Online course: Textual Elements of Design: Fonts, Typography, and Spacing (part of a long term online programme: Graphic Design Elements for Non-Designers)

Dates: any time

Duration: 13 hours

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 out of 138 ratings (see top rating courses here)

Participating countries: any country

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Organizer: University of Colorado Boulder at Coursera


  • FREE
  • $49 with sharable certificate

Textual Elements of Design: Fonts, Typography, and Spacing

Graphic design is telling a story by using both images and text. With that definition in mind, this course will focus on the textual elements of graphic design. From the history of typography, the difference between type, fonts and text as well as exposure to typography spacing, students will learn the value of selecting the best kind of type and combinations of fonts to get their message across in a visually pleasing manner.

What you will learn

  • Appreciate the history and future of typography as an artform.

  • Compare and contrast the similarities and nuances between the concepts of typography, fonts and text.

  • Work with the various aspects of spacing type, including leading, kerning and tracking.




WEEK 1: 3 hours to complete

History of Typography

This module will cover the history of typography, baseline basics and the anatomy of a typeface.

Course Introduction
Hieroglyphics to Printing Press to Digital Design
Baseline Basics
Anatomy of a Typeface

WEEK 2: 2 hours to complete

Typography, Fonts and Text

This module will cover the two main types of fonts and font pairings and hierarchy.

Elements of Typography
Font Pairings and Hierarchy

WEEK 3: 4 hours to complete

Typography Spacing & Sizing

This module will cover typographical spacing and sizing, as well as the concepts of alignment, leading, tracking and kerning.

Sizing Font
Leading Your Lines
Tracking and Kerning

WEEK 4: 4 hours to complete

Design Programs and User Experience

This module will review using type in various computer design programs. You will also get a chance to practice your skills in designing a brochure or postcard, focusing on the use of type in your design.

Manipulating Text
Google Fonts
Canva and Typefaces

Long term online programme Graphic Design Elements for Non-Designers

This online course is one of the parts of long term online programme “Graphic Design Elements for Non-Designers“, provided by University of Colorado Boulder:

Name of the course Duration (hours) Score Number of ratings
Basic Elements of Design: Design Principles and Software Overview 11 4.7 574
Graphic Elements of Design: Color Theory and Image Formats 12 4.7 378
Textual Elements of Design: Fonts, Typography, and Spacing 13 4.8 138
Print and Digital Elements of Design: Branding and User Experience 10 4.7 111