TypeCon2021 was a virtual event that took place from October 21st to October 24th, 2021.

Thursday, October 21st
Friday, October 22nd
Saturday, October 23rd
Sunday, October 24th

Thursday, October 21st

All times are Eastern (ET). This information is subject to change.

Main Program

12:00 pm

Opening Remarks

12:03 pm

Alex Trochut

Keynote Presentation: Now And Then

An overview of the different tools and techniques Alex has used over the last 15 years — from Freehand MX to VR modeling — walking you through styles and form, more than concepts or ideas, while explaining a wide variety of personal and commercial projects.

12:39 pm

Q & A

1:00 pm

John D. Berry & Jason Pamental

Book Design: From Print Pedigree to Digital Dynasty

A short but deep dive into the traditions of book design and the production of printed books, and a brief but enticing exploration of what fully digital books can and should be.

We’ll start by looking at the history of book text and cover design, and how they have evolved in the digital age. Type formats, typographic techniques, and integrations between text and image have dramatically influenced the design and physical manifestation of the object itself.

Looking to the future, we’ll explore a prototype of what web-based books could be. Combining new technologies like variable fonts with new techniques that surpass the typographic and experience capabilities of more traditional eBook formats, we’ll show an entirely new way to interact with books in electronic form that feels appropriate on all kinds of digital devices.

1:25 pm

Christopher Sleboda

Seven Years and Sixty Typographic Covers at Yale University

I’ll present 60 typographic designs created for Yale University, including work by Ed Fella, Matthew Carter, Karel Martens, Wim Crouwel, Julia Born, Linda van Deursen, Metahaven, Sulki and Min, and Ahn Sang Soo.

As Director of Design at Yale University Art Gallery and a former graduate student at Yale, I knew firsthand that the museum did not actively collect or present work by graphic designers. In my position, I sought innovative ways to bring typography into the museum, to spotlight its history and current practice, to embrace diverse contemporary practitioners in the field, and to engage directly with design students.

The typographic series, which lasted more than a half-decade, became an experiment in typographic form and branding. By embracing a strict color scheme, but opening up the typography to be wildly different, could a recognizable and memorable brand for the museum be achieved and maintained?

I’ll present an overview of the series and detail challenges, highlights, and lessons learned, including the reception of the work by the institution, art school students, and the public, as well as issues of legibility, readability, and intent.

1:50 pm

Jess Meoni

A Typographic History of Extreme Metal Music

What sound does a typeface make? For decades, rock ‘n’ roll has progressed into darker, more extreme tones of metal music. The sharp, ornate, and occasionally, highly calligraphic styles representing these bands have become increasingly more and more difficult to read. Why is this? What does it represent? This typographic soundwave explores the history of metal music logos and parallel expressions within art, literature, architecture, and more.

2:10 pm


2:30 pm

Potch Auacherdkul

Inversion of Thai Latinized

What is the typographic area in between handwritten and digital font. In between Thai script and Latin. In between Thai Latinized and conventional. ‘Huai’ is a bilingual typeface which stands in between all of those research questions raised above.

Most of the contemporary loop-less (Latinized) Thai typefaces obtained some Latin letterforms applying into Thai alphabets. If Thai alphabets can borrow the form from Latin letterforms, so my curiosity would be, How it’s going to be like, when Latin alphabets were influenced by those original Thai letterforms.

Huai Latin letterforms adopted the essence of Thai alphabets from the handwritten which initiated by locals, appeared in manual ad signs. The proportion and writing system of Thai made Latin alphabets of Huai reflect a sense of Thai letterforms. The Thai letterform of Huai not only remains the pioneer proportion and writing system, but also allows the outcome of Huai Latin to influence back again.

In general, Thai fonts have two different terminal styles. One is the loop terminal which is authentic of the Thai language. Another is loopless which is influenced by Latin, so-called Latinized.

Through the design process of Huai, it transformed Thai handwritten script to Latin and then transformed back again to digital Thai typeface. Regarding all those questions I raised up above, during the process of creating Huai, I came across my own term which I would like to define it, an ‘Inversion of Thai Latinized’.

