Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
Illustrator: Type Selection


To learn how to choose the right font for the right situation. To study the personality of typface designs and its relationship to content.


Typography can enhance the meaning of words or obscure them. Under ideal circumstances, the way the words look should also visually communicate the meaning of the words. Alternatively, one can subvert the meaning of words by visually communicating the opposite meaning, thereby creating an ironic message. In this exercise, you will be working with pairs of words with opposite meanings. Your mission is to choose the best font for each word.


  • since each pair of words have opposite meanings, look for the greatest amount of visual contrast between the words
  • the best way to make font choices is by looking at font specimen sheets
  • consider whether the word should be lowercase or all caps (or a combination)
  • consider italics
  • consider tracking (tighter or looser)
  • compare several variations before deciding on a final treatment
  • make an attempt not to repeat any fonts
  1. download starter file
  2. open downloaded file "" in Illustrator
  3. practice Adobe navigation keyboard shortcuts: space=hand; space+cmd=zoom in; space+cmd+opt=zoom out; cmd+zero=fit in window
  4. using only fonts from Parkland's Core Fonts, choose the best font for each word (try to keep each word at 36pt and do NOT stretch or distort the type in any way)
  5. print a proof for small group critique; be prepared to justify your choices during critique
  6. make adjustments based on group critique (if necessary)


  1. clean-up your printable area and add credit: in 10pt Helvetica, 1/2" from bottom and right side of the page add:
    • Exercise 0: Type Selection
    your name
  2. print a proof for grading
  3. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

Last updated: 10/10/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young