82 top-quality typography tutorials

Whether you’re a creative director, illustrator or web developer – whatever your discipline, typography is an essential part of design. There are hundreds of paid-for and free fonts available these days, but when it comes to the art of type, you can never stop learning about it or improving your typography skills.

To help you out, we’ve gathered together the most amazing typography tutorials from around the web, which are bound to help you raise your type skills to the next level.

In this post, you’ll find typography tutorials in the following areas:

  • The basics and advanced typography skills (1-11)
  • Web typography skills (12-16)
  • Typography in Illustrator (17-23)
  • Adding colour to your type (24-28)
  • Learn type through games (29-31)
  • 3D text effects (32-38)
  • Fire up your type (39-41)
  • Snow and ice effects (42-44)
  • Make your type metallic (45-49)
  • Eye-catching type effects (50-58)
  • Design your own type (59-65)
  • Make a typography poster (66-68)
  • Illustrative typography (69-82)

Let’s get started!

The basics

01. A crash course in typography: The basics of type

Typography tutorials - the basics
First things first – master the basics

It’s probably wise to get back to basics before you go running off into the typography sunset. Here, Cameron Chapman gives you the lowdown on everything from fonts to displays.

02. A crash course in typography: Paragraphs and special characters

Typography tutorials - paragraphs and special characters
Designing headers and titles may be more artistic, but the set body text is just as important

In this typography tutorial, Cameron Chapman tells you that yes, designing headers and titles may be more artistic but the set body text is just as important. Discover why with this step-by-step guide.

03. A crash course in typography: principles for combining typefaces

Combining typefaces can be dangerous business, especially if you mix two thatcertainly don’t belong together. Avoid any upset with this typography tutorial that shows you the importance of contrast and mood.

04. A crash course in typography: Pulling it together

Now you’ve got the basics down and you’ve dabbled in paragraphs and combining typefaces, take a look at how to pull it all together. In this typography tutorial, Cameron Chapman rounds it all up and shows you how to finish in style.

05. Typography rules and terms that every designer must know

Typography tutorials - rules and terms
This article features a detailed glossary of its main terms

This article introduces the fundamental concepts of typography, followed by a detailed glossary of its main terms.

Advanced typography skills

06. Make use of grids for strong typographical layouts

Typography tutorials: well-planned grid
Typography tutorials: see why a well-planned grid is essential

Find out why a well-planned grid is key to creating a good typographical layout that is clean, consistent and easy to navigate.

07. Making sense of type classification

Typography tutorials: Making sense of type classification
Type classification, while helpful, is often convoluted, confusing and even controversial

Type classification, while helpful, is often convoluted, confusing and even controversial. Joseph Alessio gets to the bottom of what commonly used type terminology actually means.

08. Creating exciting and unusual visual hierarchies

In this typography tutorial, C Knight and J Glaser look at how frequently type needs to be broken down into different levels, such as topic, importance and tone of voice, and explore how this can be achieved visually.

09. How to work successfully with type in InDesign

Focusing mainly on the Character Formatting control panel, Jo Gulliver shows you how these options can be used on a day-to-day basis to help speed up your workflow in InDesign.

10. Old school type – line gradients

Usually present in wood engraving and sing lettering, line gradients are often shunned when it comes to a more basic design. Throw caution to the wind with this typography tutorial, showcasing how you can get that vintage feel with line gradients.

11. Beginners guide to open type

Jon Black offers an insight into the murky world of OpenType. In this typography tutorial, he’ll de-code all you’ve ever needed to know about this cross-platform type format. Don’t worry, you’ll be an expert by the end of it.

Web typography skills

12. How to create web fonts using code

Generative typography has become a popular field for graphic experiments. Here Andreas Koller explains how to use algorithms to manipulate glyph shapes for text visualisation and abstract font faces.

13. A guide to web typography

Web typography has come a long way in the past couple of years and you may be feeling a little lost. Graphic designer, writer and publisher John Boardley sets the record straight with this easy to follow guide.