2:55 pm

Tiffany Prater

Baybayin: The Ancient Script of the Philippines

“Our mother tongue, like all the highest that we know had alphabet and letters of its very own; but these were lost — by furious waves were overthrown like bancas (boat) in the stormy sea, long years ago” (Rizal, Jose — “To my fellow children.”) Baybayin, considered to be one of the oldest writing systems in the Philippines, have suddenly gained popularity among fellow Filipino artists and ‘soul-searching’ Filipinos. This presentation will be a visual overview of the script and its influence in contemporary Filipino art.

3:05 pm


3:25 pm

Yvonne Cao

Coca-Cola Cares

As one of the earliest global brands in China, Coca-Cola has immersed in Chinese culture and spirit for 41 years. As it celebrates the anniversary of living and growing in China, Coca-Cola, Cool Character and Founder Type jointly designed a brand-new font “Coca-Cola Care.” This new customized font takes Coca-Cola’s earlier Chinese trademark used in 1979 as the inspiration. It expresses the understanding and interpretation of “Care” in Chinese culture, which resonates well with Coca-Cola’s company value.

As a tribute to Chinese calligraphy, Coca-Cola Care Font emphasizes the integration of tradition and modernity. The brushstrokes are calm, affirmative yet energetic. It also builds a connection between the East and West by offering multilingual characters. As of today, Coca-Cola Care Font has won several type design awards including Tokyo TDC 2021, TDC 67 New York, and D&AD Awards 2021.

3:50 pm

Laura Chessin

Asemic Writing, Mandalas, Speaking in Tongues and Ecstatic Expressions

The term “asemic writing” was coined in the 1990’s by poets Tim Gaze and Jim Leftwich to label their purely aesthetic calligraphic work. The work is described as a “shadow, impression, and abstraction of conventional writing. It uses the constraints of writerly gestures … to divulge its main purpose: total freedom beyond literary expression.” (Jacobson, 2021). Commonly-cited examples include work by the Chinese calligrapher of the Tang Dynasty, Zhang Xu, and modern visual artists including Man Ray, Henri Michaux and Cy Twombly.

This presentation will read the practice of asemic writing in the context of spiritual and ecstatic practices from varied traditions that include not just written practices and sacred texts, but other concrete forms of spiritual connection such as Buddhist sand mandala construction, Sufi whirling, and Pentecostal speaking in tongues. The focus will be on the verb “writing”, rather than the noun—gesture rather than form and aesthetics. For example, while the form of the Zen enso is said to symbolize such abstract concepts as “absolute fullness in emptiness”, the gesture of the brush on the page is itself an integral practice of Zen, much as sitting zazen.

4:15 pm

Ian Lynam

Ghost Story / Love Story (or How I Learned to Love the Dead)

We have all been told that there are things that we are “not supposed to do” regarding design. This is a story about denying that, and both a love story and a ghost story. Or rather, multiple love stories and multiple ghost stories … with surprising outcomes.

This hybrid presentation looks at rare, forgotten, lost, and deceased punctuation marks, then segues into a short jaunt in a time machine back to the 1990s, another hop back to the 1920s, and finishes in the present day in Tokyo.

This presentation will delight those interested in rarified typography, type/design history, the odd romantic, and anyone yearning for a cheeky mystery solved in front of them.

4:29 pm

Closing Comments

4:30 pm

Q & A Breakouts

5:00 pm

Small Caps Socials

Gather, chat, hang, and network with your peers on Zoom.

Friday, October 22nd

All times are Eastern (ET). This information is subject to change.

Main Program

12:00 pm

Opening Remarks

12:01 pm


Join us behind the scenes with the folks from international publishing and media house Slanted as they share their space with a walkthrough of their office in Karlsruhe, Germany. We’ll also pay a virtual visit to renowned lettering artist Gemma O’Brien at her amazing studio in Sydney, Australia. 

12:55 pm

Anne Brown

Autoscript: A Close-up View of Lettering on Post-war Automobiles

American auto manufacturers responded to the booming economy following World War 2 with an explosion of car brands. The type and graphics that grace these classic automobiles from the ‘50s and ‘60s display an exuberant optimism born in a time when anything seemed possible. From energetic scripts to space imagery, the industry build a new visual vocabulary built for speed. Chrome ornaments shaped like supersonic jets flew down the highway atop brightly colored car hoods. Aspirational model names like Futura and Galaxie were rendered boldly across vehicle side panels. Script was, without doubt, the type treatment of choice for mid-century auto manufacturers. The informal nature of the letterforms reflected a new casual attitude in American society and the profusion of lettering styles mirrored the abundance of choice available in a burgeoning consumer culture.

