Enhance your TypeCon experience with inspirational design and typography workshops.

Register now!

Taking place before the main conference program begins, workshops will be held at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design (MassArt), The Museum of Printing in nearby Haverhill, Massachusetts, and the Park Plaza Hotel. The MassArt campus is a short train ride from the conference hotel. Directions will be provided to workshop attendees.

Full day workshops break for lunch from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm.

This information is subject to change.

Wednesday, August 23rd
Full-Day Sessions
9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Half Block / Full Block / Bevel Edge / Mock Block
Day One

Presented by: John Downer
Cost: $200 (Two Day Workshop)
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: MassArt

Students will use lettering brushes, but no prior experience with a brush is necessary. Most of the coursework will involve drafting letterforms and learning about their proportions. Proper structure will be the focus, as it provides a foundation for understanding each system.

  • Wednesday Morning: Half Block is a sign painters’ style of block lettering which includes no curves. All of the letters which would ordinarily have curves are reduced to angled strokes. The outer contour of O is an octagon.
  • Wednesday Afternoon: Full Block is also a sign painters’ style of lettering. It is based on Half Block, but it has slab serifs. No curves exist in this style, either. Full Block was used extensively on 19th-century wall signs, most of which were painted on brickwork.
  • Thursday Morning: Bevel Edge letters are seen in traditional sign painting. Bevels can be either monochromatic or polychromatic. The illusion created by bevels helps make the face of the letter appear to be in low relief, above the surface of the background.
  • Thursday Afternoon: Mock Block is a special treatment seen in sign painting, but not in printing. It’s a way of giving a letter a two-tone “close shade” (which makes the letter look as if it were cut out of thick material) and then a “cast shade” on the opposite side. The resulting shade on the underside is in fact the background color.

This is a two day workshop.
Participants must be prepared to attend both days.

Basics of Designing Flourishes

Presented by: Lynne Yun
Cost: $100
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: MassArt

Contrary to popular belief, good flourishing is not a result of “happy accidents”. Flourishing is most effectively employed in a systematic way, instead of relying on spontaneity. In this class, we will go over the basic rules and principles of the flourished line.

An overview of the basic elements of flourishing will be covered: the straight stroke, simple curve, s-curve, loops, spiral, and cusp. We will learn how to identify the basic elements in high quality work, dissect what makes good flourishing pleasing to the eye, and ultimately combine the elements to create our own designs.

In the morning, students will start out by practicing flourishing with a rigid pen and will progress to using ink and flexible pointed nib. As we go through exercises, we will cover methods of combining flourishes in a visually pleasing way, with particular emphasis on white space and hot spot control, scale, intersecting angles, smoothness, and rhythm.

In the afternoon, students will have the choice of continuing with further exercises or designing a flourished shape incorporating a word of their choice.

A Day at the Museum of Printing

Presented by: Frank Romano
Cost: $100
Maximum Participants: 50
Location: The Museum of Printing

The Museum of Printing in Haverhill, Massachusetts, is one of the largest repositories of the equipment, books, and ephemera of the printing industry. Now in its 39th year, it houses rare presses, typesetters, typewriters, office machines, and a 6,000 book library. Its “cold type” area contains an array of phototypesetters and is the only display of its kind in the world. Art galleries features wood engravings, wood type, and chromolithography.

Transportation to and from the museum is included in your workshop fee.

Wednesday, August 23rd
Half-Day Sessions: Morning
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

TrueType Hinting in Glyphs:
Optimize Your TTFs for the Screen

Presented by: Lisa Schultz
Cost: $50
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: MassArt

TrueType hinting, the final frontier: learn how to set up TTF Autohint parameters for your font project, and how to add TrueType instructions to your outlines. It is easier than you think to make your fonts look great in Windows. Glyphs coder Georg Seifert will be present. Bring your own font project, or use the sample font provided. Prerequisites: Bring your macOS laptop, some experience in type design assumed.

Wednesday, August 23rd
Half-Day Sessions: Afternoon
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Open Feedback Session:
Q & A with the Developer of Glyphs

Presented by: Georg Seifert
Cost: $50
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: MassArt

Feature request? Specific technical problem? Confidential bug report? In this personal and exclusive feedback and Q&A session with the developer of Glyphs, Georg Seifert, you can discuss problems you encountered, or ideas you have for improving the software. Either Georg will show a solution for your problem, fix that annoying bug, or add that much-coveted feature, perhaps even right away. Book early, seating is limited.

Thursday, August 24th
Full-Day Sessions
9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Half Block / Full Block / Bevel Edge / Mock Block
Day Two

Presented by: John Downer
Cost: $200 (Two Day Workshop)
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: MassArt

Students will use lettering brushes, but no prior experience with a brush is necessary. Most of the coursework will involve drafting letterforms and learning about their proportions. Proper structure will be the focus, as it provides a foundation for understanding each system.

