Condensed Program

Industry leaders conduct a rigorous 5-week intensive program in typeface design this summer at Cooper Union’s New York City campus.
Note: Applications for admission to the 2019 Condensed program are due by midnight of Wednesday, February 28, 2019.

About the Condensed Program

Students of the summer intensive program take part in an integrated foundational course of typeface design, calligraphy, history, and theory. Tools and principles of digital typeface design are taught step by step through an individual typeface design project. Instructors include Hannes Famira (principal FamiraFonts), Just van Rossum, Ewan Clayton, (renowned calligrapher and professor), and Alexander Tochilovsky (curator of the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography). Guest critics including Matthew Carter will visit the program. Field trips to notable typographic institutions in New York City round out the program.

In conjunction with lectures and independent research, instruction in both traditional and digital lettering techniques and styles will be used as a vehicle for exploring the history, the tools and techniques, the underlying structures, and the practical applications of letterforms from the ancient to the contemporary.

Building on this foundation, participants design and produce their own typeface as a font made to industry standards, and exit the program with the specialized skills needed to design professional-quality digital typefaces and lettering. A final review of work will determine successful completion of the program and a certificate will be granted accordingly.


The Condensed program meets 4 to 5 days per week for 5 weeks, from June 17 to July 18, and provides a total of 162 in-class hours. Classes meet from 9 am to 9:30 pm in 2 and 3-hour sessions, with open studio time in between. Attendance to all sessions is required to earn the certificate.


Tuition for accepted applicants is $5,150, to be paid in full no later than April 3, 2019. Payment instructions will be provided with the acceptance notification.

apply by
february 28

Applications will be accepted in the month of February 2019. The application deadline is midnight on February 28, 2019. A $75 non-refundable application fee must be submitted for each application. Applicants may pay the application fee online here. Alternatively, the fee may be submitted by check, payable to The Cooper Union, sent to the mailing address below. Be sure to include a note with your full name and phone number.

Pay application fee online

Attn: Kimberly Bowers
The Cooper Union
Continuing Education Department
41 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

The program is limited to 16 participants. Applicants will be informed of their acceptance status by March 15.

Application Materials

Candidates are asked to submit the following application materials to with the subject heading “Typeface Design Application”. Your e-mail should include your full name, phone number, e-mail address and postal address. Please include these materials in a single PDF (8.5″ x 11″, print resolution, maximum 10 pages / 20 MB):

  1. A brief letter describing your experience and interest in typeface design and lettering (250 words maximum).
  2. A portfolio of 6 graphic arts projects, demonstrating your proficiency in typography, lettering and vector drafting. For team projects, please state your personal role.
  3. A list of any relevant courses you’ve taken, including the school/ institution and dates taken.
  4. A supporting résumé with any further information which might be considered relevant.

  5. Please name your PDF “your name_application_2019”. Format the PDF to print at 8.5" × 11".

For more information, see the FAQ section, or e-mail with your questions.