Over the last decade I have photographed the type and graphic elements on hundreds of classic motor cars. In this presentation I will show dozens of examples bound to inspire anyone with an appreciation for lettering and an interest in American mid-century design.

1:20 pm

Perrin Stamatis

An Interactive Timeline of Typographic History

I presented my research showing the need for this interactive resource and my initial proof of concept in the 2018 TypeCon Education forum.

In short, All those developing their knowledge of typography would benefit from a contextual understanding of the type they’re investigating. Along with other features and resources, this site will simultaneously allow a viewer to see where each listing fits in historical sequence (time, eras, and movements) and see what else was happening in the world when it was created.

Since 2018, this project has been refined through UX/UI development and prototyping to determine basic functionality, the features that will be included in the 1st version of the site, and what will be reserved for version 2.0. In this presentation, I will summarize the research and demonstrate the prototype by showing goals and tasks a user would most likely perform.

I started a non-profit foundation to apply for grant funding and some funding has already been raised. A development team has already started to work on the site build, and (while in the initial phase) I would like to open a call to the typographic community for feedback, advice, assistance, and support.

1:45 pm

Reneé Seward, Frida Medrano & Oscar Fernández

Supporting Struggling Readers to Read Through a Font

Educational Psychologist have been investigating for years the science behind the connection of what a font looks like and training someone to read. Researcher De Graaff in a 2007 study utilized picture embedded cue technique for teaching kindergarteners’ letter-sound correspondences by implementing mnemonic training sessions on a computer. They demonstrated the importance of removing the cue and making the isolated letter shape salient by using a procedure where the integrated pictures gradually faded out over trials. Kindergarten children trained in their short-term training (2-week period) with the fading procedure had better letter-to-sound recall compared to those in integrated-picture and no-picture conditions. With the onset of variable fonts my team and I have created a variable font call SeeType that embeds images in letters that dynamically transition between images to cue struggling reader to decoding word. This presentation will share the development of SeeType, a font that is embedded in a web browser extension that turns any digital content into an educational opportunity. The font aids readers in decoding the words in any text in order to help foster a love of reading.

2:05 pm


2:20 pm

Setareh Ghoreishi & Mehrdad Sedaghat Baghbani

Persian Typography Journey: From Religious and Cultural Manuscripts to Consumable Products

Some famous forms of Persian calligraphy such as Naskh, Nastaliq were used primarily for religious purposes, like transcribing the Quran and writing other religious quotes and poems. Recently, however, Iranian companies have started to use these religiously charged styles on commercial items such as purses, t-shirts, and other marketable items. Products with Persian calligraphy are not just popular in Iran, but also in western countries. The rich history of elegant calligraphy used strictly for poems and artwork leads the inquisitive observer to wonder why its usage has shifted. Moreover, calligraphy has also shifted to being used in typography, in other words, Persian calligraphy is now used in a variety of art forms, such as sculpture, painting, photography, and graphic design. Overall, we examine how Persian calligraphy has shifted in usage over the past twenty years from being a high, elegant art-form to being a medium printed on common, everyday items and the social, political, and economic factors that have led Persian companies to begin using calligraphy on their products, in order to sell them.

2:40 pm

Mehrdad Sedaghat Baghbani & Setareh Ghoreishi

Analyzing Iranian Modern Poster Design Based on Islamic Manuscript

The creation of contemporary Iranian posters is rooted in the historical, social, and cultural use of calligraphy, Tazhib, and painting. Iranian graphic designers work at the intersection of traditional calligraphy and image-making methods inspired by religious and cultural subjects. In this talk, we analyze and classify Islamic manuscripts from 610 C.E. to 1900 to understand relationships between typography and image in contemporary poster design in Iran.

Through the lenses of Nancy Skolos and Tom Wedell’s book Type, Image, Message, we study the juxtaposition of images and type in Islamic manuscripts to analyze selected examples of Islamic visual design. The interactions between typography and image are categorized as Decorative, Formative, and Constructive. These variations of type and image relationships consist of using different decorative images in service of text, the transformation of text into organic or abstract images, and the application of layouts and grids to develop text and image arrangements. By this categorization, we hope to understand how Iranian modern graphic design was inspired by Islamic and traditional visual culture.

