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Type West Online

Education is central to the Archive’s mission. Type West Online is a yearlong postgraduate certificate program in type design available worldwide.

Type West Online provides a supportive and challenging environment to deepen your knowledge of typography and expand your creative potential to make your own typefaces from anywhere in the world.

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

Sign up for updates on Type West 2025 here.

Pedagogy & Resources

Students have remote access to a premier collection of type specimens and typographic history, along with guidance from the Archive’s staff.

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/weeknight 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, and held mostly online, featuring visiting scholars and industry professionals, covering a wide range of topics on lettering, calligraphy, type, and more.

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 access to the Letterform Archive Salon Series which offers different viewpoints on our extensive collection.

Type West Online Instructors

Type Design

Sahar Afshar, Lead Instructor for Type West Online, is an independent type designer and researcher based in London. She holds a PhD in Printing History from Birmingham City University, and is part of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Printing History and Culture. She divides her time between her practice as a type designer with over a decade of experience in working on various retail and custom fonts, and her research, which investigates the technological, cultural, and political dimensions of typography and printing, and how these facets converge through various historical contexts. When she is not drawing letterforms or researching their histories, she teaches type, writes about type, talks about type, and indulges in hobbies that have nothing at all to do with type, and drinks too much tea.

Michele Patanè, Co-Instructor for Type West Online Term 1, lives and works in London and is a type designer, researcher and visiting lecturer at the University of Reading, UK, and ECAL in Lausanne, Switzerland. From 2012 to 2019 he worked at Dalton Maag studio in London, where he served as senior type designer and team manager, contributing to the development of internationally prominent projects. Her research focuses on the use of historical patterns in type design practice.

Romina Hernández, Co-Instructor for Type West Online Term 2 is a type designer, programmer, sign painter and ocassional woodworker from México City.She holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design, is a self taught graphic designer, and a graduate of the TypeMedia program at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague in the Netherlands.These days Romina spends her days designing and creating coding projects and tools for creatives with her team at, teaching workshops, making tea, and fixing her bikes. She’s a proudly trans feminist and a cat lady.

Fer Cozzi, Co-Instructor for Type West Online Term 3, is an independent type designer from Argentina. She graduated from the University of Buenos Aires where she earned a postgraduate specialization in Type Design and now teaches in the school’s Master of Typeface Design program. Fer has participated in several typography events around the world, and her work has been selected for renowned typography exhibitions and competitions.

Type History & Theory

Ewan Clayton, Type History Instructor for Term 1, is the author of The Golden Thread, an essential book on the history of calligraphy and typography. He is currently teaching at the Royal Drawing School in London and the University of Sunderland, where he co-directs the International Calligraphy Research Centre. In 2013 he was awarded the first Karl-Georg Hoefer prize by The Schreibwerkstatt Klingspor for his work in calligraphy and education.

Briar Levit, Type History Instructor for Term 2, is a Professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University. She spent her early career as Art Director of Bitch magazine, and as an independent book designer. Her feature-length documentary, Graphic Means, established an obsession with alternative design history, leading her to co-direct The People’s Graphic Design Archive and edit the book, Baseline Shift: Previously Untold Stories of Women Throughout Graphic Design History.

Type West Online Schedule*

Trimester One

  • Fundamentals of Typeface Design
    Mondays, 2–4pm PT, January 29 – April 8.
  • The History of Writing
    Wednesdays, 9–11am PT January 31 – April 10 (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.
  • Office Hours with instructors (schedule to be determined).

Trimester Two

  • Original Typeface Design
    Mondays, 2–4pm PT, June 3 – August 12.
  • Tools of the Trade: The Evolution of Typographic Technologies
    Tuesdays, 2–4pm 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.
  • Office Hours with instructors (schedule to be determined).

Trimester Three

  • Type Families
    Mondays, 2–4pm PT, October 7 – December 12.
  • Cultural Impact
    Tuesdays, 2–4pm 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.
  • Office Hours with instructors (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. The tuition for the 1st trimester is due no later than Friday, December 15, 2023, to secure your spot in the program. Payment and scholarships information will be provided in the acceptance notification email.

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