  • Wednesday Morning: Half Block is a sign painters’ style of block lettering which includes no curves. All of the letters which would ordinarily have curves are reduced to angled strokes. The outer contour of O is an octagon.
  • Wednesday Afternoon: Full Block is also a sign painters’ style of lettering. It is based on Half Block, but it has slab serifs. No curves exist in this style, either. Full Block was used extensively on 19th-century wall signs, most of which were painted on brickwork.
  • Thursday Morning: Bevel Edge letters are seen in traditional sign painting. Bevels can be either monochromatic or polychromatic. The illusion created by bevels helps make the face of the letter appear to be in low relief, above the surface of the background.
  • Thursday Afternoon: Mock Block is a special treatment seen in sign painting, but not in printing. It’s a way of giving a letter a two-tone “close shade” (which makes the letter look as if it were cut out of thick material) and then a “cast shade” on the opposite side. The resulting shade on the underside is in fact the background color.

This is a two day workshop.
Participants must be prepared to attend both days.

Handling the Curve:
Mastering Lettering on the iPad Pro

Presented by: Ryan Hamrick
Cost: $100
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: MassArt

Have you found yourself losing hours of your day getting sucked in to the mesmerizing world of iPad lettering videos on Instagram? Sorry about that. But instead of getting mad and regretting lost time, get even! You too can put that iPad Pro and Apple Pencil of yours to good use, and steal your precious time back with the incredible advantages these amazing tools offer for quick iteration and unmatched flexibility in crafting beautiful lettering projects.

Join Ryan Hamrick for a fun and in-depth iPad lettering workshop, where you’ll not only cover the basics of file and workspace setup, but also a ton of tips and tricks for increased efficiency in concepting and planning, and even intricate custom brush creation pointers for some seriously effective digital lettering brushes.

We’ll cover basic script lettering techniques, analyze several real client projects created solely on the iPad Pro, and you’ll be able to get one-on-one instruction and personal feedback. You’ll leave with a new lease on the iPad lettering life, and the tools to tackle any new lettering project with all the confidence and speed that an undo button has to offer!

We’d honestly love to give the whole world an iPad Pro because it’s incredible, but alas, simple independent designer budgets just won’t allow it. So you’ll need to bring an iPad Pro, an Apple Pencil, and we’ll be working in the app Procreate primarily, and dabbling a little bit in Adobe Sketch. Attendees will receive access to download a custom set of Procreate brushes designed by Ryan for free, the day of the workshop!

Back in Black(letter)

Presented by: Grendl Löfkvist
Cost: $100
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: MassArt

Get medieval!

Have fun learning the history and fundamentals of Gothic Textura in this introductory calligraphy workshop. Practice using the broad-edged pen and learn to write a basic Blackletter alphabet in this class appropriate for both novices and seasoned scribes.

We will begin with a survey of historical exemplars, then look at works by contemporary practitioners and discuss the origins and evolution of the script.

Then we will examine the influence of tools and materials, variations in stroke width and letter height, spacing issues, rhythm, pen angle, and ductus as we work our way through the alphabet, putting ink on paper. The relationship between Blackletter calligraphy and typefaces will also be discussed.

Our practice will be facilitated by meditative Gregorian Chant as we dip our pens into the Middle Ages. Tools and materials will be provided.

Your instructor is a medievalist who practiced Blackletter scripts for years under master calligrapher Ward Dunham. She has also taken courses with Sheila Waters and Georgianna Greenwood. Her work has been featured in Bound and Lettered and has been exhibited nationally.

We just cannot get enough Gothic Textura.

Thursday, August 24th
Half-Day Sessions: Morning
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Create Color Fonts, The Easy Way

Presented by: Joel Galeran
Cost: $50
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: MassArt

Join us to celebrate type designers’ new friends: colors, shades, textures and transparency.

During this session, you will learn to leverage your existing creative skills to turn any colorful typographic fantasy into an actual color font. Whether you are using digital or analog tools to craft your chromatic lettering (color fonts can actually be based on photographs, grayscale drawings or even white shapes), you will be able to prototype and start typing with your own color font designs in a matter of minutes.

We’ll also explain how the color font format OpenType-SVG will impact the graphic design industry, as typography in finally meeting colors.

Attendees may bring their laptop with Illustrator and/or Photoshop installed (CC 2017 recommended, CC 2015.5 minimum), but it is not required.

Thursday, August 24th
Half-Day Sessions: Afternoon
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Type Family Planning

Presented by: Sumner Stone
Cost: $50
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: MassArt

Letterforms are effected by their individual structures, by being members of an alphabetic system, and also by their membership in a typographic family or superfamily. The parameters and puzzles that play a significant role in designing a large typographic family will be the subject of this workshop. Exercises and explorations will be carried out with pencil and paper and will focus on monoline, sans serif forms, but issues pertaining to letterforms with higher contrast, and serifs will also be discussed and investigated. The goal of this workshop is to launch the participant on the road to developing a large family of related typefaces.

Take Care of Your EULA
& Your EULA Will Take Care of You

Presented by: Joyce Ketterer
Cost: $50
Maximum Participants: 30
Location: Park Plaza Hotel

It is often said that the EULA is the most important expression of a foundry’s values and yet they can feel impenetrable and intimidating. We all know customers mostly don’t read them. So why bother?

In this three hour practicum, returning by popular demand, on End User License Agreements I will introduce the group to my philosophy to licensing and license enforcement which takes into account “the retroactive reader”. You will learn how to read this particular legal document without crossed eyes or an unintended nap. Together we will read a selection of actual foundry EULAs to understand both the essential requirements of a EULA and the areas of personal expression. Attendees will leave the workshop ready to help their attorney edit or craft their own EULA.