I am a technical guy (software developer) and for some inexplicable reason kind of love looking at text or typesetting design (is that even the right phrase?) . I love what graphic designers create, but I hate what I create. I would like to learn how to choose fonts, layout text and develop interesting color pallets. Are there any good books out there (I prefer books) or websites that can teach this type of thing for a complete beginner with little creative ability? Or am I doomed by the lack of intrinsic creativity?

The type of thing I would like to be able to do better is pictured below. I created a routine to generate these headers for a travel blog I am going to create while traveling the world over the next year. Any thoughts on how to improve the banner is greatly appreciated, but I am really looking for resources that will teach me to do better.

Thanks in advance!

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1 Answer 1


I really recommend getting a copy of "Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works" by Erik Spiekermann and E.M. Ginger. The book does a fantastic job of explaining the basic principles behind type and typesetting and is fairly understandable even by folks who don't have domain knowledge in design or typography. And then I'd also recommend hanging out on typophile forums: http://typophile.com/forums where you can converse with actual typographers and see how fonts get created, see how others approach type problems and resolve them.

Thoughts on your banner - you can tighten up the kerning between the A and Y in "Day" and also add a bit more kerning between the bullet and 3. Keeping things all in upper case can reduce legibility (its harder for people to read) but I wouldn't worry too much about that if you like the "style" it gives to your piece.

Anyway, hope this helps.

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