How do you practise?

I like to draw and paint. When I practise, I find reference photos to mimic still-life drawing. Every time I tell myself that I should practise (becoming a better type designer and letterer), I always get stuck as to how I should practise that. If you teach type design, what kind of exercises do you give to your students? As for the more technical aspects, I find tutorials on and try to repeat the techniques inside the application.



  • Practice looking at the white, to take it seriously; it's the hardest thing.
  • Michael ClarkMichael Clark Posts: 135
    "Practice looking at the white," in relation to the black!
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 960
    Try doing the hard thing long enough that you prefer doing it to the easy thing.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 594
    edited July 2
    "Practice looking at the white," in relation to the black!
    Indeed, as one thing. But looking at the black is so much easier, and formally taught so much more that the white badly needs the propping up.
  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 558
    edited July 3
    Hey @D. Epar ted, Why you think everybody is off topic here? 
  • I appreciate your input, but it wasn’t really what I was going for. I watched a video on Skillshare with Louise Fili in which she said she used to practise drawing letters from a book she had. I was wondering if that is something you do when you are studying type design—or is it all technical?
  • Practice is technical.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,132
    edited July 19
    I once practiced calligraphy, drawing a page of curves over and over again.
    In typography, I set type in Quark XPress to imitate, in facsimile, a page of old letterpress typography.
    In digital type design, I’ve used an existing font as a benchmark, trying to make my new type match (and better) its character count and readability; for instance, my Pratt body text font was designed to match Utopia in character count and x-height—even though it is a quite different genre.
  • Austin StahlAustin Stahl Posts: 48
    I came across your Typerobics a while back and have been borrowing the idea for my own practice — but weekly, not daily. (I'm not fast enough yet!) It really is a nice way to get some familiarity with a bunch of styles, and test out lots of ideas, in a short period of time.

    Another thing I like to do to practice my vector-drawing skills is to recreate existing letterforms by eye. I think continual feedback is an important component of practice — if you can learn to see when a shape or curve is not matching your target, you can keep tweaking the point/handle placement until you can see you've got it. No better way to learn how to create a certain kind of shape or curve than to trial-and-error your way into actually doing it.
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