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Type West In-Person

Education is central to the Archive’s mission. At the core is Type West, a postgraduate certificate program in type design available in-person in San Francisco.

Type West is the only year-long certificate program in type design on the West Coast. Designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals through evening and weekend classes, Type West provides a supportive and challenging environment to deepen your knowledge of typography and expand your creative skillset with the ability to make your own typefaces.

Type West 2024 launched on January 29 and ends in December.

Sign up for updates on Type West 2025 here.

Pedagogy & Resources

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 ten-week terms is supported by two weekend workshops, 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, featuring visiting scholars and industry professionals, covering a wide range of topics on lettering, calligraphy, type design, and more.

Type West In-Person 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. You'll have an opportunity to request and spend quality time with resources to support your work in regular study halls.

Students also benefit from free admission to the Letterform Archive Salon Series which offers different viewpoints on the Archive’s extensive collection.

Type West In-Person Instructors

Type Design
Portrait of Maria Doreuli

Maria Doreuli, Lead Instructor, 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. Maria joins the full-year Type West faculty after serving as an instructor in 2021–2022.

Kel Troughton, Co-Instructor for Term 1, is a type designer, lettering artist, graffiti writer, and educator, living in Oakland CA. He started writing graffiti in 2000 and has continued to add letter-based interests ever since. Kel teaches workshops on type and lettering, as well as co-teaching in the Type West program since 2020. He studied Type design at Type@Cooper West, worked at Monotype, and currently works on freelance type and lettering projects. His company Overlap Type focuses on type design that utilizes ideas from his graffiti experience. In short, Kel is a letter person.

Christopher Slye, Co-Instructor for Term 2, is a type professional living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He first worked as an independent type designer, developer, and consultant before joining Adobe’s typographic staff in 1997, where he helped to expand the design and functionality of Adobe Originals typefaces. Later, he guided Adobe’s type-related technology and initiatives and contributed to the development of open web font standards. He eventually managed all aspects of Adobe’s business and type licensing programs, including the Adobe Fonts subscription service, until 2020. He was president of Type Network from 2021 to 2023.

Miguel Sousa, Co-Instructor for Term 3, is a Portuguese-American type designer and font developer, with a degree in Technology and Graphic Arts from the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, and a Masters in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, England.

While studying at Reading, Miguel designed Calouste: a typeface covering both Latin and Armenian scripts, which received a Type Directors Club award in 2006. That same year, he joined the Type Development team at Adobe in San Jose, California. There he has continued his focus on non-Latin language systems, and mastering the details of font technologies. After a stint managing Western type development, he’s now part of the team that creates and maintains services that provide fonts to millions of people..

Miguel maintains, a resource for dynamically generating dummy text in a multitude of languages.

Type History & Theory

Chris McDonald, Type History Instructor for Term 1, is a calligrapher based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Long affiliated with the Friends of Calligraphy craft guild, he has studied with numerous scribes regionally, nationally and internationally, and has taught privately and for FOC since 2015. During the day he works as an archivist at a local university. Always craving the pleasures of hand-crafted work, his broader interests include lettering, drawing, bookbinding, and related book and paper arts.

Grendl Löfkvist, Type History Instructor for Terms 2 and 3, 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).

Type West In-Person Schedule*

Trimester One
  • Fundamentals of Typeface Design
    Mondays, 6–9pm PT, January 29 – April 8.
  • Transformative Technologies
    Tuesdays, 6–8pm PT, January 30 – April 9 (except on the weeks when Letterform Lectures are in session).
  • Two (2) weekend workshops taught by leaders in the fields of lettering and type design.
  • Study Hall hours with items from the collection (schedule to be determined).
Trimester Two
  • Original Typeface Design
    Mondays, 6–9pm PT, June 3 – August 12.
  • The Lexicon of Power
    Tuesdays, 6–8pm PT, June 4 – August 13 (except on the weeks when Letterform Lectures are in session).
  • Two (2) weekend workshops taught by leaders in the fields of lettering and type design.
  • Study Hall hours with items from the collection (schedule to be determined).
Trimester Three
  • Type Families
    Mondays, 6–9pm PT, October 7 – December 12.
  • Cultural Impact
    Tuesdays, 6–8pm PT, October 8 – December 13 (except on the weeks when Letterform Lectures are in session).
  • Two (2) weekend workshops taught by leaders in the fields of lettering and type design.
  • Study Hall hours with items from the collection (schedule to be determined).

Application Requirements

Our application period for Type West 2025 will launch in September of 2024, so stay tuned for updates and information. The application requirements include the following:

  • A portfolio of images from six pieces of recent work involving type, lettering, calligraphy, illustration, design, and/or typography, accompanied by a brief description of the process and your role in their production.
  • A statement of intent (between 250 and 500 words).
  • A CV, including your education history and any relevant coursework, dates, and institutions.


The tuition for each trimester of the 2024 program is $3,130, which covers all workshops, lectures, software subscriptions, including RoboFont and Glyphs, and an Archive membership for the program year.

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