14. How to use typography effectively in web design

After you’ve taken a look at John Boardley’s guide to web typography, this tutorial from Robert Bowen will show you how to take that new-found knowledge and use it effectively. You’ve no excuses now!

15. Avoiding faux weights and styles with Google Web Fonts

If you’re using Google Web Fonts on your websites, then there’s a very good chance that 1 in 5 visitors are seeing faux bold and italic versions of your fonts – even if you correctly selected and used all of the weights and styles. Laura Franz explains how to solve this issue.

16. Applying macrotypography for a more readable web page

Nathan Ford focuses mostly on a few simple macrotypographic techniques, with a dash of micro, and explains how to combine them all to build a more harmonious, adaptable and, most importantly, readable web page.

Typography in Illustrator

17. Create a typographic logo in Illustrator and Photoshop

Typography tutorials - create a logo in Illustrator and Photoshop
This tutorial demonstrates how to use simple Illustrator tools to create a trendy logo

This tutorial demonstrates how to use simple Illustrator tools to create a trendy logo. The process is quite simple and can be applied to all sorts of logos and illustrations for your future projects.

18. Cool typography with the Blend tool in Illustrator

This tutorial shows you how to create a text effect using the Blend Tool in Illustrator and then se Photoshop for some final retouches to make the effect more subtle. The technique is very simple and it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to achieve the same effect.

19. Create an airport timetable type effect

Typography tutorials - create an airport type effect
Learn how to use various shapes and gradient effects to create an airport timetable text effect

Typographic elements are ideal to create in vector form as you can scale and copy them as you like and change the colors to suit your designs. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use various shapes and gradient effects to create an airport timetable text effect that’s perfect for websites, poster designs or even logos.

20. Create an editable stitched label type treatment

This tutorial demonstrates how to create a stitched label, as well as editing the text and apply the treatment to other fonts and vector elements.

21. Create a broken plate typography effect

Typography tutorials: broken plate type effect
Use Photoshop and Illustrator tools to create this eye-catching effect

You’ll start in Illustrator in this tutorial to modifying the original font, then switch to Photoshop in order to play with textures and layer styles. You’ll also deal with selection tools and simple methods to create 3D illusions in Photoshop.

22. Create a bending 3D text effect in Adobe Illustrator

In this Illustrator tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a bending 3D text effect that will make any design stand out. In addition to using the 3D tools, you’ll layer letter shapes to create color shifts with gradients and highlights. You’ll also work in subtle patterns controlled with Opacity Masks.

23. How to make your type stand out

Alex Gill shows you how to combine Illustrator’s 3D capabilities with Photoshop work. This tutorial also covers the best way to manage your layers and how to add subtle lighting techniques to your type.

Add some colour to your typography

24. Create dynamic recessed watercolour typography

Typography tutorials: create dynamic recessed watercolour typography
Create a design from multiple reference images, a simple sketch, and your own ingenuity

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to mix vector elements and watercolour effects with text to create a stunning design. It’s a quick process that depends heavily on good choices of images and colours.

25. How to treat your type with neon colours

The best typography tutorials push the envelope and challenge the way you view design. Mateusz Sypien explains how to mix 3D and 2D for some simple, yet stunning text effects.

26. Add fantastic colour to 3D text

In this tutorial, you will learn how to bring a simple text to life and place everything in fantastic, coloured and glowing 3D space.

27. Get crafty with spray paint text

This is aimed at typography beginners and shows you how to create a legitimate spray paint effect that could come in handy for wallpapers. The techniques used are simple, so you’ll have no problems here!

28. Add depth and create colour reflection in text

Sometimes it’s the little touch ups that bring out the very best in your creative work. In this tutorial, you will learn to create a contrasting colour reflection which is not only elegant, but simply demanding.

Learn typography through games

29. I shot the Serif

typography tutorials: I shot the sheriff
Take a break with this Serif game

Learn typography through gaming! The aim of this awesome game from To The Point is to shoot only the serif fonts in the available time. Complete all the stages at ‘Director Level’ to beat the game. Good luck!

