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What did you learn at TypeParis? (11)

How was TypeParis for you?

Who is better to talk about it than our alumni? So we asked them some questions. We published the results of our discussion with two TypeParis22 attendees, Martin Brendecke and Geertrui Storms to share their stories with you!

You want to apply but are not sure yet? You are wondering what conditions must be met, beyond the official description proposed on the Summer page? You can conclude that the attendees final typefaces designed at the end of the six weeks, are of such a high level that it seems impossible to achieve in such a short period of time? In fact not. The reality is quite different: the participants come from a variety of backgrounds, with or without experience in typeface design. So, whatever your level, you will learn a lot.

TypeParis Summer course!
111 students from 38 different countries have already attended to TypeParis, and it could be your turn. This year TypeParis24 marks the ninth anniversary of the type design programme launched in 2015. Feel free to contact our alumni directly via their People page, to ask about some specific details about their 6 weeks in Paris.

Why you decided to apply to TypeParis?

Geertrui Storms I came across TypeParis on social media and was impressed by the work the students were producing. However, at that time, I wasn’t too confident about my experience in type design. A couple of years later, I attended a two-day workshop on roman/italics at TypeParis. It was during that workshop that I realised this was exactly what I wanted to delve deeper into. The following year, I applied and became a part of TypeParis22.

Martin Brendecke I did TypeParis to jumpstart my type design career. After studying graphic design online, I really wanted in-person type design classes. I applied to TypeMedia, Type@Cooper, and TypeParis, all of which I found out about through social media.

“The TypeParis team ensured a positive learning experience for us, and the guest critics occasionally pushed us out of our comfort zones.”
– Geertrui Storms

From left to right: Geertrui and Martin.

Building the right portfolio?

Martin Brendecke After applying to TypeMedia, repurposing my portfolio for TypeParis was relatively straightforward. However, to get to that point, I spent more than a year relentlessly searching for type design resources and honing my skills prior to that. 


Geertrui Storms Having some prior experience (by the time that I applied) with type design, lettering, and calligraphy, coupled with attending the workshop the previous year, I did have some expectations of getting selected. Nevertheless, receiving the confirmation email was still a relief 😉.

“I did TypeParis to jumpstart my type design career. After studying graphic design online, I really wanted in-person type design classes.”
– Martin Brendecke

Martin Brendecke recent work.

What do you have learned?

Geertrui Storms I was glad that I had some experience with type design. Even though the course started from scratch, I felt like my previous experience helped me process all the new information I was learning. The TypeParis team ensured a positive learning experience for us, and the guest critics occasionally pushed us out of our comfort zones.

The atmosphere was great, and the class developed a strong connection throughout the course. We frequently gathered on weekends to delve into type discussions or simply to socialize over drinks and dinner.

Martin Brendecke TypeParis is amazing. The teachers are some of the best I’ve ever had. The amount of knowledge they impart in a few weeks is staggering. I learned more than I can describe—as much about myself and how I work under pressure as I did about the patterning and workflow involved in making typefaces. I also made some of my best friends in the world there and we stay in touch to this day.

“TypeParis somehow empowered me to tackle larger projects as a designer. I feel more professional now and (try to) have a better understanding of my worth.”
– Geertrui Storms

Geetrui Storms recent work.

What are you doing now?

Martin Brendecke The most life-changing part of TypeParis was that I met some students and alumni from EsadType, a post-diploma program in Amiens, France. They convinced me to apply. Two weeks later, I was accepted and I moved to France a month after TypeParis finished. I am currently living in Amiens studying type design. I use what I learned at TypeParis every day and I am so thankful for it being a stepping stone into my new life.

Geertrui Storms I’ve been, and still am, working as a freelance graphic designer with a strong interest in lettering and type design. It’s safe to say that I learned a lot about type design during the Type Paris course, but it has meant even more to me than that. Type Paris somehow empowered me to tackle larger projects as a designer. I feel more professional now and (try to) have a better understanding of my worth. While I still create custom lettering for clients, I’ve also delved into a significant amount of editorial work, approaching it with a fresh perspective. Learning about type design has had a broad impact on all aspects of my work as a designer.

My freelance design work has kept me incredibly busy, which, unfortunately, makes it challenging to dedicate time to personal projects like developing my typeface. To stay engaged and continue learning, I actively participate in workshops related to (type) design, such as Glyphs workshops by Rainer and a Python for type design workshop by Peter Nowell.

I’ve stayed in touch with a few students from Type Paris 2022. It’s enjoyable to stay updated on each other’s work, but it’s even more fun when we get the chance to meet in person. (like we did at Now’23 last year).

“TypeParis is amazing. The teachers are some of the best I’ve ever had. The amount of knowledge they impart in a few weeks is staggering.”
– Martin Brendecke

Geertrui Storms recent work.

Your advice?

Geertrui Storms I made a conscious effort to clear my schedule of client work during TypeParis, to ensure I could fully focus on the entire program. Additionally, I set a personal commitment to say “yes” to all feedback and opportunities that arose during the course. Instead of sticking to my own perspective, I made an effort to thoroughly listen to feedback. I believe this approach played a crucial role in pushing me further out of my comfort zone.

Also: yes the six weeks will be heavy but try to enjoy the moment! It will pass by quicker than you know it...

Martin Brendecke Learn as much as you can. Draw as much as you can. Be yourself. Reach out to a type designer whose work you admire. So many people helped me get there. I wholeheartedly recommend sharing a flat with roommates during TypeParis. I split an apartment with three wonderful people and it was a dream come true to study and share moments together over the summer. 


Learn more about TypeParis courses and conferences!

Reports
Type & graphic designers interviews
Attendees feedback series
Summer24 programme
Now24 conference
Apply to TypeParis Summer course!
The deadline for applications is 14 March, every year.

December 13, 2023
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