Certificate Core: Experimental Typeface Design

Certificate Core: Experimental Typeface Design
with Juan Villanueva

Type West Certificate Program
Online Workshop
Thu, Jun 10, – Thu, Jul 1, 2021
5:00pm–8:00pm PDT

In this workshop, over four Thursday evenings, we’ll use analog tools and learn techniques for sketching, iterating, and prototyping letterforms that are not only unique but can be the beginnings of new and exciting typefaces. This class will place an emphasis on discovery and play with both tools and processes for making letters. In addition, we’ll also cover some of the theories behind letterforms to demystify the creative process. Throughout the four weeks, you’ll develop your eye to judge consistency in contrast, color, spacing, and rhythm, which are essential principles for making any typeface.

So gather your tools, and let’s make memorable ink moments and happy accidents as we explore the possibilities around us to make new forms.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Explore the infinite analog possibilities for generating new forms
  • Discover your own process and develop your workflow
  • Understand foundations in calligraphy, lettering, and typographic variables
  • Develop your eye to judge consistency in contrast, color, spacing, and rhythm
  • Required Materials
    • A computer (laptop or desktop)
    • Reliable Internet connection
    • A free Zoom account
    • A free Slack account (an invitation to a class group will be sent to each participant)
    • A photo camera (any kind) and Adobe Photoshop (or similar photo editing software) for putting images together
    • Grid paper and blank paper for sketching
    • Any kind of sketchbook, analog or digital, to take notes and jot down ideas
    • Canson Pro-Layout Marker Paper Pad, 14" × 17" 50-Sheet Pad
    • Bee Paper White Sketch and Trace Roll, 12-Inch by 20-Yards or similar kind of tracing paper roll or pad
    • Thick stock paper larger than 11x17 (e.g. Bristol or Watercolor paper)
    • Speedball Calligraphy Pen with C1 nibs and/or Pilot Parallel Pen, 6.0 mm + refills (black ink)
    • Pentel Arts Water-Based Color Brush Pens (black ink)
    • Non-waterproof ink (black, walnut, or another dark color)
    • Shallow dish or bowl for ink
    • Pencil and sharpener or Mechanical pencil with refills
    • Eraser, white-out, scissors, and tape (artist tape or removable tape recommended)
    • Note: This workshop is only open to students enrolled in the Type West Certificate Program in Type Design.

About Juan Villanueva
Juan Villanueva

Juan Villanueva is a typeface designer, letterer, and educator in New York City.

He grew up in Lima, Peru and Clifton, NJ. His heart is in both places and his work reflects both languages and cultures. Juan is a typeface designer at Monotype working on library designs including Helvetica Now, Futura Now, and Walbaum as well as custom projects for global brands such as Google, Microsoft, Tencent, and Entertainment One.

He teaches Display Type Design at Type@Cooper, typography at the City College of New York and has taught graphic design at the Cooper Union Summer Art Intensive Program. He’s a member of AIGA NY and serves on the board of the Society of Scribes and served on the board of Type Directors Club. He is the founder of Type Crit Crew, an initiative to make type design education more accessible and inclusive to students anywhere in the world.

He holds a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration & Animation from Montclair State University and graduated from the Type@Cooper Extended program. He is always taking workshops to improve his skills and most recently, he studied at the University of Reading’s Type Design Intensive focusing on non-Latin scripts and typography.

Follow him on Instagram and Twitter and find some of his student's work here.

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