Extended Program

Top industry professionals lead a focused and comprehensive study of key typeface design principles: technique, aesthetics, expression, history, and theory. Classes are held on Cooper Union’s New York City campus.
Note: Applications for admission to the 2014–2015 program are due by midnight of Monday June 2, 2014.


About the Extended Program

Students learn the tools and principles of digital typeface design through individual typeface design projects with Jesse Ragan. Alexander Tochilovsky leads an exploration of the history and theory of typeface design through lectures, discussions, and independent research. Optional elective classes offered in addition to the core program focus on topics such as hand-lettering and Python programming. Special guest lecturers and critics round out the program and provide deeper insight. Participants design and produce their own typefaces as fonts made to industry standards, and exit the program with the specialized skills needed to design professional-quality digital typefaces and lettering.

Schedule

The 2014–2015 Extended program begins with the Fall term, from September 29 through December 2, 2014, and continues for two additional terms, Spring (late January through mid April) and Summer (early June through early August).

The core program consists of 54 course hours per term. To earn the Certificate, participants must attend the full core program and pass a final review of their work.

Classes and lectures are scheduled on evenings and weekends to accommodate working professionals. Core classes meet on Monday and Tuesday evenings plus one weekend per term, and elective classes meet on weekends during the day and on weeknights during the summer.

Tuition

Tuition for each term in the 2014–2015 program is $2165 and covers all three mandatory core classes as well as 2 non-mandatory workshops per term and all lectures. Curriculum listings are shown below. Schedules for upcoming terms will be updated as they are finalized.

Fall term tuition is due no later than Tuesday, June 24, 2014 to secure a student’s place in the program. Payment instructions will be provided with the acceptance notification.

apply
before
June 2

Applications for admission to the 2014–2015 Extended program are due by midnight of Monday, June 2, 2014. A $75 non-refundable application fee must be submitted for each application. The fee may be submitted online at Cooper Union’s Continuing Education website. Alternatively, applicants may submit the application fee by check, payable to The Cooper Union, sent to the mailing address below. If paying by check, be sure to include a note with your full name and phone number.

Pay application fee online

The Cooper Union Office of Continuing Education
Attn: Kressent Pottenger
30 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

The program is limited to 18 participants. Applicants will be informed of their acceptance status by Friday, June 13, 2014.

Application Materials

Candidates are asked to submit the following application materials to type@cooper.edu 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. Please state your personal role in the creation of each piece.
  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.

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



Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Untypical Types
with Matthew Carter

Special guest lecture open to the public
Mon. Jul. 14 – Mon, Jul. 14, 2014
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Webfonts are Just Fonts
with Christian Schwartz

Special guest lecture open to the public
Mon. Jul. 28 – Mon, Jul. 28, 2014
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Letterpress Printing
with Daniel Morris

Required for Extended program certificate students
Sat. Aug. 02 – Sun, Aug. 03, 2014
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM



Detailed course, workshop and lecture descriptions below

Participants in this program are exposed to a range of elective and mandatory events that form an itegral part of the program’s experience. There are unique events each year but most of these courses repeat. Please direct all inquiries to type@cooper.edu. Your questions will receive the promptest possible reply.


Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Letterpress Printing with Daniel Morris

Required for Extended program certificate students
Sat. Aug. 02 – Sun, Aug. 03, 2014
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Students will given instruction and expert assistance to produce multi-color specimens of their typeface designs on Vandercook presses from polymer plates designed and prepared digitally in advance.

  • Paper for printing to be coordinated as a group




Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Webfonts are Just Fonts with Christian Schwartz

Special guest lecture open to the public
Mon. Jul. 28 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

As the @font-face feature in CSS and new font formats have been adopted, typography on the web has quickly moved past default system fonts. It's been an exciting few years in which many things have changed, but the shifts have been less fundamental than some people would have you think. Christian Schwartz will discuss his experience of what has changed and what has stayed the same as he and his colleagues at Commercial Type have been swept up in the excitement surrounding webfonts.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Untypical Types with Matthew Carter

Special guest lecture open to the public
Mon. Jul. 14 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Much of my work has been concerned with utilitarian typefaces, self-effacing designs for setting text in newspapers or magazines on paper or online. These have often had to deal with issues of legibility in difficult production situations. On the other hand, from time to time I have had a chance to design types that are less run-of-the-mill, in the sense that they were not primarily meant for text setting or solving technical problems. I describe four of these "untypical" designs in detail, explain the backstory behind the unusual manner in which they came about, and show examples of them in use.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Reflections On Gill with Ewan Clayton

Special guest lecture open to the public
Mon. Jun. 16 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Eric Gill has been a controversial figure ever since Fiona MacCathy's exposing biography of 1989. As a lettering artist he worked across the field from stone carving to type, calligraphy and engraving. In this lecture Ewan Clayton looks  at the connections between the various crafts he practised and at his influence on subsequent generations. He concludes by posing a new thesis about the framing of Gill's An Essay on Typography.






Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Font Production with Andy Clymer

Public workshop
Wed. Jun. 11 – Wed, Jul. 30, 2014
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Building a font file that works isn’t always as easy as choosing “Generate Font” from the File menu, in this course students will take more than just a peek under the hood of how a font works and will learn to use tools and techniques that can take the edge off of font production and testing.

Over the course of eight weeks topics will range from writing and testing OpenType features, using the RoboFab toolkit to build simple tools to automate repetitive tasks, getting naming and other font info tables set up the right way, and clearing up common bugs and error messages that inevitably come up during font production. The classes will be taught in the RoboFont editing environment.

  • Requires: Mac with an installation of the RoboFont editor




Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Automotive Identity at General Motors Design with Susan Skarsgard

Special guest lecture open to the public
Mon. Jun. 09 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Some of the most beautiful graphic applications of corporate identity design can be found on the chrome "jewelry" of General Motors vehicles. This lecture will present a rich, visual and historic overview of the lettering and emblem design process, illustrated with rarely seen images from the corporate archives.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Advanced Typeface Design with Jesse Ragan

Required for Extended program certificate students
Tue. Jun. 03 – Tue, Aug. 05, 2014
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

In a more self-directed project, students choose one of their typefaces from the previous two terms to refine and expand into a type family, with additional weights and an italic.
Materials: Macintosh or Windows laptop with Robofont.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Typeface Design in Context with Alexander Tochilovsky

Required for Extended program certificate students
Mon. Jun. 02 – Mon, Aug. 04, 2014
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Typefaces aren’t designed in a vacuum, and as such they are affected by, and affect a multitude of fields. The realm within which typeface design exists and is practiced, from practical to theoretical, will be the focus of this course. Topics will include: History of the Type Specimen, Custom/Proprietary Designs, “National Type”, and others.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Basic Python Programming for Typeface Design with Ben Kiel

Required for Extended program certificate students
Sat. Mar. 29 – Sun, Mar. 30, 2014
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Typeface design has a long tradition of its practitioners creating their own custom tools to aid the design process. The Python programming language is the modern-day equivalent of a punch cutter’s counterpunch. Using Python allows the designer to focus more on the design of a typeface by automating repetitive tasks. In this workshop, students will gain a basic understanding of how to program in Python and how to use those skills in Robofont. In the first part of the workshop, Python and basic programming concepts will be introduced with the use of Drawbot, a Python environment created to teach designers programming. After the core concepts are introduced, the workshop will move to exploring how to apply them as part of the typeface design process in Robofont. At the end, students will have the skills to create their own digital counterpunches.

  • Students will need a laptop with a copy of DrawBot and Robofont installed. No prior programming experience is assumed.




Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Comenius, Marconi & Zapf Book: three typefaces from 1976 with Ferdinand Ulrich

Special guest lecture open to the public
Tue. Mar. 18 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

In 1976 the International Typeface Corporation celebrated their announcement of a new typeface designed by Hermann Zapf in a folding specimen, claiming it was "his first type since he put the finishing touch to Optima Medium Italic some ten years ago". A headline revealed "Now he's back with an almighty Zapf". Besides the much marketed ITC Zapf Book two other lesser-known typefaces by Zapf were also released that year: Berthold Comenius and Marconi for Hell Digiset. This lecture focuses on all three textfaces by taking a close look at their origin, by comparing them with their contemporaries and by paying attention to their letter shapes and characteristics based on the different technological circumstances in an era on the verge from photo to digital.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Down With Buckets with Indra Kupferschmid

Special guest lecture open to the public
Tue. Mar. 11 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Traditional systems for classifying typefaces are exhausted. Typographers often rant about them, and occasionally propose new models, but we're still mostly stuck using derivatives of a system developed in the 1950s. What can we learn from these classifications, and how can they be improved for the users of type today (and the future)? What systems are as beneficial to working designers as they are to historians and scholars? In this talk Indra Kupferschmid will explain some approaches to type classification and terminology that can be practical for everyone without being limiting.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Typefaces as Strategic Point of Passage with Jean François Porchez

Special guest lecture open to the public
Tue. Feb. 11 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Typography has become a natural extension of the visual identity of the most diverse organizations, governments and businesses, for their publications and products. Typeface design is at a pivotal point in its history, thanks to new creative technologies and uses. Letters and by extension, typographic signs, have always been witness to the conveyance of thoughts between author and reader. Nowadays, the typeset text is not only tied to the world of the books. Since the industrial revolution and the globalization of education, typography has become the gateway to texts and contents, and is a key element of communication between people. We have reached a cross-roads which bears discussion. Let's open a debate about how to address typeface design and its role in the contemporary world, similar to how design and visual identity were formulated during the 1960s.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Motivations Behind Typeface Design with Alexander Tochilovsky