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Ivy Yixue Li

Typographic Scenes Around Chinese factories

How does a vernacular visual language (or the lack thereof) speak about socio-economic disparities in China?

Chinese factory workers play a critical role in the global economy. Many of them have left homes in rural areas in China and moved to rural-urban fringes in search of temporary jobs at factories. Their living and working environment is a chaotic yet colorful gathering of neon signs, government slogans, factory job postings, cheap eateries and lodgings, lottery shops, and other visual/social elements that constitute their quasi-urban life.

Taking the audience through a journey of my past field studies in Chinese factories, I will present my typographic research of the disordered but lively visual landscape surrounding Chinese factory workers. The presentation will be a tribute to labor, a celebration of (anti-)design, and an attempt to justify misused typography.

3:35 pm

Talya Perper & Dan Rhatigan


Talya Perper, writer and storyboard artist on Teen Titans Go!, speaks with type designer Dan Rhatigan about her inspirations for “Zimdings” — an episode in which the team must embrace the power of fonts to defeat a nefarious typographic villain. Want to see it for yourself? “Zimdings” (Season 6, Episode 52) is available on HBO Max or the Cartoon Network through your cable provider.

4:00 pm

Noah Bryant

Made in Philly: Badass Victorian Type!

If you’ve ever eaten Cup Noodle ramen, watched any of The Godfather trilogy, or drank Ketel One vodka, you have first-hand experience with the work of the most badass type designer of the 19th century, Herman Ihlenburg. He created typefaces in Philadelphia for the MacKellar, Smiths and Jordan type foundry—five minutes away from TypeCon 2020’s venue. Pooling the deep typographic resources from the Wells College Book Arts center in Aurora, NY, the Cary Graphic Arts Collection in Rochester, and Philly’s own Athenaeum Library, my ongoing Project Ihlen aims to revive these exotic, ornamented typefaces that have dwindled in recent popularity.

This presentation will spin yarns about sneaking into spooky graveyards in search of epitaphs, paging through tomes in rare book libraries, and feverishly printing specimens from vintage Victorian type. The obsessive research has yielded three Ihlenburg revival typefaces, which will be presented for detailed analysis. From serif to counter, the revived typefaces are a case study to examine the trials of translating 19th century type into the digital age. The spirit of Herman Ihlenburg lives on in the City of Brotherly Love!

4:16 pm

Closing Comments

4:30 pm

Q & A Breakouts

5:00 pm

Small Caps Socials

Gather, chat, hang, and network with your peers on Zoom.

Saturday, October 23rd

All times are Eastern (ET). This information is subject to change.

Type & Design Education Forum

12:00 pm

Opening Remarks

Part A: Physical & Experiential

12:02 pm

Andrew Davies

Teaching Type to Hostages

The Communication Arts students I teach at Virginia Commonwealth University are there solely to become better illustrators and have no interest in graphic design. However, they’re required to take an introductory Typography course before they graduate. It’s challenging enough teaching Typography to eager, motivated design students — but what if you’re asked to introduce the world of serifs, swashes, and strokes to a room full of skeptics? How do you convince apathetic students to care about something they don’t see as relevant?

In this presentation, I’ll share my solutions to this predicament and outline the four principles that are making my Fundamentals of Typography course more engaging, even for the most reluctant learner. I’ll give examples of the activities I incorporate into my curriculum, like reenacting scientific studies, earning badges and group competitions, while also telling cautionary tales of mistakes to avoid, like not getting feedback or assuming your students share your definition of ‘fun.’ Drawing on my understanding of the cognitive science behind why these principles are working, I hope to inspire others to similarly experiment in their own classrooms.

12:20 pm

Meri Page

A Humanistic Approach to Typography: Adventures in Hand Making Three-dimensional Letterforms

Taking a humanistic approach to typography and problem solving in our increasingly digital world, Design Methods, an introductory Typography course for sophomores asked students to fabricate a typographic letterform in three dimensions by hand.

