Dissertation on anatomical relationships among characters of a typeface



The number of people who design typefaces has increased drastically in the last twenty years. The digital revolution made it possible for anyone with access to a computer to design typefaces. However, not all typefaces work as they should: as a group of characters with shared attributes. This is the subject of this dissertation: to identify the characteristics that make a typeface work as a whole.

First of all, research is done to fully understand the reason for the existence of these relationships between letters and also to be aware of what has already been written about this subject.

The information obtained in the research stage is further increased by conducting several interviews to type designers — Artur Schmal, Bas Jacobs (Underware), Dino dos Santos (DSType), Joana Correia, Paul van der Laan (Bold Monday), Ricardo Santos (Vanarchiv), Susana Carvalho (Carvalho Bernau) and Kai Bernau (Carvalho Bernau). The goal of these interviews was to fully understand the way type designers work: their work process and the rules followed when designing a typeface.

The third part of the dissertation consists in the analysis of all the characters of a typeface in order to try to identify patterns in their construction. This fills the remaining gaps of the information acquired in the previous stages. In this part some “rules” followed in the design of a text typeface are also written down.

Finally, the conclusions reached are applied in the development of an application. The main purpose of it is to make the designing process easier. In it, the user starts by introducing glyphs already drawn. Then he proceeds to identify parts of them which are then applied to the construction of the letters which have similar parts. This aims to reduce the time spent in an early stage of the design of a typeface.


Graphic design, Type design, Typography, Relationships between glyphs, Construction rules, Digital Type design

MSc Thesis

Dissertation on anatomical relationships among characters of a typeface 2013

Cited by

No citations found