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How To Make A Living Creating Fonts


A person sketching with the text "How to make a living creating fonts"

In the world of graphic design it’s can take you to many exciting specialties. Once you’ve learned the basics on design fundamentals and the essential programs, it’s good to start thinking about a focus. As a service provider, I would say that taking on clients is the fastest way to make good money and to gain experience.

It helps you understand your process, communication style, design preferences, and your own personal aesthetic even as you’re creating things for someone else.

However, you’re probably here because you’re wondering how you can make a living creating fonts, especially if you’re obsessed with typography.

And I know a lot of designers are looking more into passive income. If that’s the case, type design might just be for you!

What is a type designer?

A type designer is someone who dedicates quite a bit of time designing functional or beautiful letters. If you like the slow process (maybe you’ve been tired of the past-paced agency life?), this maybe an advantage. This is not a comprehensive or be-all-end-all list, but I’ve listed out a few traits that might make you love being a type designer.

  • You have great attention to detail – down to the last pixel
  • You love studying different shapes
  • You love design history
  • You’re obsessed with typography out in the wild
  • You like working in Illustrator (or any other vector-based program)

So, did you pass the test?

Like any other means of passive income, your bank account may not be swimming in cash until you’ve found a way to appeal to an audience or marketed your products effectively. It’s best to make sure you’re income is covered well before diving straight in.

Maybe you can cut some hours or work on weekends in order to create space for this new endeavor.

What are the benefits of passive income?

There are many benefits that come with switching to a passive income model as a designer. You could also pivot slightly by keeping your client work but adding a new passive stream of income.

Remember though that passive income is not all passive. You do a bulk of hard work at the beginning perfecting your product before it goes into the market. There is also some unpredictability with the timelines from creation to profit.

But once that’s established, it’ll be nice to know you can be making money while you sleep! After you’ve worked on the product, it can give you income for years and years, especially if you made a timeless creation!

Your only client from then on is the market. But if you’ve been struggling with teamwork or too much communication, then you’ll love working on your own.

What are the basics of type design?

As I mentioned before, it’s good to know graphic design fundamentals before jumping straight into type design. Self-taught designers often skip this step, but I think it’s important in order to have a strong starting point.

You should also be familiar with Adobe Illustrator and the pen tool. That’s going to be your best friend when creating your own custom letterforms!

Essential topics for type designers are:

  • History of typography
  • Elements of type
  • How to distinguish great typefaces
  • Functions of typography
  • Designing typefaces
    • Different categories
    • Strokes, weights, etc.
    • Variations
    • Testing & usage

How can you become a type designer?

As you’ve probably guessed, it takes time to learn a new skill! I’ve compiled some resources for you to check out so you can start your journey and make a living creating fonts.


So you want to be a type designer?

How to make a font


Cooper Union workshops



Type Design School

San-Serif Type Course

Design Masterclass


* This article contains affiliate links

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