30. I love typography: The rather difficult font game

This game takes you through a series of various fonts which you have to name from a choice of four. It may sound easy but it’s not!

31. Are you a font nerd?

Do you know your Arial from your Helvetica? Test your type knowledge with this challenging game sponsored by MyFonts.com, that’ll probably show you that you don’t know half as much typography as you thought you did.

3D text effects

32. Create a 1980s-inspired 3D text effect in Photoshop

Typography tutorials: 3D text effect in Photoshop
Colorful gradients, lens flares, and textures are essential elements to any 1980′s inspired artwork

Colorful gradients, lens flares, and textures are essential elements to any 1980′s inspired artwork. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use Photoshop’s 3D tools to create a 1980s inspired text effect.

33. 3D ribbon wrapped text effect

typography tutorials: 3D ribbon wrapped text effect
Celebrate with ribbons and confetti!

This tutorial will explain how to use the Opacity texture map to create a ribbon-wrapped 3D text effect in Photoshop CS5 environment. Then, it will explain how to create the confetti brush and its layer styles.

34. Create a tasty 3D Typographic

typography tutorials: 3D type
Typography tutorials: Get your sweet fix with this 3D type

Mark Mayers indulges his sweet tooth, in this cute typography tutorial. Here, he’ll show you how to use Photoshop CS6 Extended’s new 3D tools to create your desired effect. You’ll be using lots of free stock imagery and other Photoshop features.

35. How to create isometric grid-based 3D lettering

Isometric-based letters are the perfect way to reflect structure in a display typeface, as Steven Bonner discovered with a commission for a magazine feature on contemporary architecture.

36. Master the fine art of compositing

Typography tutorials - compositing
Typography tutorials: An eye-catching cityscape with 3D and typographical elements

Alex Varanese builds a deconstructed urban environment composed of 3D and typography. Like many of the typography tutorials here, the results can be stunning. Armed with this knowledge, what will you be able to create?

37. Use PS action to create awesome 3D type

This tutorial will show you how to create 3D type in Photoshop, using a PS action in one of the steps, just to simplify the process. Let us know if it actually does!

38. Create a 3D vintage lightbulb sign

Typography tutorials: 3D vintage lightbulb
Create this eye-catching design with Illustrator, Photoshop and Cinema 4D

Great-looking 3D typography often involves the use of several applications. In this tutorial, find out how to create a vintage lightbulb sign using Adobe Illustrator to create and export the basic paths, Cinema 4D to create the 3D render, and Photoshop for post-production.

Fire up your typography

39. Nail the particle flame text effect

typography tutorials: flame effects
Try a different approach to firey fonts

Here’s a different approach to creating a firey text effect. This is an intermediate level tutorial so some steps can be tricky!

40. Get that perfect fire effect in Photoshop

Flames are particularly hard to render in Photoshop, but in this tutorial you’ll learn how to use a photograph of fire to set text to the match.

41. Smoke type in 10 easy steps

Want to create type in 10 minutes? Head this way! Here, you’ll learn how to create a smoke typography effect playing with some brushes and adjustment layers.

Snow and ice effects

42. Achieve frosty textures

typography tutorials: frosty textures
Use layer styles and a simple brush to create this frosty text

This tutorial explains how to create a frosting-ice text effect, using a couple of Layer Styles and a simple brush. It will also show you how to modify some settings to adjust the final outcome.

43. Ice text effects

Here you’ll practise a dozen methods of how to archive a frozen look on a desired text in Photoshop. One of the most helpful icy typography tutorials we’ve come across!

44. Get a glossy snow globe text effect

typography tutorials: snow globe effect
Start early on your Christmas card fonts

Perfect for Christmas cards and winter themes, this snow globe effect will certainly make you stand out. This tutorial explains how to create it using a couple of brushes and layer styles.

Make your type metallic

45. How to make metallic text

Typography tutorials: make metallic text
Create attention-grabbing text with this Blender tutorial

3D software offers great opportunities to create some truly unique typography. In this tutorial, discover how to create a big, bold, attention-grabbing title.

