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How do I Become a Typographer?

By G. Wiesen
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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To become a typographer you will likely want to receive some education in a subject area such as graphic design or a similar professional artistic field. While you may not need formal education on this subject, and a great deal of typography can potentially be self-taught with the proper resources and determination, a structured education can often make the process easier. You may also find greater opportunities to become a typographer professionally if you have a formal education and degree on your résumé.

A typographer is someone who studies, chooses, and creates fonts or typefaces for use in computer applications and printed media. While this is a somewhat specialized area of focus, it is also often an important one since the font or typeface used in a printed article or website can have a tremendous impact on how the site or publication is viewed by others. To become a typographer you should begin to study type and understand various aspects of typography as you move forward toward your career. You may also find that a formal education may make it easier for you to become a typographer.

Your education is probably one of the first things you should consider as you work toward becoming a typographer. You should start to learn about typography and begin to understand specialized aspects of typography, such as kerning, leading, tracking, the weight of letters on a page, and how fonts are created and used effectively. Even if you plan to go through formal education to become a typographer, you can give yourself a head start by learning about concepts like serif and sans serif fonts, line spacing, and how different typefaces can impact a reader differently.

This knowledge will help you as you pursue a formal education to become a typographer. You may want to consider a program in an area such as graphic design or a similar type of commercial artwork. These types of programs will often offer courses in typography as well and can be a strong foundation for your future work. Typography and graphic design can be somewhat insular industries and making connections with prospective employers through your education can help you become a typographer.

You may also find opportunities such as internships with graphic design firms, marketing companies, or similar professional artistic organizations. These types of opportunities are often easier to find if you are going to school to become a typographer, and may be harder to have access to if you choose to teach yourself. You should try to use any of these types of opportunities to gain experience and develop a portfolio of your work. It can also be beneficial to create your own website to showcase your typography abilities and to make the typography on your résumé as outstanding as possible.

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