Phase #1: building the basis

After two years of mandatory break due to the pandemic issues, we’re so excited to be back! The first stage of the programme is definitely the most dynamic and varied of all phases: introduction, calligraphy, lettering, first international talks, library visits, guest reviews and even a garden party!

A general presentation by the team of the programme to the eighteen attendees was the starting point of this specially desired edition. The same morning, Jean François Porchez and Gina Serret showed the basics of the humanist calligraphy. This practice serves as a kickoff for the students to understand how physical tools such as a broad-nib pen, its position on the paper and the ductus –the proper movements to create each letter– are directly related to type design. They basically learn to identify the key strokes of the Latin writing system.

Before going back home, the attendees learned also to letter drawing on tracing paper based on their previous calligraphic exploration. They stabilized letterforms while they also discovered the various attributes and axes of a design space (contrasts, modulations, serifs, terminals…). Designing a typeface means crafting a multitude of systems that must function together!

During the second day of the programme, we had the pleasure of hosting Petra Dočekalová, who run a lettering workshop. New tools, techniques and lettering styles which enlarged students’ letterform outlooks.

Right away, first international talks took place, with Petra Dočekalová and Neville Brody on stage. With Petra we learned how local letterforms in history had influenced her work, driving her to master crafts such as calligraphy, lettering and signpainting. And how important is for her the willing of transmit all these skills. On the other side, Neville captivated us with several cases from his early days as a designer –exploring with technology when the Mac came along– to his most recent commissions. He especially focused on the importance of the language, “a contract between two people”; which perfectly summarize type definition: a mix between convention and creativity.

The first intense week ended up with the traditional garden party, where students can get to know each other as well as meet TypeParis alumni and instructors. It’s the perfect time to chill a little bit before being back to the intense working rhythm!

To begin the second week, we visited the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal and the Bibliothèque Mazarine, where the attendees had the chance of studying several rare book collections from 15th to 19th centuries and amazing type specimens. Later on, the visit to Typofonderie’s library complemented this research of historical references for each attendee in order to start building their personal project briefs.

The always stunning visit to the Bibliothèque Mazarine.

Those days we had also the pleasure of receiving Toshi Omagari as a guest critic and lecturer. Together with Nadine Chahine, he led the second evening of TypeParis22 talks.

Apart from the visits, along this second week, the eighteen attendees also worked hard on the expansion of their first type design exercise, understanding the design space variables and ending up with very satisfactory results!

By the end of this first phase, students are ready to start building a brief for their personal typeface project, discussed and refined during the next stage of the programme. Stay tuned!

Petra Dočekalová concluding her lettering workshop.

See you for Phase #2!

– By Gina Serret

Learn more about TypeParis courses and conferences!

Type & graphic designers interviews
Attendees feedback series

Summer23 programme
Now23 conference

Apply to TypeParis Summer course!
The deadline for applications is 14 March, every year.


Thank you to Monotype for being sponsor for TypeParis
Thanks to Monotype for beign our steel sponor for TypeParis22
June 21, 2022
More news

Phase 4: completion, fine-tuning & family extension

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Phase 3: consolidation & production

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Q&A Krista Radoeva

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Phase 2: defining & expanding a typeface

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Phase 1: building the basis

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Q&A Henrik Kubel

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