Love letters? Crafting Type are concentrated workshops that teach absolute beginners how to create a typeface. You will be ushered through the entire type design process: from sketching secrets to digital drawing techniques to OpenType coding and more.
Our team of professional type designers reveals the secrets to crafting typefaces with an approach to teaching that is hands-on, encouraging, interactive—and fun!
We provide all of the necessary software, plus hundreds of fonts to study and play with. No previous experience of type design is required. We even cover how to earn money with your skills.
What you’ll leave with (in addition to some fond memories) are new typography skills, new tools for drawing type, and the first key letters of your own type design.
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Each workshop is taught by professional type designers. We keep the instructor/student ratio super low, averaging 12 students per tutor. Our team of instructors includes Dave, Alexei, Eben, Octavio, Vernon & Thomas.
Crafting Type workshops deliver typeface design skills in tutored drawing sessions punctuated by lectures. We believe learning by doing is essential, but we also teach you some theory to enhance your learning.
The first insight you will gain is how to avoid the fatal mistake that all beginners (and even some professionals) make when sketching letters. Then you take your sketches to a font editor and produce print outs with your own OpenType fonts.
The majority of our time is spent on crafting fine shapes that read well. You are in total control of your design, as our instructors help you understand how type works in response to your own creative output.
You will leave with a deep appreciation for the special design process that carries a typeface from its earliest sketches done with pencil on paper all the way to a monster 42 style family.
Graphic designers and illustrators looking to take their craft to the next level should definitely attend. Anyone else can join us too, because no prior knowledge of type design is necessary. No matter how little experience you may have, we will put you on the path to mastery. The only requirement is a love of letters!
When you attend a Crafting Type workshop, please bring a few basic items along with you:
If you have MacOS 10.6+, we have made it convenient to install FontForge, and new FontForge website explains how to download and install FontForge for Macs.
If you have a Windows PC, or MacOS 10.5, we will install FontForge using VirtualBox.
When signing up, you're invited to make a donation to the TUG Libre Font Fund and help continue making FontForge better.
Dave is an English type designer, best known for creating the Cantarell typeface: a beautiful contemporary Humanist sans serif. Made while studying for over 2 years in the Department of Typography at the University of Reading (2009), Cantarell was chosen as the brand type for the GNOME desktop. Dave is currently ‘Font Consultant’ to Google Web Fonts and has commissioned hundreds of typefaces from designers around the world.
Dave dreams of a free culture of visual communication, so he decided to free fonts. His Masters thesis related the history of the software freedom movement to the practice of type design.
While Eben loves the beauty of type, he loves its utility even more. He started the independent type foundry Sorkin Type Co. in 2009 and has since published over 60 fonts made for the web, engaging the talents of dozens of designers internationally. Sorkin Type Co. will soon offer expanded families, print-specific versions and exclusive releases.
Eben maintains his own professional type design practice, consults on strategic business advantages through typography for clients including Facebook, and is regularly invited to speak around the world to give his unique presentations on the relationship of science to type design.
After graduating with Distinction from the Masters programme at the University of Reading (2009), Eben returned to his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. You may enjoy his Flickr photostream.
Octavio's graphic design career began in his home country of Spain, where he worked for several design studios on projects for blue chip clients, including La Caixa Foundation and FC Barcelona. A graduate of the MA Typeface Design programme at Reading University (2010) he has contributed to retail and custom typefaces by France's premiere foundry Typofonderie and the trendy TypeTogether. He now freelances through octaviopardo.com.
Recognized both at home and internationally, Octavio's work has been seen in some of the most important publications and magazines in the world. His first published type design Sutturah is available from Rosetta Type in both Cyrillic and Latin; it received the Excellence in Type Design 2012 award from the Type Directors Club.
Alexei is a Russian type designer, educator, author, and principle of the Cyreal type foundry. In 2010 he was commissioned by Russian GEO to design their identity type which earned him a Granshan Award and a Best of Russian Design award. He collaborates with the renowned Swiss Typefaces Foundry on their Cyrillic extensions. Among his many custom type projects are works for Red Dot holder Ermolaev Bureau, and acclaimed magazine Afisha.
Alexei completed a postgraduate Type Design programme at the British Higher School of Art and Design in 2010, where he now teaches. Prior to that he studied Graphic Design at Moscow Stroganov University and at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, USA.
As a Cyrillic expert, Alexei is regularly invited to give workshops and talks in Europe, including at TypoLub 2012, Design Awards UA, and at the KABK Type & Media Masters programme. His sharp research into the history of Cyrillic became a chapter of Gestalten's Hand to Type.
Vernon is a professional type designer from England, living in California. A graduate from the Masters degree in Typeface Design at the University of Reading (2007.) He is best known for Oswald, one of the world's most popular web fonts that is seen by 60 million people every day.
He came to type design from a career in fine arts and graphic design and his work spans display, text and script type. Moving swiftly and solidly from ideas and drawings to fully functioning fonts, he has published dozens of fonts over the last two years that are made for the widest possible use across the internet. Vernon also provides custom and corporate identity type services through New Typography.
Thomas is an American/Canadian type designer and typographer. He has been “Guru of Fonts & Typography” for Extensis and their WebINK web font service since 2009, and also does independent consulting and type design. His particular interests include multilingual type design, the business of type, invalidating forged documents through type, font technology, and maximizing font quality.
Thomas’ first released typeface, Hypatia Sans, is an Adobe Original with over 3,000 glyphs in each style that covers Latin, Greek and Cyrillic. Thomas is currently working on a new typeface, Cristoforo, with similarly extensive coverage.
After graduating from the Rochester (NY) Institute of Technology with an MS in Printing, specializing in design and typography, Thomas created a class in font production. He shortly went to work at Adobe (1997-2008, lastly as product manager for Fonts and Typography), when he also acquired an MBA from UC Berkeley. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon.