Immerse yourself in the world of type design while surrounded by the support of industry professionals and a community of like-minded typophiles. Practica’s 14-week, live, online program is for designers who already have the beginnings of a typeface but want to build it out into a multiweight family. At the end of the program, students will have a two-master typeface that is ready to interpolate into a full typeface family.
As our name suggests, we’re focused on the practical side of type design. Our mission is to help students learn the fundamental principles of drawing typefaces, realize their ideas efficiently, and create technically sound fonts. But that doesn’t mean we’re ignoring theory. A well-built typeface is only that. How do we make a typeface sing (a feat by any measure)? How do we make a typeface useful, and how can research and theory inform our work?
Through lectures, feedback sessions, and Q&A sessions, we’ll explore these topics and dive into type design as a living, evolving discipline. By the end, you’ll be ready to tackle more complex projects with more confidence, and will have a better understanding of contemporary type design practice.
Participants receive an extended trial license and can purchase their own full license at a discount.
Practica Program 2021
All Tuesdays and Thursdays from 19 January through 22 April 2021. Each online session starts at 19:00 Berlin time, 12:00 Chicago time.
Topics covered include:
- Evaluating typefaces using objective and subjective standards.
- Discovering how function and use impact design decisions.
- Understanding the type design palette.
- Structuring multiweight families.
- Creating new weights or styles through interpolation.
- Working efficiently in Glyphs.
- Expanding character sets and designing diacritics.
- Learning the technical steps necessary to produce a font that is ready for release.
- Exploring the business of type design, including licensing, distribution models, and various career paths.
For the first seven weeks, we’ll meet twice a week. The first meeting will be a one-hour lecture; the second will be a feedback session looking at the group’s typefaces. Every three weeks or so, the feedback session will be replaced by a flexible class for students to ask questions or for the instructors to give short presentations on topics of interest to students but not covered elsewhere.
The next seven weeks will follow the same structure, but with fewer lectures. The focus will shift to the feedback sessions, allowing students more time to work on their typefaces independently.
All sessions are held live via Zoom. For those unable to attend in real time, lectures will be recorded. The feedback sessions, on the other hand, must be attended live in order to benefit fully from them. This gives you some flexibility to work the program into your own schedule, but also the opportunity to connect with fellow students.
Lastly, all lead instructors will set aside time each week to meet with students needing one-on-one support (i.e., office hours). There are more than 40 course hours for the entire program, not including office hours.
Live Zoom sessions
Nicole Dotin and Sol Matas
Visiting lecturers: Maria Doreuli, Bas Jacobs, David Jonathan Ross, Aleksandra Samuļenkova, Alice Savoie, Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer, Sara Soskolne
Some experience with type design expected. Read more.
USD 1520, reduced fees available
Mac with Glyphs preinstalled.