A type lockup is a typographic design where the words and characters are styled and arranged very specifically. Like the design is literally locked in placed. This idea is slightly at-odds with the responsive web that we know and love, where text is fluid and wrappable and whatnot. Yet, the design possibilities of lockups are very appealing. I think we can hang onto what makes them awesome will still holding onto what makes the web awesome.

First, here’s some examples of type lockups

So we’re on the same page here, let’s look at some example designs.


Image from here.

Image from here.

Image from here.

Image from here.

Image from here.

You get the idea, right? The type in these designs can’t just move around or the design will be broken.

You can find examples all over the place.

Some good places to browse are perhaps:

As fate would have it, I took a letterpress course this past weekend

And I learned that a “type lockup” comes from “locking up type”, as in actual wooden or metal blocks of type arranged together with other blocks of wood and metal to make a design that you can literally clamp together, ink up, and press to paper.

Seems like transferring the name “lockup” to modern design is fairly new:

Tiffany Wardle deSousa: I

A type lockup is a typographic design where the words and characters are styled and arranged very specifically. Like the design is literally locked in placed. This idea is slightly at-odds with the responsive web that we know and love, where text is fluid and wrappable and whatnot. Yet, the design possibilities of lockups are very appealing. I think we can hang onto what makes them awesome will still holding onto what makes the web awesome.

First, here’s some examples of type lockups

So we’re on the same page here, let’s look at some example designs.


Image from here.

Image from here.

Image from here.

Image from here.

Image from here.

You get the idea, right? The type in these designs can’t just move around or the design will be broken.

You can find examples all over the place.

Some good places to browse are perhaps:

As fate would have it, I took a letterpress course this past weekend

And I learned that a “type lockup” comes from “locking up type”, as in actual wooden or metal blocks of type arranged together with other blocks of wood and metal to make a design that you can literally clamp together, ink up, and press to paper.

Seems like transferring the name “lockup” to modern design is fairly new:

Tiffany Wardle deSousa: I