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What did you learn at TypeParis? (12)

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, Elsa Drevous and David Turner 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?

David Turner I found out about TypeParis in 2017, via a post from a former Instructor Julien Priez (Boogy Paper) and was very fascinated about the Programme and especially the outcome. Since then I followed the TypeParis Programme year by year and at some point I was thinking about applying myself.

Elsa Drevous Having worked as an art director for a number of years, I wanted to add a new perspective to my practice. I’ve always had a great interest in typography, and it was an important part of my design studies in Switzerland.  When I rediscovered typefaces designed by my grandfather, I started to look at them with a great interest in calligraphic shapes. As I’m passionate about branding, I also thought it would be very interesting to design logotypes. A friend told me about this programme and it was the perfect condensed format for me, I wasn’t looking for long-term study.

“The guest critics were simply great, they were very kind and helpful, you understand that everyone has their own perspective on type and they would share it with you and how you could push your design.”
– David Turner

From left to right: Elsa and David.

Building the right portfolio?

Elsa Drevous I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I submitted my application. As I didn’t know anyone from the TypeParis programme, I didn’t have any positive or negative preconceptions. I just showed my motivation with a few type design projects and my experience in graphic design. 


David Turner I was pretty unsure about my Portfolio, although I already had a little experience in designing Type. Before I attended officially I got feedback from a couple of friends, that helped me. I still remember the moment when I uploaded the Portfolio, I thought how great it would be to be part of this programme, as I saw it as a big opportunity for me. A couple of weeks later (maybe it was just a couple of days, but it felt like weeks) I got the mail that I was accepted, and of course I was happily suprised.

“The programme is perfectly constructed that you go through each step of the process at the right time.”
– Elsa Drevous

Elsa Drevous recent work.

What do you have learned?

David Turner At TypeParis I learned a lot, although I already had some experience with calligraphy and Type design. Not only that you get to know how to draw letters, the connection of shapes, that designing typefaces is a system, or the coolest Glyph workflows (which you for sure learn at TypeParis). But also get to know the point of view on Type from very skilled and experienced Instructors, which you simply can’t learn by yourself. 

Also the guest critics were simply great, they were very kind and helpful, you understand that everyone has their own perspective on type and they would share it with you and how you could push your design.

 Also you learn a lot from the other attendees, of course they all were wonderful and hope to visit some of them soon.
The atmosphere was great we pushed each other, had a lot of fun, even if there were some stressed moments. What I also learned is that you have to press option + c for the ç. Thanks Jean François 😀.

Elsa Drevous I’ve learnt everything I needed to know tp start designing typefaces. The programme is perfectly constructed that you go through each step of the process at the right time. 
 I opened Glyph for the first time during the programme, and I’d never taken a calligraphy course...  So it wasn't easy to catch up with everyone and it took a lot of energy. 
 The TypeParis team and guests are very talented, kind and helpful. The design talks and visits were also a great way to immerse yourself in an inspiring atmosphere. Let’s be honest, it’s very very intensive, but I personally loved being challenged. 
 The student team was also very cool and we had a lot of fun. I shared a flat with four students and that made my experience even better. I’m so happy that we’re still in touch with the whole team and I see some of them regularly.

“Before TypeParis I worked as a freelance Graphic designer and I still do that today. And being able to design letters helps a lot in that discipline, I design Logotypes on my own and im not dependant on existing fonts, which leads to a more individual outcome.”
– David Turner

David Turner recent work.

What are you doing now?

Elsa Drevous I still work part-time as an art director in an agency. I'm happy to work on freelance typographic projects on the side. I was so enthusiastic about type design that I started several personal projects. It was very important for me to continue working on type design straight after the programme, because I was afraid I’d forget everything I’d learned. In the future, I’d like to release some typefaces and learn calligraphy.

David Turner Before TypeParis I worked as a freelance Graphic designer and I still do that today. And being able to design letters helps a lot in that discipline, I design Logotypes on my own and im not dependant on existing fonts, which leads to a more individual outcome. But I also spend a lot of time designing Type, when there is time. From time to time I think, quitting graphic design and fully focus on designing Type, but maybe some day 😄.

I also want to publish a Typeface, hopefully next year, but I still have to figure out, how. But a big bonus is that I can still get very good advice from the TypeParis Team and the TypeParis22 class, as we are still connected.


“The TypeParis team and guests are very talented, kind and helpful. The design talks and visits were also a great way to immerse yourself in an inspiring atmosphere.”
– Elsa Drevous

Elsa Drevous recent work.

Your advice?

David Turner When you want to learn about type, just apply, don’t overthink too much about your portfolio, I think showing your personality in your portfolio is good, as there is not “the one perfect portfolio”. 

If you want to have a sightseeing tour stay in Paris for 7 weeks, as there is not much time during the six weeks, because you are fully focused on the programme, but that’s great. In Paris I rented a flat on my own, some other attendees shared their apartment, and afterwards I would prefer also sharing my apartment, it’s more fun :)

Elsa Drevous This experience will be a big step in your professional career, so don’t hesitate!  I’m so happy I did it at 30 years old with a solid background as a graphic designer. Be ready to give all your energy for these challenging experience. Plan nothing else during the 6 weeks.  Share a flat with students really improve the summer experience. Researching your typographic project before the start of the programme would be ideal. There is very little time for creative development. So it’s a good idea to think ahead and make sure you’re working on a project you’re happy with over the 6 weeks. 


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.

January 18, 2024
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