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Welcome to your monthly dose of Creative Fuel, our series that offers up helpful tips and tools to set your creative process in motion. Last month we got serious with Stephen King and the art of writing, now let’s play with type and have some productive fun.

 

Creative Fuel: Fun and Games for the Designer Brain

Playing games, such as those that test memory and reflex, is great exercise for the brain. Combine this kind of training with specialty fields such as typography and become a font of knowledge. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist).

As we pointed out in another recent post, typography plays a huge role in your design, especially when it comes to the web. It’s important to know how fonts are created and how to most effectively use them. It’s also beneficial to become familiar with typefaces so you know them by name. The games we’re showcasing here can help train your design-driven brain and sharpen your knowledge of type.

 

Master the Mechanics of Typography

Creative Fuel: Fun and Games for the Designer Brain—Kern Type

Kern Type, Crafted by Mark MacKay for Method of Action

Kern Type: Manually adjusting the space between characters can be a pain, but it makes all the difference in your design. With perfect kerning, text is more readable and designs are more aesthetically pleasing. This popular game can help train your eye and speed the kerning process. Just drag characters into the right place and see how close you can get to a perfect kerning score (based on a professional typographer’s solution).

Creative Fuel: Fun and Games for the Designer Brain—Shape Type

Shape Type, Crafted by Mark MacKay for Method of Action

Shape Type: Help finish the shape of characters by dragging anchor points and adjusting Bezier handles while you get a little history lesson on the typeface.

Creative Fuel: Fun and Games for the Designer Brain—Type Connection

Type Connection, A Typographic Dating Game by Aura Seltzer

Type Connection: Does a slab serif pair well with a script font? Learn the rules of font pairing with this hilarious typographic dating game.

 

Test Your Type Recognition

Creative Fuel: Fun and Games for the Designer Brain—The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog

The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog, created by Brazilian design studio ps.2 arquitetura + design.

The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog: Train your eye to spot subtle differences between different fonts with this matching game. You’re given two stacks of cards printed with the letter “A” in 25 different fonts. See how fast you can find a match. Practice enough and you’ll be able to spot the difference between Akzidenz Grotesk and Univers lickety-split!

Creative Fuel: Fun and Games for the Designer Brain—Font Fox

FontFox by Design Agent

FontFox: See how fast and accurately you can name 20 fonts with this stylish font recognition game. Tailor what font styles you want to learn and brag about your score on social media, all from your iOS device.

Creative Fuel: Fun and Games for the Designer Brain—Type War

Type War by eldarion

Type War: If you’re a beginner, try this rapid-fire type recognition game that serves up individual characters and asks you to choose which of the two fonts is correct.

 

Get the History on Type

Creative Fuel: Fun and Games for the Designer Brain—Type:Rider

Type:Rider by Bulkypix

Type:Rider: This gorgeous iOS app places you in a fantasy world centered around type. Guide your character, a colon, through rides and riddles that teach you about typography styles, techniques, as well as its history.

Creative Fuel: Fun and Games for the Designer Brain—What Type Are You?

What Type Are You? by Pentagram

What Type Are You: Find out what font best suits your personality and you might learn a lot about yourself as well as typography. Coming from the design powerhouse Parliament, this website teaches you the traits of a typeface and informs you about a font’s creation and development.

 

Any and all of these games can improve your knowledge of type and recognition of fonts. Play them when you have downtime or mold them into your daily routine. Make it competitive and invite your co-workers and friends to play along—we think your boss will approve of this productive and entertaining fun! Let us know which one you like the best or tell us about one we’ve missed below in the comment section.

Happy kerning and learning! Be sure to check back for a new edition of Creative Fuel.

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