Where can one learn to become a professional type designer?

Bald Condensed's picture

As the Education wiki entry is 'tainted', I'd like to know which European schools offer specific programs to become a professional type designer, like the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading, Type & Media at KABK, or the École Supérieure Estienne des Arts et Industries Graphiques.

Kristian M's picture

There is “Werkplaats Typografie” in Arnhem--they have a two year master’s program.

William Berkson's picture

Typophile is a great international, informal on-line school for type design. It is an unsystematic but passionate and high level tutorial for learning type design, with some great teachers. And a lot of BS--you get to decide which is which :)

Yay Typophile!

James Arboghast's picture

I wish I knew of something in Australia, but alas such things are unheard of here. If there is a type design center to the universe I'm in the place it's furthest from. Also try: an internet connection and regular visits to Typophile.

If there is a type design center to the universe, Typophile is it.

j a m e s

Si_Daniels's picture

>There is “Werkplaats Typografie” in Arnhem—they have a two year master’s program.

Cool, is that new? Who is teaching type design there?

bieler's picture

If it was me, starting out young and wanting to be a type designer I would go and knock on the door of a type designer/firm I admired.

I have a Japanese-born acquaintance who wanted to learn the art and craft of the baren. He knocked on the door of the master every day for over a year and was rejected. True story. After a while he was let in to sweep the floors.

He pulls in about six-figures teaching this stuff at Yale.

Gerald

Kristian M's picture

Cool, is that new? Who is teaching type design there?

I don’t know when it was first initiated--but Karel Martens and Armand Mevis supervise it.

chocomilk's picture

uhmm I almost post similar topic. anyway! my question is where is good school (bachelor degree or associate of art) to learn typography at USA or Canada or Northern Europe? I saw some schools like Art center and School of Visual art. Their curriculum quite promising but its very expensive! I don't think even with a loan, I can get the money to go to school at there and living at there. Also, is a degree is really matter in the typography/design world? I want to graduate with a knowledge at least how to make my own typefaces. I want to try Ai Schools but uhmmm....

Florian Hardwig's picture

The Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst/Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany offers a 1-year ‘Meisterschüler’ program, supervised by Fred Smeijers. However, there seems to be no information available online.

HaleyFiege's picture

Typophile should make fake degrees... like the ones you buy on TV from the University of Phoenix.

blank's picture

It’s hard to pass off a fake degree in a field with only a few-hundred professionals who tend to be obsessed with the subject. An MBA, on the other hand…

Stephen Coles's picture

"my question is where is good school (bachelor degree or associate of art) to learn typography at USA or Canada or Northern Europe"

Do you mean typography or type design?

James Arboghast's picture

Typophile should make fake degrees... like the ones you buy on TV from the University of Phoenix.

Put Typophile on TV and call it The University of Typophile. Reintroduce Friday Night Type Fights. Televend today.

j a m e s

HaleyFiege's picture

I'm pretty sure my degree from OCAD has the words "University of Imagination" somewhere. Sounds pretty fake to me.

We can offer degrees in things like Advanced Ligaturation and Typgeneering.

James Arboghast's picture

“University of Imagination” somewhere. Sounds pretty fake to me.

LOL! That's great Haley. ---You have won a free trip to the moon in the "gleaming metal rocketship" with Tiffany, Hrant, Linda, Sharon and Ricardo.---

We can offer degrees in things like Advanced Ligaturation and Typgeneering.

I will be running ---the Academy of Motion Picture Font Arts and Sciences. I have already bought up the commercial rights to all the best "fonty-flavored" film titles
.---

You will be assimilated.

j a m e s

chocomilk's picture

hahaha lol university of imagination! I am almost sending application to OCAD though!

"Do you mean typography or type design?"
Hmmm both? I want to be good in typography and also, have big! knowledge of type design.
I mean, I am just want to into at typography(logos,poster,motion title,experimental type design). I am not that fancy when it comes to packaging design (but I must take it!if Choose to learn graphic design **sigh** )

I did heard about Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig but! I don't think they are teaching in English :( I am thinking to go to Sweden but I still have no clue about which schools is good at there.

yeah..! if only typophile can offer a degree! it would be awesome! even its going to be long-distance learning. A lot of schools offer that!

HaleyFiege's picture

So you're just looking for a good design university that has solid typography teaching. There's a lot.

Ocad has a graphic design program that covers all of what you're after. They also have a very good type design teacher, Greg Van Alstyne. You can take typeface design as electives and there are several mandatory typography courses.

But go to Europe if you can.

Linda Cunningham's picture

I’m pretty sure my degree from OCAD has the words “University of Imagination” somewhere. Sounds pretty fake to me.

Oy. When I was doing my Masters defence (in Environmental Design), you had to incorporate the words "a sense of place" somewhere, on threat of being forced to rewrite and redefend.