46. How to create eroded metal text With Photoshop

typography tutorials: eroded metal effect
Typography tutorials: Get that metal feeling with this eroded effect

Get an effect close to real thing with this eroded metal text tutorial. Throughout this tutorial you’ll make use of various drawing techniques, channels, and patterns.

47. Create high quality metal 3D text in Photoshop

If you don’t have a particular programme for 3D typography, never fear! This handy tutorial creates 3D effects using Photoshop and a splash of creativity.

48. Create a metallic treatment using Cinema 4D

In this tutorial you’ll will learn how to combine Cinema 4D and Photoshop to create metal textured 3D typography that includes ornate and decorative swirls. Nice!

49. Achieve a pewter metal style type

Follow this step by step tutorial to create a realistic pewter style metal text effect in Photoshop. The best part is it’s really easy! Just a couple of Photoshop layer styles is all it takes.

Eye-catching type effects

50. Awesome milk typography effect in Photoshop

typography tutorials: milk typography effect
Typography tutorials: Use Photoshop and Illustrator for this splash effect

This typography tutorial is brought to you by design blog Abduzeedo. Here, they’ll show you how to use Photoshop and Illustrator to create a milky splash effect.

51. Suspend your text

In this tutorial, you’ll discover how to give your typography a suspended effect, with a few simple steps. A quirky way to improve your text creativity!

52. Experiment with type in Adobe Flash

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to scan a text graphic and use its shape to create unique effects with ActionScript.

53. Text carving on wood

Text carving on wood is a brilliant typography technique that is perfect for projects such as invitations and brochures. There’s a few tricks to learn along the way so pay attention!

54. How to make your type melt

Here Steven Bonner show you how to take a solid object and melt it into liquid using Illustrator, Photoshop and a combination of filters and hand painting.

55. How to build type with pizzazz

The overriding theme of the typography tutorials here is one of experimentation. Who says type has to be plain to be bold? Tom Lane demonstrates how to draw on pattern work to add intricate detail to your type designs.

56. Playful typographic treatments

In this tutorial, Jessica Walsh explains how she created her ‘Prosperity’ typography out of geometric shapes, gradients, lines and a few useful Adobe Illustrator effects.

57. Super cool frilly bits typography

Embrace the frilly side of life with this tutorial from Abduzeedo. Gaining inspiration from a design by Ginger Monkey Design, they’ll show you how to achieve a similar style, by mixing various vectors.

58. Create a realistic fabric text effect

Another easy yet effective way to create realist text effects; this tutorial deals with the idea of fashioning plain text into something more.

Design your own type

59. How to make your own font

Jamie Clarke shares his process behind diving in and and make your own font.

60. How to design an intricate display font

This excellent example of our best typography tutorials guides you through the process of creating a detailed and eye-catching font from your vector creations. And without sacrificing quality.

61. How to design a headline typeface

Starting from the all-important concept sketches, Computer Arts guides you through the process of fine-tuning ideas into fully defined letterforms. Then, use Illustrator to transform your glyphs from geometric shapes into a final headline type.

62. How to design an experimental typeface

Typography tutorials: experimental typefaces
Typography tutorials: Sorin Bechira uses the Liquify tool to great effect

Sorin Bechira shows you how to create an illustration from type. See how he uses the Liquify tool to do this and how you can combine stock imagery with custom marks for some eye-catching results.

63. Creating a custom font

typography tutorials: create a custom font
Typography tutorials: Use the blender tool for custom made typography

You may think that the blend tool is only reserved for very special occasions. The reality is, is that it can be used on a regular basis to create striking typography. Find out how with this typography tutorial.

64. Learn to create a variety of script lettering

If, like us, you love a good script typeface then head this way. Jesse Hora uses Adobe Illustrator to showcase three different approaches to creating three different script fonts.

65. How to create roundhand lettering

Typographers and fans of creative fonts will be familiar with the work of self-taught, master pinstriper Glen Weisgerber. Painting letters for race cars, logos, guitars, trucks and motorbikes, Weisgerber has been at the top of his game since the 1970s and in this video tutorial he showcases his talents in a brilliant demonstration of roundhand lettering.

