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School of Visual Arts

The Complete Typographer I

School of Visual Arts via Kadenze Program


  • Understanding of typographic history and practice
  • Understanding of and ability to demonstrate skills and techniques needed to create custom hand lettering
  • Ability to create original typefaces using digital software


Courses under this program:
Course 1: The Practical History of Typography

The Practical History of Typography serves as an introduction to The Complete Typographer, and provides a historical appreciation of the art and science of typography: display lettering (both hand drawn and mechanically generated), and text typefaces—a “historical bucket” approach. The course examines typefaces associated with key design and technological developments of the 20th century—the Bauhaus, the New Typography, etc.—with an eye towards critical analysis of form, moving right up to 2017…

Course 2: Custom Handlettering

Custom Handlettering, the second installment in The Complete Typographer program, covers unique and beautiful handlettering used across a wide spectrum of design disciplines. The practice involves drawing letterforms already composed into words, rather than creating characters for an entire alphabet and combining them. Generated for specific uses rather than assembled from a kit of parts, handlettering provides infinite variety for type designers. Students will explore ways to build out digital…

Course 3: Making Typeface Families

Continuing from the previous courses in The Complete Typographer, Making Typeface Families focuses on drawing a complete alphabet from start to finish, then adding bold and italic variations. Students will choose a sample document for which they'll create a typeface, translate concepts from rough pencil sketches to digitized finishes, and establish cohesiveness in a small trial range of selected characters. Through study of various letterform elements, students will establish how these parts…

Taught by

Angela Riechers, Steven Heller, Yomar Augusto and Victoria Rushton


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