Enhance your TypeCon experience with inspirational design and typography workshops.

Workshop registration is now closed.

Taking place before the main conference program begins, workshops will be held at the Pacific Northwest College of Art unless otherwise noted. The PNCA campus is short walk or light rail 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 1st
Full-Day Sessions
9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Color & Composition
Day One

Presented by: John Downer
Cost: $225 (Two Day Workshop)
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

Sign painting and poster design have long been practiced by professionals who understand the importance of arranging prioritized copy effectively and assigning color values expertly. This workshop will cover several of the most accepted approaches to laying out lettering and making it work chromatically. Among the topics covered will be color theory, basic color combinations, and terminology.

Also taught, will be fundamental considerations for arranging compositional elements for dynamic effect.

Students will be urged to explore various aspects of elementary sign design and color value selection for the sake of utilizing high, medium, and low contrast, as ways of elegantly expressing a clear graphic message.

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

Hand Lettering with the Folded Pen

Presented by: Cora Pearl
Cost: $125
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

The folded pen is a wonderful tool for hand lettering — it is capable of making very thin hairline strokes as well as thick dramatic strokes and a large range in between. Letters created with the folded pen feel dynamic and organic. There are endless possibilities for its use. In this workshop we will make a folded pen that we will use in class and we will learn different styles of lettering that will help us explore what this type of pen can do. This class is ideal for graphic designers who would like to incorporate hand lettering into their designs, for calligraphers who want to explore some playful lettering styles, and for lovers of hand lettering who want to learn to work with a new writing tool.

Font Writing: Learn to Write Typeface Descriptions That Sell

Presented by: Joshua Farmer
Cost: $125
Maximum Participants: 18
Location: PNCA

Congratulations, you’ve created an amazing typeface and the hard part is done! Or is it?

This full-day hands-on/minds-on workshop will show you how to market your work with words. It’ll give you the what, why, and how of describing the font you’ve just made to engage a font-buying audience. We will explore everything from defining the overarching concept that will guide your descriptive writing, to tapping into emotional power, and refining the details. We won’t neglect the necessary stuff either, like good grammar and working within restrictions. Bring a font design you want to write about (recommended, not required) and you could walk out of this workshop a market-ready happy camper!

In the first half of the day we’ll go wide with our discussion as we look at a case study, discuss writing theories, and recount some stuff from Mr. Flufferbuckle’s composition class. Before actually writing three descriptions of different lengths, students will interact with each other as we complete at least one critique and create a description together from scratch to demonstrate the process.

The second half of the day is reserved for going deep. Writing is one thing; editing is quite another. Once everything’s on paper we’ll start the editing process so your description doesn’t hit the reader still feeling like a brain dump. We’ll talk about phrasing, cadence, word choice, some editing pet peeves, and marketing-speak. Social media? Yeah, we’ll discuss that too.

What other subjects will be covered? We’ll talk demographics and tone, philosophy and psychology, glyph details, how-to-talk-about-another-grotesque-sans, and a ton more. This fun and wide-ranging discussion and production workshop is designed to be a unique opportunity for participants.

Wednesday, August 1st
Half-Day Sessions: Morning
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

FontLab VI for FontLab Studio 5 Users

Presented by: Thomas Phinney
Cost: $75
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

Learn what is new in FontLab VI, what is different, how your workflow can speed up with the new tools, and avoid that “who moved my cheese?” feeling with this half-day workshop.

Some likely highlights, plus things you ask for:

  • How Shapes are better Components
  • Rapid tool vs Pen tool: why use Rapid?
  • Metrics and Kerning workflows
  • How to use Power Nudge, Power Guides, Smart Corners, Tunni Lines, and other new editing tools
  • OpenType Variations support and workflow (replacing Multiple Master features)
  • Other workflow changes

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

Create a Variable Font Animation in Glyphs

Presented by: Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer & Georg Seifert
Cost: $75
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

Learn how to set up a Variable Font in Glyphs — create, customize, and juggle variation axes with masters and virtual masters. In this workshop, join us in creating a small animation in a multiple-axis font, and bringing it to life with a little HTML and CSS. Learn which tricks and which Python scripts can help you in the process. Bring your MacBooks with the latest version of Glyphs 2.5, a text editor (eg: BBEedit, SublimeText, or TextMate), and a browser that supports Variable Fonts (eg: Chrome).

Explorations in Typography

Presented by: Carolina de Bartolo
Cost: $75
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

Master the art of fine typesetting in this workshop with Carolina de Bartolo, author of the award-winning book Explorations in Typography. Using examples from her book, Carolina will show you how to attend to every typographic detail and wrangle your favorite typefaces into the most beautiful, interesting, and readable pages. You’ll learn how to create clear and harmonious typographic hierarchy as well as how to combine typefaces like a pro.

Bring your laptop and the latest version of Adobe InDesign. A signed copy of Explorations in Typography will be available for purchase at a special price at this workshop!

Thursday, August 2nd
Full-Day Sessions
9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Color & Composition
Day Two

Presented by: John Downer
Cost: $225 (Two Day Workshop)
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

Sign painting and poster design have long been practiced by professionals who understand the importance of arranging prioritized copy effectively and assigning color values expertly. This workshop will cover several of the most accepted approaches to laying out lettering and making it work chromatically. Among the topics covered will be color theory, basic color combinations, and terminology.

