Type West In-Person

Type West In-Person at Letterform Archive

Type West is a postgraduate certificate program in type design at Letterform Archive in San Francisco.

Class of 2019 students at work. See the full video.

Our Postgraduate Certificate Program in Type Design is geared toward graphic design professionals who wish to expand their typographic toolboxes by learning the tools and techniques necessary to create original typefaces. The yearlong program is tailored to the needs of recent graduates, working designers, and other professionals who interact with type and typography regularly but would like to deepen their knowledge in a supportive and challenging academic environment.

The in-person program for Type West 2023 will begin January 30, 2023 and end December 12, 2023. Full schedule.

The application period for Type West 2023 has closed. Still have questions? Want to stay updated? Join our mailing list.

Pedagogy & Resources

students browse in the Letterform Archive reading room
Instructor Grendl Löfkvist and students browse historical examples in the Archive reading room. Photo: Mary Miguel.

The history and theory of type design serve as the basis for the core classes of type production. Students practice hand lettering, calligraphy, and drafting as a foundation for original letterform creation and master the digital tools necessary for making fonts. Class size is limited to allow for individual instruction.

Each of the three (3) ten-week terms is supported by two (2) weekend/weeknight workshops and four (4) guest lectures, all taught by leaders in the fields of typography and type design. The course curriculum is supplemented by the popular Letterform Lecture series, co-presented by the San Francisco Public Library and currently held online, featuring visiting scholars and industry professionals and covering a wide range of topics on lettering and type design.

Type West students have access to an unparalleled typographic library as they research and create their own original typefaces. Librarians, curators, and other members of the Archive’s knowledgeable staff guide students through thousands of type specimens, reference books, and original examples of lettering and graphic design.

Students also benefit from free admission to the Letterform Archive Salon Series which explores a specific category of the Archive’s extensive collection.

Type West In-Person Instructors

Grendl Löfqvist portraitGrendl Löfkvist, Education Director, teaches type history and theory in the Certificate Program. Outside the Archive, Grendl teaches the history of graphic design, book arts, typography, and letterpress printing at City College of San Francisco, as well as calligraphy at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Grendl has ink in her veins: she was an offset press operator for 20 years, and she serves on the board of directors for the American Printing History Association’s Northern California chapter. Her interests include the study of printing as a subversive “Black Art” and she’s always on the lookout for bizarre or macabre print, type, and lettering lore (she is a bit of a goth).

Graham Bradley portraitGraham Bradley, Lead Instructor, designs custom and retail typefaces at A+. He began his career in type design as the first employee at Frere-Jones Type, where he worked on Mallory and Retina. He has collaborated with MCKL since 2018, helping with the design of Owners, Trust, and Redaction. A couple of his in-progress projects can be found on Future Fonts. Graham studied at the Type@Cooper program with Jesse Ragan, and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Rod Cavazos's portrait

Rod Cavazos is Founder and Principal at PSY/OPS, where he has designed and produced hundreds of typefaces over 25 years. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts, where he’s taught the acclaimed Type Design Studio since 2006. His passion for type and teaching are boundless, and he can usually be found tinkering with letters in some form, on screen or off.

Maria Doreuli's portrait

Maria Doreuli earned masters degrees at the Moscow State University of Printing and the TypeMedia course at The Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. Her type has won numerous awards, including honors from the Type Directors Club and Morisawa. For several years she has run type design and lettering workshops in Russia and in 2014 she founded the Contrast Foundry in Moscow.

The complete instructor list for Type West In-Person 2023 will be announced soon.

Past Core Instructors

Schedule

The 2023 Certificate Program will consist of three (3) ten-week terms: January 30–April 13, June 6–August 16, and October 3–December 12.

Type Design classes are held on Mondays, 6:00–9:00pm Pacific Time, with two (2) weekend or weeknight workshops per trimester. Type History classes are held on Tuesdays 6:00–8:00pm. All classes for the 2023 course will be held onsite at Letterform Archive.

The application period for Type West 2023 has closed. Still have questions? Want to stay updated? Join our mailing list.