Back when I lived near DC, I remember watching an advert for some "institution" that had a guy saying "I've done so well since I got two Masters, I decided to get a third."

Yeah, what everyone needs: the third degree....

blank's picture

Yeah, what everyone needs: the third degree....

Reminds me of a woman I knew who had two PHDs (really) and decided to teach public high school science classes.

Avalon's picture

"But go to Europe if you can"
Yeah, I personally think its better to go to Europe for design.

Which part of Europe you guys recommend it? I really want to go to London but I am just afraid the cost of living can cost me double. Other than that, I'm really considering to go to Netherland or Sweden and yeah,I am thinking to learn basic conversation of their language first before I am going to the university.

The reason, I want to go to Sweden because I just fallin' in love with the Swedish Design.

Stephen Coles's picture

I, too, love Swedish design. But don't go to Sweden if you love the sun.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Southern Sweden gets enough sun:) I would go to Bergen though.

ybaggar's picture

Werkplaats typografie is not a type design program, it's a 2 years graphic design program. But there is KABK in The Hague for type design.
For graphic design I would recommend Switzerland or Netherland (rietveld, werkplaats). But there are good schools in most countries i think.

magnus_rakeng's picture

If you like sun (midnight sun) come to Norway. Perfect for working with type all night :-)

HaleyFiege's picture

My advice to you is to not think about the weather when choosing a school. A degree isn't that long to deal with the winter and you can always move to Spain when you're finished :)

sihep's picture

There’s a part-time postgrad type design course with some frighteningly impressive visiting faculty (including Hans-Jürg Hunziker, Hans Eduard Meier, Fred Smeijers, Peter Bilak and Lucas de Groot) at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, taught in German and French.

http://svk.zhdk.ch//ndktypo.html
http://svk.zhdk.ch//ndktypo_fr.html

Zürich isn't all that amazing for people who love the sun either, though.

Stephen Coles's picture

Touché, Haley.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Forgive me, I missed out on "type". I know a few good designers have studied
Visual Communication at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts though, and I've been told Andrea Tinnes teach there.

Avalon's picture

hahahaahaha I dun care with the weather. I have been living in Seattle and Vancouver for like 6 years(I have been stop wondering when I can see the sun or when the rain going to be stop) so.. not much effect ;p Even I am originally born in SE Asia.

I really dun mind to go to Norway or Sweden (lower cost, have few fav design agencies that and also, they speak English)
Plus! I prefer northern europe cuz I always fancy their culture and uh uh uh gurls

**sigh** why they only teach only on Germany or French :( Maybe I should moving to Netherland and ask my grandmother to teach me the language.

Any suggestion around Asia? **totally going to be very low cost for me lol**

Btw, the Program from Bergen so far look what I am looking for and they have a website in english. I should contact them to learn more about the tuitions etc

dan_reynolds's picture

>**sigh** why they only teach only on Germany or French :( Maybe I should moving to Netherland and ask my grandmother to teach me the language.

Because: (these are just my guesses…)

1. German, French, Italian, and Rheto-Romanish are Switzerland's four official languages. German and French are the two biggest. Zürich is in the German-speaking part of the country. Despite the increasing amount of English spoken among Swiss, the official "second" language in Zürich is likely to be French.

2. Both the University of Reading in the UK and KABK in the Netherlands teach their postgraduate typeface design courses in English, even though the Netherlands, for example, only has one official language—and by golly, it isn't even English!

3. The French and the Germans (as well as, err… the Swiss) have their own brilliant histories of typeface design, which are rather quite separate from England's and that of the United States. Maybe they'd like to continue working in these spirits instead of, umm, burying them ;-)

4. So that people who come from other countries to study there go through the effort of learning the local language and expanding their own minds and horizons at the same time. The whole world doesn't speak English, nor should it!

5. Switzerland only joined the United Nations a few years ago, and heaven only knows if they will ever join the EU. They are a democracy, and they like doing things the way they please.

missgiggles's picture

Typophile would have been good if people allowed students to be accepted here for once. That would be a start.

HaleyFiege's picture

Haha I'm from Vancouver as well and I can tell you, it's not fun when you start living in real winters with no car and no proper winter jacket because the only time you need any semblance of winter gear living in Vancouver is for traveling from bar to bar in Whistler.

Right now I'm sitting in my Toronto studio, it's -6 with 35km snowy winds. Which is why we're moving to Spain :)

Anyway I wouldn't go to Asia for school. I think generally it's a better idea to go to Asia after you have some experience as it can be hard to start out there. I'm talking mostly about Singapore and Dubai.

missgiggles's picture

Is it possible to delete this comment box of mine?

paul d hunt's picture

serious answer: Font Bureau, look at how many big names have gone through the School of Berlow.