Also taught, will be fundamental considerations for arranging compositional elements for dynamic effect.

Students will be urged to explore various aspects of elementary sign design and color value selection for the sake of utilizing high, medium, and low contrast, as ways of elegantly expressing a clear graphic message.

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

Intro to Type Design for Complete Beginners

Presented by: Joana Correia
Cost: $125
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

Take your first steps in type design by sketching simple shapes, out of which you will develop a typeface. Turn your ideas into cool letter shapes, and see your font come to live on your screen!

Bring your MacBook with the trial version of the latest Glyphs 2.5 preinstalled.

Hebrew Writing

Presented by: Meir Sadan
Cost: $125
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

This is an introductory workshop to Hebrew writing. The fundamentals of the script, as well as the particulars of how Hebrew letters are styled and formed, will be learned by writing in an upright entry-level script, based on modern writing styles, using a broad pen.

Hebrew is a (relatively) simple script to learn and practice, but has some unique typographic attributes, which will be shown and discussed in the workshop.
No prior knowledge of Hebrew is required. This workshop is perfect for type designers, calligraphers and aficionados looking to learn more about the Hebrew script.

Lettering with Ruling and Folded Pens

Presented by: Katherine Malmsten
Cost: $125
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

These pens allow the user to create lively, vigorous, and spontaneous letterforms. If calligraphy is the dance of the pen, then ruling pen letters are rock ‘n’ roll!

Originally used for drawing lines, we’ll trace how this tool began to be used for lettering, and the styles we have available today. Exercises will allow becoming more comfortable with the pens, what different fluids and papers are used with them, and different grips and manipulation. We’ll try letters we know, variations on those, and then try some new letterforms, varying speed and movement for different results.

Be prepared to get loose, go through lots of paper, and search for that happy medium of “controlled spontaneity”!

A supply list will be provided.

Time Traveling Typophiles Alliance

Presented by: Agnes Barton-Sabo
Cost: $125
Maximum Participants: 18
Location: PNCA

Greetings, fellow wanderers!

Let’s meet up in our secret hideout and worship at the altar of Ye Olde Paper Ephemera. After studying magnificent specimens of times gone by, we shall combine our letterlust and powers of penmanship to commence a forging frenzy! Our best and most preciously hoarded analog design tools and supplies will be implemented to amass a carefully crafted collection, commemorating a TypeCon of a fictional past! Future researchers and/or our dastardly nemeses will be amazed and confused by these false fragments documenting our historically impossible adventures. A sensational smorgasbord of ink, pens, stamps, punches, typewriters, dry transfer lettering, stencils, and sellotape awaits. Your comrades in the Distressing and Degrading Department will help you artificially age your creations in addition to providing some well-seasoned Actual Old Pieces of Paper for your use. Give in to memento mania! This dreamy design playground will only exist for one day!

Bold Faces & Good Wood — A Lesson in Letterpress Typography

Presented by: Bill Moran & Jim Moran

Cost: $125
Maximum Participants: 10
Location: Working Library

Can you tell an Aetna from an Antique, or a Gothic from a Grecian? Join the Moran brothers of Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum for a day-long exploration of the premier faces in Hamilton’s collection. Participants will spend the day printing letterforms on press at Portland’s premiere letterpress shop, Working Library. In this workshop you’ll print using a variety of fonts while exploring the nuances of bracketing, terminals and other ornaments that make up the lexicon of vintage wood type.

We’ll provide the presses, ink and type, you provide the inspiration. At the end of the day you’ll have a suite of sweet prints to take home and a working knowledge of wood type classification. No printing experience is necessary.

Participants must arrange their own transportation to this workshop.

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Thursday, August 2nd
Half-Day Sessions: Morning
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

ㄱ to ㅎ: An Intro to Hangul Design

Presented by: Aaron Bell
Cost: $75
Maximum Participants: 15
Location: PNCA

Do you sometimes dream of ㅎ, or find yourself staring a little too long at a wayward ㄹ? Have you wanted to try your hand at designing Hangul, but have no idea where or how to start? Then this is the workshop for you!

During this session, we will dive headfirst into the fascinating world of Korean type, both historical and modern. You’ll learn about the rules that govern Hangul (and which ones you can break!) and try your hand at your own Hangul letters. With lots of examples to look at, one-on-one instruction, and critique, you will come away with everything you need to start your own journey toward Hangul mastery.

Materials will be provided, but if you have favorite drawing or sketching tools, feel free to bring them! If you’d like to digitize your work, please bring a laptop.

Thursday, August 2nd
Half-Day Sessions: Afternoon
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Unrepentant Uncials

Presented by: Grendl Löfkvist
Cost: $75
Maximum Participants: 18
Location: PNCA

Get medieval!

Who was St. Jerome and why did he have such a problem with the Uncial script? Learn the truth (and more!) in this half-day introductory calligraphy workshop led by Grendl Löfkvist.

Cast off your hair shirt and pick up your pen! Send St. Jerome running back to his ascetic cave as we indulge in these luscious medieval letterforms. Practice using the broad-edged pen and learn to write a basic Uncial 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 Uncial 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 a variety of 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 & Lettered and has been exhibited nationally.