Custom Typeface Portfolio: Tips for Typographers
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Showcase your best and most recent work
  2. Share the story behind each typeface
  3. Use high-quality images
  4. Include technical specifications
  5. Display the typeface in use
  6. Highlight your creative process
  7. Provide contact information
  8. Make your portfolio easy to navigate
  9. Keep your portfolio up to date
  10. Ask for feedback and improve

When you're a typographer, your custom typeface portfolio is a vital tool that showcases your skills and creativity to the world. It's like a visual business card that has the power to attract new clients, impress potential employers, and inspire your fellow designers. But how do you make your portfolio stand out in a sea of creativity? Here are some practical tips tailored specifically for typographers looking to create a memorable custom typeface portfolio.

Showcase Your Best and Most Recent Work

First things first—your custom typeface portfolio should always highlight your strongest work. The designs that make you proud and reflect your unique style are the ones that should take center stage. These are the pieces that will catch a viewer's eye and make them want to see more.

But remember, keeping your portfolio fresh with your most recent work is equally important. It shows you're active in the field, constantly improving, and staying updated with the latest trends in typography design. So, if you've recently created a typeface that you're really proud of—like that modern sans-serif for a tech startup, or the playful script for a children's book—go ahead and add them to your portfolio.

Here's a quick checklist for showcasing your best and most recent work in your custom typeface portfolio:

  • Quality over quantity: It's better to have a few well-crafted typefaces than a large number of mediocre ones.
  • Representation: Make sure to include a variety of styles and projects to show your versatility as a typographer.
  • Recency: Regularly update your portfolio with your latest work to keep it fresh and relevant.

Remember, your custom typeface portfolio is a reflection of you as a typographer—it's your chance to shine, so put your best foot forward!

Share the Story Behind Each Typeface

Every custom typeface you create has a story. It could be the tale of a late-night inspiration, the result of a challenging client brief, or maybe it's a tribute to a famous typographer who influenced you. Whatever it is, sharing this story adds depth and personality to your work. It shows that you don't just create fonts—you bring them to life.

For example, if you created a vintage-inspired typeface for a coffee shop's branding, share the story of how you researched historical typefaces, and the design process that led you to the final product. Or, if you designed a futuristic typeface for a sci-fi movie poster, talk about your love for the genre and how it influenced your design.

Here's a quick guide on how to share the story behind each typeface in your custom typeface portfolio:

  • Inspiration: What sparked the idea for the typeface? Was it a certain era, a specific theme, or a personal experience?
  • Process: How did you go from initial concept to final product? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
  • Result: How did the typeface turn out? What impact did it have on the project or client it was designed for?

By sharing the story behind each typeface, you are not only showcasing your design skills but also your ability to convey a narrative through your work. This is a great way to connect with viewers on a deeper level and make your custom typeface portfolio truly unforgettable.

Use High-Quality Images

Images speak louder than words—especially when showcasing your custom typeface portfolio for typographers. The quality of the visuals you use can make or break the viewer's impression of your work. So, it's essential to use high-resolution, professionally shot images that truly bring out the beauty of your typefaces.

Remember, you want your viewers to see every curve, every stroke, and every detail of your typeface designs. Low-quality images can blur these details and fail to do justice to your hard work. So, ensure you're using clear, crisp, and vibrant images that capture your typefaces in the best light.

Here are a few tips for using high-quality images in your portfolio:

  • Lighting: Ensure there's enough lighting when shooting your work. Natural light usually works best, but if that's not possible, use a professional light kit.
  • Angles: Try different angles to showcase the depth and dimensionality of your typefaces.
  • Editing: Use photo editing software to enhance your images. Adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation, but avoid over-editing.

High-quality images can portray your custom typefaces as professional and valuable pieces of art. So, invest in a good camera, learn some basic photography skills, and start snapping those stunning shots!

Include Technical Specifications

Just as a car enthusiast loves to know the horsepower and engine details, typographers too enjoy understanding the nitty-gritty of typefaces. It's important to include technical specifications in your custom typeface portfolio to provide your peers with a deeper understanding of your work.

Technical specifications are the nuts and bolts of your typefaces. They provide details like the font size range, weight, and style variations, and whether the typeface is optimized for print, web, or both. This information not only highlights the versatility of your designs but also helps other typographers understand how they can best use your typefaces in their work.

Here are some key technical specifications you might want to include:

  • Font Size Range: What's the smallest and largest size your typeface can be used at while still remaining legible?
  • Weight Variations: Does your typeface come in different weights such as light, regular, and bold?
  • Style Variations: Are there different styles available, like italic or oblique?
  • Optimization: Is your typeface optimized for print, digital, or both?

By including these details in your custom typeface portfolio, you not only showcase your technical expertise but also provide valuable information for typographers who might want to use your designs. In the end, it's all about creating typefaces that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but also practical and user-friendly.

Display the Typeface in Use

Ever bought a piece of clothing online, only to find it doesn't fit quite as you imagined? That's why dressing rooms exist in physical stores. Similarly, showing your typeface in use is like giving typographers a virtual dressing room. It allows them to envision how your custom typeface might look and function in their own designs.

So, how can you effectively display your typeface in use? One way is by creating mockups. Let's say you've designed a beautiful script typeface. Show it on a wedding invitation, a logo, or a fancy restaurant menu. Have you developed a clean, minimalist sans-serif typeface? Display it on a modern website, a brochure, or a tech startup's branding. This will give your potential users a sneak peek into the versatility and potential applications of your typeface.

  • Mockups: Create realistic mockups to show how your typeface can be used in different contexts.
  • Context: Provide examples of where and how your typeface can shine, whether that's in print design, digital design, or branding.
  • Versatility: Highlight the different moods and styles your typeface can help convey, from professional to playful, vintage to modern.

Remember, seeing is believing. The more typographers can see your typeface in action, the better they can understand its potential. So don't be shy—show off your typeface in all its glory!

Highlight Your Creative Process

Imagine you're at an art gallery. You're standing in front of a captivating painting, mesmerized by its colors and textures. Now, wouldn't it be fascinating to see a video of the artist creating that painting? To see the brush strokes, the color mixing, the moments of inspiration? In the same way, typographers love to see the creative process behind a custom typeface.

So, how about letting them in on your journey? By sharing your creative process, you not only tell a story, but you also show the effort, thought, and expertise that goes into your work. This can greatly enhance the value of your typeface in the eyes of fellow typographers.

  • Sketches: Do you start with pencil sketches? Share those initial drafts and doodles. They are often raw and full of character.
  • Iterations: Show the different versions of your typeface. How did it evolve over time? What changes did you make and why?
  • Tools: What tools did you use? Physical tools like pens and tracing paper? Or digital tools like Illustrator or FontLab? Sharing this can be both interesting and informative.

By highlighting your creative process, you give typographers a behind-the-scenes tour of your work. It's like opening the door to your studio and inviting them in. And who knows, they might just learn a thing or two from your unique process!

Provide Contact Information

Imagine this: a fellow typographer stumbles upon your custom typeface portfolio, falls in love with your work, and wants to reach out to you for a collaboration or commission. But wait, they can't find your contact information! That's like finding a hidden gem of a restaurant, but there's no sign of a door to enter. Frustrating, isn't it?

So, make it easy for people to get in touch with you. At the end of your portfolio, include your name, email address, and any other ways to reach you, such as social media handles. Your contact information serves as that welcoming open door for opportunities to find you.

But remember, the internet is a public place. So, do share your contact details, but always consider your privacy. Maybe you're comfortable with sharing your email but not your phone number, and that's perfectly fine. It's all about striking a balance between accessibility and privacy.

From potential collaborations to job offers, you never know what opportunities might come knocking when you open the door and provide your contact information in your custom typeface portfolio for typographers.

Make Your Portfolio Easy to Navigate

Imagine you're in a library packed with amazing books, but there's no catalog or system to find what you're looking for. Frustrating, right? Now, think of your custom typeface portfolio as that library. It's filled with your incredible typography work, but if it's not easy to navigate, folks might leave before discovering your masterpiece.

So, let's make sure that doesn't happen. Start by organizing your work in a clear, logical way. You could arrange your typefaces by date, style, or project type — whatever makes the most sense for your work. Then, remember to add clear labels and categories. Think of them as signposts that guide visitors through your portfolio.

And let's not forget about the design. Keep it clean and straightforward. A cluttered interface can distract visitors from your work. Think of your portfolio design as the frame that showcases your typefaces. You want it to enhance your work, not overshadow it.

Lastly, make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate on all devices. Whether they're browsing on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, ensure everyone gets a smooth, seamless experience. After all, you never know where or how someone might stumble upon your custom typeface portfolio for typographers.

So, take the time to make your portfolio easy to navigate. It's like rolling out a welcome mat for your visitors, inviting them to stay, explore, and most importantly, appreciate your work.

Keep Your Portfolio Up to Date

Let's be real, nobody likes to see stale bread on the shelf, right? The same goes for your custom typeface portfolio. Keeping it fresh and up-to-date is a must. Why? Because it shows you're active, evolving, and, above all, passionate about typography. So, don't let your hard work gather digital dust. Update it regularly with your latest and greatest creations.

Now, you might be thinking: "But I've been busy with new projects and haven't had the time!" Well, here's a tip: Make it a part of your routine. Set aside time every month or quarter to update your portfolio. This way, you're not only showcasing your most recent work, but you're also reflecting your current skills and style.

And remember, updating isn't just about adding new stuff. Sometimes, it's also about saying goodbye to old work. If you look at a typeface and think, "I can do much better now," it might be time to let it go. It's tough, I know. But remember, your portfolio is all about putting your best foot forward.

So, dust off those digital shelves and keep your custom typeface portfolio for typographers fresh, exciting, and reflective of who you are as a creative today. After all, you're not just showcasing your work — you're telling your story.

Ask for Feedback and Improve

Alright, let's talk feedback. It might be a tiny word, but boy, does it pack a punch. Especially when it comes to refining your custom typeface portfolio for typographers. You see, no masterpiece was ever created in a vacuum. Every great artist, including you, needs a fresh pair of eyes to spot things they might have missed.

So, how about asking a fellow typographer, a mentor, or even a friend to take a look at your portfolio? They might spot a detail you overlooked, suggest a different presentation style, or simply reassure you that you're doing a fantastic job. And the best part? It's not just about making improvements—it's also about learning and growing as a typographer.

Now, let's be clear: Feedback isn't always easy to take. Especially when you've poured your heart and soul into your work. But remember, it's not a personal attack—it's a chance to improve. So, take a deep breath, listen with an open mind, and then decide what to do with the feedback.

Asking for feedback and continually improving is an ongoing journey. It's like that endless pot of coffee that keeps us typographers going. So, embrace it, learn from it, and let it guide you in refining your custom typeface portfolio. And remember, every piece of advice is a stepping stone on your path to becoming a better typographer.

If you're looking to create an impressive custom typeface portfolio, be sure to check out Jasmine MacPhee's workshop, 'The Ultimate Role-Getting Portfolio Layout.' This workshop will provide you with the tips and strategies needed to showcase your typographical talent and help you stand out in the competitive world of typography.