Provided with some concrete guidelines as well as a few ambiguous ones, students armed with rulers, Bristol board, X-Actos and glue set out to design and construct a letterform of their chosen font. In the process, they gained a unique and sophisticated understanding of typographic anatomy. In exploring materiality, they acquired a wealth of new technical information important to designers and experienced first-hand the qualities, limitations, and features of various adhesives and papers. They learned to appreciate the value of craft while developing new hand and manual making skills.

An individual project, students quickly teamed up, sharing failures and successful production techniques over the course of the three-week prototyping process. The presentation will discuss the process and outcomes of the experiential project as well as the value of craft, hand production, and hands-on problem solving in design education.

12:35 pm

Erica Holeman

Serious Play

“People tend to forget that play is serious, but I know that of course it is.”

— David Hockney

Typography courses demand dense vocabulary spanning decades of history. Students discover language and culture around forms they’ve seen all their lives. Grids, rules and jargon abound. Pair this with a heavy focus on rigor in college design programs, and you have a recipe for derivative, predictable work. But when allowed to play, students reach surprising solutions.

The impact of play on creativity was touted by Bauhaus theorist and teacher Johannes Itten, whose maxim was “Play becomes party — party becomes work — work becomes play.” This presentation shares case studies for introducing dignified play as mini-modules. Give a classroom of college freshmen a set of Friedrich Fröbel’s colorful blocks along with a handful of constraints, and new glyphs are born. With just ink and a few unconventional mark-making tools, a typeface forms in a matter of hours. Freed of project deadlines and final goals, the student mind is stimulated and engaged. Thoughtful work invariably follows. More importantly a class of anxious adults learn to trust their own playful, messy process.

12:50 pm

Taekyeom Lee

Squeaky Clean Type and Packaging

During the pandemic, soap became one of the much needed items of everyday life. This project proposes a new approach toward experiential typography using a mundane item, old methods, and new digital technologies: soap, mold-making, casting, and 3D printing. The use of soap involves a multi-sensory experience: vision, smell, and touch.

Different analog and digital methods were utilized for their efficiency and design affordances. 3D printing has various advantages, such as speedy iteration, single-step manufacturing, affordable production, and customization. The biggest downside of the technology is the turnaround time, depending on size and intricacy. Casting is one of the oldest manufacturing methods; advantages are low costs, ideal for small quantity production, and speedier production compared to 3D printing.

The work started as a series of experiments using old/new and analog/digital methods during the shutdown. It became a class assignment and a workshop, and will be expanded as a community-based event. It could be incorporated into typography, graphic design, packaging design, and digital fabrication courses.

1:05 pm

Dermot Mac Cormack

Type Specimen Scavenger Hunt: Creating a Digital Typeface and an Educational Resource

This talk will not only present both the inspiration and the process of developing a display typeface (which would later be called Willison) but also the unexpected creation of an educational tool for young children. Using augmented technologies to enhance the visitor experience, the project expanded to include a virtual type specimen scavenger hunt in one of Philadelphia’s hidden-gems, The Wagner Free Institute of Science.

The project originally began as a research project and evolved over time. Using extensive research in the museum’s archives we explored many kinds of handwritten type and other ephemera. The eventual typeface is based on the left leaning label writing of Charles Willison Johnson, one of the founding curators of the museum.

A secondary goal of this project was to create an educational tool for children. Buried within the specimens are printouts of letters that allow children to partake in a type scavenger hunt. When they scan the type they experience augmented adaptations of the typeface, watching each letter float above the glass specimen cases.

1:16 pm

Q & A Panel

1:35 pm


Networking Opportunity

Part B: Process & Discovery

2:00 pm

Darren McManus

Type as Shape: Experimenting with Form Through Abstraction, Grids, and Limitation

This presentation will showcase two assignments from a Typography 1 class in which second-year students learn to see and use type as shape through abstraction, grids and (seeming) limitations in their process. Typographic Squares is a semester-long exercise resulting in the creation of 7 unique grids/compositions, each consisting of 16 two-inch squares in a 4 x 4 matrix. Each two-inch square must only contain typographic specimens while being carefully cropped from its original source to maximize its potential within the overall grid.

“Exploring the letterform via abstraction” is the entry point into the class. Students investigate the formal qualities of a single letterform through the creation of four black and white 10 x 16 inch abstract compositions while adhering to restrictive rules predicated on a grid system.

