GrammarType is a modular type design tool. It enables the design of typefaces through the interactive creation of node-based recipes that recombine and transform input shapes into glyphs. In other words, the user creates visual grammars to build glyphs out of input shapes.



Designing typefaces typically involves the creation of geometric relationships between shapes which are repeated in the same letter and/or among different letters. GrammarType explores this logic, allowing users to create glyphs through step-by-step geometric operations performed on input shapes.

Figure 1

Example of a “type grammar”

There are three types of operation nodes: move, rotate, and scale. Relationships between nodes are established by links between themselves. The output of one node is passed as input to another, creating a flow of shapes from node to node. Therefore, any modification in an input shape or in any node is immediately propagated to the following nodes and consequently to the output glyphs.



Winner project (category of Interaction Design) in SELECTED Bilbao Bizkaia 2020


  • T. Martins, S. Rebelo, J. Bicker, and P. Machado, “Building Typefaces as Programs: A node-based approach for modular type design,” in Ninth Typography Meeting (9ET) — Book of Proceeding, Tomar, Portugal, 2019, pp. 64-78.