Workshop Nº12 Design de lettres: Romans

Sunday 4 July 2021

18 attendees maximum

During this (bilingual) workshop, conducted by Jean François Porchez & Stéphane Elbaz, you will learn how using calligraphy as basis will provide you the skeleton to draw the ideal romans. This workshop is open to everyone interested in typography, typefaces, lettering, calligraphy.

Jean François Porchez and Stéphane Elbaz speaks English et français, it’s in fact a multilingual workshop!


Note to French & European: This price is without taxes, more details on the bottom of the next page.


The ambition of this day iis not to design a complete font but to provide participants with the tools to better understand typographic letterforms, and the knowledge of a working method to draw your own alphabets and letters.

The day before you can register to Design de lettres: Italic. These two workshops are complementary, and allow you to acquire the basics necessary to understand typeface design.

[français] L’ambition de cette journée n’est pas de décliner un caractère complet mais de vous fournir les outils nécessaires pour mieux comprendre les formes typographiques et vous faire découvrir une méthode de travail pour dessiner vos propres alphabest romains.


Our approach is organized around the humanist alphabet and is based on handwriting as a means of understanding typographic forms. This method is a proven technique used during the five intensive weeks of the TypeParis program.

We will start with a little practice of calligraphy, to better visualize the skeleton of the minuscule letters as well as letter shapes contrast. Calligraphy outcome will be the basis of the typographic drawings on tracing paper. You will learn to stabilize shapes from your calligraphic practice in order to understand the relationships between shapes and counterforms.

Starting from these drawings, you will work on various “systems”, serifs and terminals, weight, contrast in order to define a coherent typographic style that can be declined on all the glyphs of an alphabet.

We will then explore several typographic variables from your drawings, such as creating a bold, light, high-contrast, condensed or sans serif romans.

In the late afternoon, we will address digitization issues such as point placement or spacing concepts. Nevertheless, to preserve the time of design, learning and friendly exchanges we did not plan to use a computer. The ambition is first of all to address the issues of letterform design in general, not the techniques related to specific software.


With the current available information, we do our best to observe the social distancing between the participants during our classes. We recommend to wash ands often as well wearing mask. Our instructors are vaccinated, and we ask the participants for a negative RT-PCR less than 72 hours old, or proof of vaccination against Covid-19. Attendees who doesn’t respect the rules will be not accepted. More information in our FAQ.

Supplied material

– Letterforms and calligraphy models
– 3 mm broad nib, pen holder, ink, goblets
– Pencils in HB, 3H
– Stabilo Stylist and pentel N50
– Adhesive
– Uncoated tabloid paper 90gr
– Tracing paper 90gr
(Bring your usual graphic designer material! A laptop isn’t required, but some of you may use it at some point with Illustrator or Glyphs)


Limited to 18 attendees:
– This workshop is intended for all graphic designers, designers, students or teachers who wish to discover letterforms drawing technics. No specific level required, from beginners to ultra pro.
– If you are not a designer but you have a strong desire to try to draw letters, and you already draw a little, you can also join us.
– This is a good overview of the working methods implemented at TypeParis. This is the ideal way to test your motivation before engaging in further training in letterform design.


Le Tank - Le reservoir

Duration: 9am—6pm. Address confirmed at registration.


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Stéphane Elbaz

Stéphane Elbaz

Instructors, Speakers, 2017, 2021

He serves as Head of Product Design and especially reshaped the brand identity and online presence of The Intercept. In 2009 he was awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Type Design from the Type Directors Club of New York for his type family Geneo. Since 2012, he teaches at Type@Cooper, Cooper Union (United States). He was a jury member of the TDC62 Typeface Design Competition in 2016. In 2016 he is publishing the PS Fournier, a large type revival project based on the work of Pierre Simon Fournier. He also designed the TypeParis identity in 2014.

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Jean François Porchez

Jean François Porchez

Facilitators, Instructors, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023

Founder of Typofonderie, type director of ZeCraft, Jean François Porchez is one of the pioneers of digital typography. Transmitter of knowledge and discoverer of talents, teamwork is at the heart of his concerns. It is also for these reasons that he launched TypeParis in 2015. He was awarded the Prix Charles Peignot in 1998 and numerous prizes for his typefaces. Introduced to French Who’s Who in 2009. In 2014, Perrousseaux publishes his monograph. Knight in the order of Arts and Letters in 2015. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron use his typefaces for his communication since 2017.

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