons of practice, you’ll be on your way to designing captivating lettering.


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If you have beautiful lettering, we would love to see them. Enter them into the Type and Lettering awards! Deadline to enter is October 14.

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