Events

Shapeshifting Typefaces: Designing and Producing Variable Fonts

Shapeshifting Typefaces: Designing and Producing Variable Fonts
Nick Sherman

Workshop at Letterform Archive
Offered by Type@Cooper West
Sat–Sun, Jul 7–8, 2018
10:00am–5:00pm

Learn how to make variable fonts and explore new design possibilities for typefaces that can fluidly change shape.

Recent developments in font technology allow typefaces to break free from the static restrictions designers have grown used to since typography was invented. In a world where responsive design systems are a normal part of any design project, variable fonts offer typographic adaptability that was previously impractical or impossible. They also offer extra flexibility for non-standard dimensions in typeface design beyond the typical parameters of weight, width, and optical size.

This workshop will cover the process of adapting traditional type families into a variable font format, but will also explore experiments with non-standard design spaces and developing new variable typefaces from scratch. It is intended for people who have made fonts before and are interested in exploring the new possibilities of variable fonts.

Required Materials
  • Students must have a laptop with RoboFont installed and previous experience with digital typeface design.

A workshop offered by Type@Cooper West, a collaboration between Letterform Archive and The Cooper Union Continuing Education Department, and held in the Monotype Classroom at Letterform Archive.

About Nick Sherman
Nick Sherman portrait

Nick Sherman is a typographer, web designer, typeface designer, and typographic consultant. He is a founder and designer of Fonts In Use and Variable Fonts.

A graduate of the Type@Cooper Extended Program in typeface design at The Cooper Union, Nick also works on design and organization for their Typographics design festival. A List Apart has published his writing on responsive design and web typography, and he occasionally talks and teaches classes on those topics. He is a member of the Adobe Typography Customer Advisory Board, as well as the artistic board for the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, and has served on the board of directors for the Type Directors Club.

Previously, Nick has worked at Font Bureau, Webtype, and MyFonts, directing web design and promo­tional material for type­faces in print and digital media. He graduated with honors from the Graphic Design pro­gram at MassArt in Boston, where he has also taught under­graduate typography, typeface design, and letterpress printing.

Some of his other projects include Size Calculator, Font‑To‑Width, Woodtyper, Pizza Rules!, Specimenism, and a personal photo journal featuring manhole covers, manicules, and more. Nick also parti­cipates in the Kaiju Big Battel live monster wrestling group. Originally from Cape Cod and Boston, he is also a skate­boarder, pizza enthusiast, printer, musician, and classic horror film buff.