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Typography is much more than just picking out a font from the pre-selected assortment on your computer. It is an artistic expression of language, based on precise positioning and appearance.

Typography encompasses all the tiny technical nuances and variables that go into creating that look that is capable of telling half the story on its own. It is very easy to distinguish the amateur typographers from the professionals, and with this course you are on the road to going pro.

Through the structure of studio lectures, in-class assignments, discussions, comprehensive projects and critiques we will explore the function and meaning behind typography. We will cover the history of typography and apply it to real world design assignments. Within these assignments we will discuss letterform anatomy and function; we will discuss how to choose an appropriate typeface and how to use this typeface effectively through the hierarchy of size and with leading, kerning and paragraph structure.

The assignments are designed to allow you to explore and apply the concepts discussed in each class. Each assignment is creative yet simple: we will repeatedly use letterforms in different ways to create a variety of printed matter.

It is imperative that you take notes and learn to apply the techniques we discuss in class to your every day design assignments. The instructor will always be available for help and will often provide extra material for reference outside the classroom.


  1. Understand typographic concepts and the application of these ideas towards real world print and screen design.
  2. Learn how to make appropriate typographic decisions.
  3. Develop skills that will take you from amateur designer to typographic professional.
  4. Practice presenting and critiquing work in a group setting.

About the Instructor

With 20 years of accomplishment in graphic design and advertising, Alfred Assin specializes in branding and identity. His work spans a wide array of industries, with clients including Douglas Elliman, Robert K. Futterman, GlaxoSmithKline, The Wynn Hotel & Casino, Cartier, Bass Shoes, and Maurice Villency. He has worked for top agencies such as Frankfurt Balkind and AgencySacks, as well as boutique firms like slover [and] company and Graj + Gustavsen. He maintains his own freelance consultancy, Mr. Grey, where he’s added UI and UX skills to his design toolkit, expanding his branding and identity work to websites and mobile device applications. Alfred is exceptionally attuned to client needs and adept in utilizing technology, design, and marketing strategies to maximize the impact of his clients’ advertising campaigns.

  • Logo Design by Brett Wilson

  • Dada Cookbook by Brett Wilson

  • Blue Note CD Cover by Emma Chao

  • Logo Design by Matt Hageman, Ela Prizmic, & Blanny Couto

  • Stacked Type Recipe by Emma Chao

  • Book Cover by Teresa Maciag

Upcoming Classes

  • No classes scheduled at this time.

Price: $750 Click for Discounts

  • 18 hours of Hands-On Training
  • Mac or PC

What You’ll Learn

Section 1
The History of Typography


  • A brief timeline of the history of typography and printing. Where did letter forms come from? How have they evolved through time? How does history and technology affect they way letter forms are used and how they look? What is Micro Typography? What is the role of typography within Graphic Design?
Type Classifications


  • What are the most commonly used type categories? How can a designer identify what classification a typeface belongs to?
The Anatomy of Type


  • What is a serif? What is sans serif? What is a stem? stroke? loop? bowl? ball terminal? We will explore the differences between both forms of type and all their idiosyncrasies plus discuss why choosing the right typeface is necessary for good communication.
Design Exercise


  • Contrast and form studies. Each student will select two letter forms from two different categories and combine them in expressive and contemporary compositions.
Design Assignment


  • Typographic specimen poster. Each student will be assigned a typeface and instructed on how to create a specimen poster.

Section 2
Old Style Typefaces


  • Brief lecture on “old style” typefaces such as Garamond and Jenson
Optical Spacing: Kerning, Tracking, Leading & Point Size


  • What is kerning? What is leading? What is point size? We go over these details and use InDesign to explore how amounts of space between letters, between lines, the size of letters and position can affect the content of a body of text.
Type Pairing


  • To combine or not to combine? What is the limit on the number of typefaces used in a single communication? What is a super family and when is a good time to use it?
Design Exercise


  • Five squares and ten inches. Students will experiment with justified blocks of text in varying weights, leading and point sizes to create balanced textural compositions.
Section 3
Transitional Typefaces


  • Brief lecture on “transitional” typefaces such as Caslon and Baskerville.
Indents, Paragraphs, & Justification


  • What are indents? What are paragraph breaks? What is justification? Through in-class exercises we will explore the ways paragraphs can be structured.
How to Rag Copy


  • We will explore what a “good rag” is. How to use hard returns and soft returns and what both mean.
Typographic Grid Systems


  • What is Macro Typography? What are the differences between manuscript, columnar and modular grid systems within publication design?
Design Exercise


  • Each student will be given text and a headline directly from The New York Times and we will work to design the texts in a graphic way using specific typefaces for the headlines and specific typefaces for the body copy.
Design Assignment