It’s not until students see and use type purely as shape, rather than as a visual representation of language, that they tap into the infinite potential for creative experimentation within each project. Through meager starting points, students hone their understanding of Gestalt principles while arriving at visually rich and challenging typographic solutions.

2:15 pm

Ashley Pigford

The Type Play Project

Seeking a way for students to play with contemporary type in a purely formal way and to support independent type designers and foundries, my solution is the Type Play Project. Twenty-four students were assigned two suits from a deck of playing cards and two fonts from fourteen type designers and foundries. They were to illustrate the uniqueness of the fonts and typefaces through the design of the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen and King playing cards. I reserved the Aces for myself. We collated the best into a single deck of cards which included every student’s work and every type designer. Type was provided by Dalton Maag, Production Type, P22, Hannes von Döhren, Klim, Exljbris, GrilliType, Mark Simonson, TypeTrust, Just Another Foundry, House Industries, Darden and Shinntype. The importance of this assignment is not only as a creative exercise for the students but to introduce them to independent designers and foundries making beautiful type.

2:30 pm

Kristen Coogan

Type Design: From Clay to Cool

This presentation details the process MFA students followed to design a typeface, and includes process and final outcome images as well as contextual lecture slides. This group of students comprised the preliminary MFA class, all of whom had little to no typographic expertise.

The project focused on using simplified forms to build a complex and dynamic typographic system. Following a strict set of rules, students used elemental forms to design all of the horizontal and vertical elements needed to create 26 letters. Additional constraints included only one or two scale, weight, orientation and form shifts. Students presented individual typefaces in a content specific poster, and then the group’s typefaces were collected into a type specimen book.

Accompanying lectures related how systems inform the design of typefaces, from ancient clay stones to contemporary type design. In each case, typography makes up language systems and relies on a universally agreed upon set of codes. Students learned that design constraints and systems thinking are the gateway to freedom and exploration.

2:45 pm

Aoife Mooney & Kate Brangan

Data Dispatches: An International Teaching Collaboration

This talk will present the collaborative process and outcomes of an international, interdisciplinary class project titled Data Dispatches which ran in the Spring of 2021 and brought together educators and students from Kent State University, Ohio, USA, and the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland. In this project, student groups worked to document and communicate fragments of their daily experiences through the creation of visual languages, both moving and static, individually and in groups. This project harnessed tools of online collaboration and social media such as Slack, Miro, Zoom, YouTube and others to bring students together to produce work that reflects the challenges, opportunities and moments of humanity that defined this time and, in the end, became a celebration of that which is found in the spaces between the bits, blips and glitches of online communication. It allowed us all to find the ‘shared’ in the context of ‘share files’ and represented a snapshot in time of learning and community while navigating the pervasive effects of a pandemic, and highlighting opportunities for cross-cultural pollination within the online classroom.

3:10 pm

Albert Choi

Typo-Image: Texts are Always Part of Other Texts, Never Pure

Albert Young Choi developed a Typo-Image methodology, an integration between typography and image based on the premise that “texts are always part of other texts, and never purely an original text.” Through the Typo-Image methodology, students learn and explore Deconstruction, a form of reactionary analysis introduced by Jacques Derrida, a leading French philosopher in the 20th century. It includes an attempt to take apart and expose the underlying meanings, biases, and preconceptions that structure the way a text conceptualizes its relation to what it describes.

One of the things that makes typography very powerful is that it can have different meanings. With this in mind, designers can assume that the purpose of typography is capricious and always changing, such as the fluid nature of letterforms and negative spaces. Image-like typography (Typo-Image) is highly referential, especially today when visuals deal with creativity and re-appropriation. Our society has also become more communication-oriented. So it has become more critical than ever to realize that typography has the potential for meaning and interpretation.

3:20 pm

Q & A Panel

3:40 pm


Networking Opportunity

Part C: Inclusivity & Collaboration

4:05 pm

Charmaine Martinez

“I Can’t Read That Yellow Type” and Other Tales About Accessibility

Whether students are taking their first typography course, creating a presentation, developing an interface, or preparing a portfolio, they should consider accessibility an integral part of the design process. This talk will provide examples of how students can apply an inclusive mindset to any design project, thereby improving the legibility and functionality of their work.