Make a typography poster

66. How to design a classic serif poster

Typography tutorials: type posters
Learn how to make a classic serif poster

From choosing the perfect font to bespoke glyphs and ligatures, Emiliano Surez reveals how to manipulate serif type in your design work.

67. How to create an impactful slab-serif poster

In this typography poster tutorial, Vilaz’s Pedro Vilas-Boas and Ctia Oliveira reveal some cool techniques for blending type and illustration in Adobe InDesign.

68. Use glyphs to create a striking typographic poster

Our pals over at Computer Arts are nothing short of brilliant. Here, they give us another fantastic tutorial focusing on glyphs in typography, brought to you by art editor Jo Gulliver.

Illustrative typography

69. Add an extra dimension to your type

Typography tutorials: extra dimension
Get that extra dimension without the extra software

Want 3D effects but can’t afford the software? Radim Malinic shares a shortcut for creating eye-popping headline typography without the need for plugins or 3D software.

70. Three ways to make elegant headers

This tutorial will explain three different ways to create very simple yet elegant header-style text effects, using only two Layer Styles.

71. Create elegant leafy lettering

See how well Illustrator and Photoshop work together with this nature-tastic tutorial. You’ll produce elegant leafy lettering that can be used for a variety of projects.

72. Create a smokin’ type treatment

Ryan Putman is a professional vector illustrator and all-round know-how of Adobe Illustrator. In this typography tutorial, he shows you how to get that Cowboy feelin’ with this rough and ready Western type treatment.

73. Music equalizer text effect

typography tutorials: music equalizer effect
Get the equalizer effect

After trawling the larger tutorial sites, independent Romanian graphic artist Alex Roman noticed a gap when it came to an effect such as this. He took it upon himself to create this awesome equalizer effect using Photoshop.

74. Add leaves to your text

This tutorial will take you less than an hour to complete in Adobe Photoshop CS5. The teacher claims the tutorial is pretty simple, so this is definitely one to try out.

75. Get glossy with unusual textured typography

This is a very simple way to create glossy particles within a textured text effect, using two Layer styles, and two Filters.

76. Create a furry Calligram in Illustrator

typography tutorials: furry calligram
Create a furry calligram in Illustrator

Sharon Milne has previously created the Meow Calligram and now she’s back – instead, channeling her creative energy from her dog Poppy. In this typography tutorial, she’ll show you how to manipulate a typeface through to rendering fur and adding those essential doggy features.

77. Melting honey typography tutorial

Typography tutorial: Melting honey
Have your typeface dripping with style with this tutorial

Create a buzz with this typography tutorial. Using Photoshop, you’ll have your typeface dripping with style following this simple step-by-step guide to creating a honey-kissed typeface.

78. 3D lighted text effect

Typography tutorials: 3d-light
Create a great 3D effect in Photoshop

If you love to indulge in 3D, take a look at this typography tutorial from Tranfuchsian – a blog for designers, offering plenty of free vector resources and articles. Here, they’ll show you how to light up your 3D typeface.

79. How to create candy cane typography

This sweet typography tutorial shows you how to create a candy-caned typeface that’ll make any design platform the cutest it can be. Along the way, you’ll learn how to create advanced vector pattern brushes and use adjustment layers.

80. Create a dream design with 3D typography

typography tutorials: dream design
Build a dreamy font

Here, you’ll create a 3D Typography based design. All the elements will revolve around the centerpiece and theme: dreaming. The word will dictate the entire layout, with trees growing out of the letters, mountains and a glowing moon.

81. Craft cool typography using paths in Photoshop

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create some ‘cool’ custom typography, using the Path option in Photoshop.

82. Learn to fold your retro typography

Using Photoshop, you’re going to create retro-looking text that seems like it’s constructed using folded strips of paper. Prepare yourself to heavily rely on Photoshop’s Lasso Tool, as well as some other basic tools and simple techniques.

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