  • Students have to redesign an opening spread for an existing feature article from a magazine of their choice. This assignment will utilize what we’ve learned so far: point size, leading, kerning, paragraph rules, indents, and justification. Principles of editorial design will be introduced.
Section 4
Modern and Egyptian (Slab Serif) Typefaces


  • Brief lecture on typefaces such as Bodoni, Didot, and slab serif typefaces such as Clarendon, Rockwell, Courier and Playbill.
Font Selection Criteria


  • How does a designer select the right typeface for the right job? Does form follow function?
Design Exercise


  • Stacked type recipe. In this exercise students bring in a recipe of their choice and we redesign it as a stacked typographically graphic puzzle. Principles of block-set typography will be introduced.
Design Assignment


  • Alphabet collage: Using two of the typefaces we talk about in class students must design a collage of letters and numbers.

Section 5
Sans Serif I


  • Part one of the slide show and lecture on the history of sans serif typefaces covering Akzidenz Grotesk, Gill Sans, Erbar, Kabel, and Futura.
Type Foundries and Licensing


  • What is a type foundry? Are your usage rights for personal or commercial application? Are free fonts really free? How do generalist design firms and agencies license fonts for commercial use?
Design Assignment


  • Event poster. Students are given a choice of several unique events to develop an announcement poster that features typography as the primary focal point. Principles of poster design will be introduced.
Section 6
Sans Serif II


  • Part two of the slide show and lecture on the history of sans serif typefaces covering Helvetica, Univers, Frutiger, Franklin Gothic, and Gotham.
Masters of Typography: Past & Present


  • A brief survey of influential typographers and movements from Bauhaus, to the minimalist Swiss School, to the contemporary visual language of Reid Miles and his legendary Blue Note album covers.
Helvetica and Logotypes


  • An in-class discussion on the many applications of Helvetica for identity design.
Design Exercise


  • Blue Note jazz covers: In this assignment we study what made the Blue Note jazz record covers so visually arresting for their time and why they are still relevant today. Students will be assigned a musician and album and have to use design record covers in the Blue Note style.

Why Train With Noble?

27 Years of Experience

Noble Desktop has been teaching computer graphics and web development since 1991. In all those years we have perfected the craft of teaching. If students get hung up on any issue, we tweak the class to make it work better. Every instructor uses the same time-tested curriculum we have developed. Ask around: Noble Desktop has a stellar reputation for exceptional computer graphics training.

Our Teaching Method is Better

We don't ask you to simply "follow along," copying what the instructor does. Instead we ask you to focus 100% attention on the lesson at hand. Only after the lesson do you then put into practice what you have learned by working on a computer with our step-by-step workbooks. This "learn, then practice" method results in the student learning and retaining much more than traditional "follow along" classes.

We Wrote the Book Ourselves

Most of our classes include a custom training workbook written by our top instructors. Take it home with you: with step-by-step exercises and power-user keyboard shortcut guides, it’s like having a refresher course right on your desk. We wrote the book ourselves because we couldn't find any book that was good enough. Now our books are being used by other schools and training centers worldwide.

We Provide Computers, Mac or PC

Since when did training centers expect you to "bring a laptop"? Noble Desktop has always had classrooms full of computers, Mac and PC. Each computer is loaded with software and has a 19-inch monitor. The next time you are asked to "bring a laptop," ask why you aren't being provided a computer. Noble Desktop always has up-to-date equipment in our state-of-the-art classrooms.

Not Just Anyone Can Teach

All our instructors are working professionals who bring on-the-job experience to the classroom. But we don't just let anyone teach a course. How many experts do you know who can't teach? We've learned to audition and test our instructors. Only after they have been through our screening process will they be put in front of students. And they are required to use our time-tested curriculum, assuring a positive learning experience for all our students. Read our instructor bios.

Money-Back Guarantee

We’re the only school to offer an unconditional money-back guarantee. If within the first half of the class you don’t absolutely love it, we’ll give you a full refund. Please note any request needs to be made before the halfway point of any class.

We Are NY State-Licensed, and Adobe Authorized

When looking at a computer training school, check to see if they are NY State-licensed. Any school in New York should be licensed by law. Noble Desktop follows state-issued guidelines for curriculum development and teacher licensing. Adobe Authorized means our instructors have passed the rigorous Adobe Certification Exam, and that we follow Adobe's quality-control standards.

Our Students Love Us! 2200+ Testimonials and Counting

We offer our guarantee because we think we’re the best—but don’t take our word for it. Ask more than 2200 industry professionals who have enjoyed our classes and are putting what they learned to use on the job. Read their testimonials.