As students build skills in typography, they also need to develop companion skills in designing for accessibility. This presentation includes case studies from sophomore through senior level design courses, and will demonstrate how incorporating accessibility requirements and color contrast testing into assignments impacts typography. Presentation tools such as Adobe Portfolio will be viewed through an accessibility lens and, found lacking, further demonstrate the need for students to apply critical thinking to all projects with type.

Takeaways include fundamental principles of accessible typography and simple tools that can be incorporated into one’s design workflow, so designers at all levels can make informed and ethical design decisions in their creative work.

4:30 pm

Richard Hunt

International Students, International Scripts

The teaching of graphic design in North America and Europe is based on European traditions. We classify scripts using Vox-AtypI or something similar, and we work almost exclusively in the context of the modern Western roman alphabet.

Other writing systems differ from Roman in many ways. Chinese script gives insight into how writing systems communicate to some degree independently of spoken language. Arabic and Persian systems reveal the potential and challenges of contextual alternates far more than Roman scripts do. Other writing systems, such as Japanese, use syllabaries and logographic systems. Designed scripts such as Korean, also invite students to be open-minded in their approach to typographic structures and practice.

This presentation discusses how we can appropriately incorporate other script systems into typography class, both for their own value, and to enrich their student work with Roman scripts, while at the same time valuing the knowledge and practices of students who are familiar with other script traditions.

4:45 pm

Natalie Snodgrass

Facilitating Diversity: The Designer’s Role in Supporting Cultural Representations Through Multi-Script Type Design and Research

Though there has been increased discourse on non-Latin type design practice within the type design community in recent years, there still exists a need for many more high-quality digital typefaces in most of the world’s written languages — societies, who, without these resources, are less able to contribute to global discussions.

This talk will present thesis research that analyzes the pathways in multi-script type design research and investigates the relationship between cultural studies and the type design process. The questions posed include: How does one become prepared to design an effective and well-researched typeface in a new script? How does one research an unfamiliar script? Does the use of anthropological research methodologies increase a type designer’s understanding of a script’s cultural context, and therefore increase the success of their design practice? If so, to what extent, and which aspects of the contextual typographic culture should the designer investigate? As a catalyst for further practice and discussion of these topics, a comprehensive research framework outlines best practices when pursuing type design research in a non-native script.

5:00 pm

Jan Ballard

Experience is the Teacher: Innovative Collaboration Brings Mentors and Students Together

A case study of an ongoing industry/academic program in Dallas–Fort Worth brings professionals at Dialexa together with eager students in design, tech, business, and engineering to problem solve real-world projects in an eight week, sprint-based experience.

Three takeaways:

  • Leveraging mid-career and seasoned professionals in a mentoring relationship with area college students creates learning outcomes for both groups, including industry practices, project management, and networking.
  • Expanding opportunities for cross discipline learning by fostering multi-talented teamwork in an agile environment, intensified by pandemic virtual experience in collaboration, creates successful outcomes for all participants.
  • Incorporating three universities with three academic majors (design, engineering and business) and inviting new UXers, establishes convergent thinking which creates a stronger tech hub hiring pipeline for the North Texas region.

5:12 pm

Closing Remarks

5:15 pm

Q & A Panel

Sunday, October 24th

All times are Eastern (ET). This information is subject to change.

Type Crits

The popular Type Crit is back and laying down more typographic smack, albeit virtually this year. Our masters of analysis and elucidation will providing gentle, constructive criticism to designers who present their individual type designs for review.

Interested in participating? Get the details!

12:00 pm


12:05 pm

Type Crit 1: Led by John Downer & Hannes Famira


12:10 pm

Critique 1

12:25 pm

Critique 2

12:40 pm

Critique 3

12:55 pm

Critique 4

1:30 pm


1:35 pm

Type Crit 2: Led by Iliana Moreno Guzmán, Sergio Trujillo Perez & Alex García (This Type Crit will be in Spanish.)


1:40 pm

Critique 1

1:55 pm

Critique 2

2:10 pm

Critique 3

2:25 pm

Critique 4

3:00 pm


3:05 pm

Type Crit 3: Led by Nicole Dotin & Sol Matas


3:10 pm

Critique 1

3:25 pm

Critique 2

3:40 pm

Critique 3

3:55 pm

Critique 4