Avalon's picture

Thanks Dan for the information(i love you my man :)) Sorry to up set you though and uh uh I know the world doesn't speak English (me, myself fluently speak in 3 different languages)

Miss Haley hahaha yeah I know what you mean but seriously, I prefer -15 degree with snowy winds rather than hot humid season. I am originally from Singapore and yeah! it's really hard to starting out at there. Most of my friends complained a lot cuz at there work 7 days a week with min 12 hours shift (they don't get any health benefit)

Spain eh? fancy..!
btw, I saw your website and seems you have some experience with interactive design. I just wondering, is that hard as a starter interactive designer? should I be good at action script? or just have good graphic design portfolio?cuz so far, most of the agencies in here looking more flash wizard.

HaleyFiege's picture

First off you're crazy for liking the winter!!

I love working in interactive. As for coding, my office is larger (around 700 people), so we have the budget to have people to do the coding for us. My job is mostly all concept work and design. But I do know Flash and Actionscript because I don't think you can adequately design something to be produced in Flash if you don't understand the program or how the web works and how users interact with it. My boyfriend is also in interactive in a smaller agency (50 people) and because of that he needs to do some coding and flash work.

You don't want to apply to an agency as a flash person because you probably won't be doing much of your own creative work. Flash people = production, not creative. It's smarter to get an in as a creative intern then it is as production. Basically what's happening in the industry now is clients are expecting web elements to all their campaigns, where-as before it was more of a specialized thing. So agencies had to start outsourcing the production of the sites to smaller development companies until they realized they were getting totally fleeced by them. That's why there are so many flash and programming jobs opening up in-house right now.

missgiggles's picture

Hmm...this comment box needs deleting too.

Zara Evens's picture

@Miss Giggles: Indeed, Typophile is no classroom and it won't provide the experience students seek, however I would argue that Typophile is still an excellent resource for students and professionals alike. It really all comes down to how you use the information you are given (maybe treating others with respect also, IMO). I am unsure of where you get your information, but students are absolutely welcome here and make up a very significant portion of the entire Typophile community.

I will advise that you please keep the rude remarks off this site. So far, most of your contributions in this thread (and others) have been potentially hurtful to others, and the insults will not be tolerated. Name calling will get you nowhere here, and it certainly won't in your professional life either. If you have a problem with anyone in particular, please contact them offline, or contact one of our moderators to discuss.

missgiggles's picture

Hmm...

Stephen Coles's picture

miss g - If you don't feel welcome here, why continue to visit and post? Surely Typophile has been of some assistance to you?

missgiggles's picture

and this one. Sorry to have messed up your thread Bald Condensed.

Zara Evens's picture

@Miss Giggles: I said it before, I will say it again -- if you have a problem with someone or something, you should contact a moderator offline. Please keep the excessive rants out of the forums. I have read through your posts (past and present) as well as what others have posted and in no way do I believe that you are being discriminated against because of your age or your status as a student. I do believe that your words and inability to be civil do have something to do with your reputation here.

I won't continue this discussion in this forum, or any other. We'd be happy to discuss it offline, but I will ask you one more time to keep your insults and name calling off of Typophile.

typophile < at > punchcut dot com

Don McCahill's picture

Okay, I'll bite. The opening message claims the education wiki entry is tainted, and no one else seems to have commented on this. How is it tainted? Can we untaint it?

HaleyFiege's picture

Maybe because it seems to be incomplete?
What's the focus of it supposed to be? Schools that teach graphic design in general or more focused on typography?

dezcom's picture

Schools with a major in typography (not graphic design) are very rare. In the old days, typography was taught more as a printing discipline than a design discipline. Since the digital era has pushed that task to the graphic designers, courses in typography are but a part of the designers coursework. Type design majors are even more rare. Yves may have named most of them above.

ChrisL

HaleyFiege's picture

We should be able to update the wiki then. Most of the schools listed have their programs listed online. But if it's just a list of graphic design schools wouldn't it get really really long?

Perhaps it could be limited to schools that other member recommend?

Florian Hardwig's picture

courses in typography are but a part of the designers coursework

Braunschweig University of Art (in Germany) will start a specialised Master program in ‘Book design & typography’ in 2009, if I got it right.

dan_reynolds's picture

…but that's typography, not typeface design, correct?

Florian Hardwig's picture

Dan: Yep, I responded to Dezcom’s post.

dezcom's picture

Florian,
I am glad to hear that some new programs in typography are beginning!

ChrisL

Bald Condensed's picture

Why do I have to trawl thru all of this just to get some basic information!? :^P ;^) :^D

OK, if you read my original question carefully, you'll notice I specifically ask for 'typeface design' -- no 'graphic design', no 'typography', no whatever, That's what I meant with the Education wiki being tainted: there's all kind of education in there. The only thing I need to know is 'typeface design'. Thankoo thankoo for the leads so far.

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