• Your Type System

  • Design a type system that can accommodate any content you may encounter in your magazine page layout.

Type Selection

Be sure to choose a serif and a sans with a lot of variety in weights and widths. Set your titles in a sans and your body copy in a serif.

Your Serif

We have many of the same demands in this type selection as we did for the Grimm’s Pages assignment, they’re just not as stringent. It can be more stylish. You can choose something with a bit more character.

We must still have something with good readability. A tall x-height is good. A big glyph complement will help you tackle any demands of your content.

Your Sans-Serif

Here you want something with some real punch—likely a grotesque. It should really have impact. Also, choose a large family so you have options when designing titles.


Hierarchy helps us differentiate various types of content. Size is not the only way to achieve this differentiation, making some more and some less important.

Type Hierarchy

We can use type weight, width, size, capitals, colour, italics. We can have reversed type. There are so many options!

Hierarchy, but with finesse

We need clear differentiation between elements, but it can be done with some subtlety. All these pieces of type are the same size!

Subtle Type Hierarchy

The point is that you can establish clear hierarchy without making huge jumps in text size. As long as the differentiation between elements is clear. Also, we must consider accessibility. Be sure not to set type too light, or with similar colours, or low contrast.

Your Task

Your job is to find two typefaces, one sans-serif and one serif, to build a type system with the versatility to handle any content you may have in your magazine pages.


This project would be printed in full colour. We still need to choose two main colours for our magazine’s brand. What’s shown here are the colours I’ve chosen for this very web site. There’s black and grey for the text and for elements that need to be more quiet on the page, there’s 70% grey.

Magazine Colour Selection

The blue is the main colour for the site. It’s used for graphics and elements. The orange is used for alerts and other elements which really need to scream.

You should delete all swatches from InDesign’s Swatches panel. Add only the ones you’re going to use in your document.

You’ll assign these colours to specific type elements in your type system, as I did above. All titles of a given size and weight will be in a given colour.