Required for Extended program certificate students
Tue. Feb. 04 – Wed, Apr. 09, 2014
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Aside from technological evolution, typeface design has also been driven by the personal or collective challenges to the status quo. Experimentation and innovation have led to a number of movements within typeface design. This course will look closely at some of the major formal shifts within typeface design and the motivations behind them. Topics will include Search for Ideal Form, Experimentation, Romain du Roi, Victorian and Vernacular, and others.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Designing an Original Typeface with Jesse Ragan

Required for Extended program certificate students
Mon. Feb. 03 – Mon, Apr. 07, 2014
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Expression and personal investment take precedence when designing a new typeface from scratch. In this course, students will hone their new skills while learning to develop an original concept into a structurally sound design. This in-depth project will extend into the third term.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Understanding and Experiencing the Designspace with Hannes F. Famira

Required for Extended program certificate students
Sat. Feb. 01 – Sun, Feb. 02, 2014
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

In this course we will examine type design from a viewpoint that offers an alternative to the historical model of categorization. Inspired by Gerrit Noordzij’s teachings we will explore the design space in closely guided sketching sessions. At the end of this hands-on workshop the students will have created a number of possible starting points for personal typeface design projects and understand the choices available to them.
In order to confidently engage the design process a type designer has to be aware of the entire theoretical room of possible letterforms she is navigating. Only a profound understanding of the multi-dimensional design space as a concept and the most important extrema therin will enable the type designer to make design choices that go beyond elaborating on historical letterforms and instead create truly unique typefaces.
On the journey through the certificate program this course is located at the end of basic training and offers an entry into a personal typeface design. Basic experience in writing with the pointed nib as well as the broad nib pen is required.


  • 11" x 17" (or bigger) bond paper
  • tracing paper
  • medium hardness pencil (HB-2H)
  • pencil sharpener, eraser, ruler
  • black markers from fine to fat




Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Tailored Typography with Dan Rhatigan

Special guest lecture open to the public
Mon. Oct. 14 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

There are many typefaces available to us today whose forms are inventive solutions to very specific problems of type manufacture, typesetting restrictions, or printing issues. As those designs become part of the overall typographic landscape, it’s easy to forget how closely connected it is to the original problem, or how much potential there is try something new to solve a new problem. Looking at some now-classic typefaces, we’ll see how they turned out the way they did, and hopefully encourage some fresh responses to newer challenges.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Script Lettering with Ken Barber

Sat. Oct. 12 – Sun, Oct. 13, 2013
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Nothing beats the warmth and personality of script lettering. From formal cursive hands to casual brush styles, it's highly adaptable to scores of design applications. The friendliness and exceptional versatility of the script letter is undoubtedly the reason for its continued appeal.

This four-day workshop will provide a basic overview of script lettering, with a focus on its use in logotype and editorial settings. Referencing various tools, techniques and models, participants will hone their drawing skills as they take a wordmark from concept to completion. Comprehensive slide presentations, demonstrations, skill-building exercises and personal critiques will provide further guidance as students acquire a practical foundation for drawing and implementing script lettering in various design contexts.


  • No.2 pencils (conventional or mechanical)
  • pencil sharpener, if applicable
  • eraser
  • pad of tracing paper, at least 8.5″ x 11″
  • 12 inch ruler
  • Sharpie® Fine and Extra Fine marker
  • adhesive tape for posting sketches

Please note that this workshop will focus on manual exercises intended to underscore ideas fundamental to script lettering. Although workshop participants will not be using vector drawing software, aspects of digitization will be covered. With that in mind, students are welcome to bring a laptop with an installed licensed copy of Adobe Illustrator for reference during vectorizing presentations and discussions.



Type@Cooper - Extended Program
The Calligraphic Roots of Latin Type with Cara Di Edwardo

Required for Extended program certificate students
Sat. Oct. 05 – Sun, Oct. 06, 2013
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

In this hands-on workshop.students will focus on the fundamentals of the construction and anatomy of Roman and Italic minuscules.

During the 15th century, the Italian Humanist hand and chancery cursive became the original sources of the first Roman and Italic typefaces. Very much the same forms remain with us today, to greater and lesser extents, in many popular and classic designs. The influence of the broad edged pen has had a profound effect on type and through learning to write in these renaissance styles students will begin to attain the deep understanding needed to draw, analyze and see letters.

  • pencil
  • ruler
  • notebook
  • $30 materials fee covers two wide copic markers, two 5 mm calligraphy marker and paper




Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Introduction to Typeface Design with Jesse Ragan

Required for Extended program certificate students
Tue. Oct. 01 – Tue, Dec. 03, 2013
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

This course introduces basic principles and techniques of typeface design. Basing their digital typeface on historical sources, students cultivate skills of observation, analysis, and problem-solving. Students will leave the course prepared for more ambitious projects in the second and third terms.

  • Each student must bring a laptop computer to class.




Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Tools & Technology with Alexander Tochilovsky

Required for Extended program certificate students
Mon. Sep. 30 – Mon, Dec. 02, 2013
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

This course focuses on the role that changes in tools and technology have had on the evolution of the letterform. Technological innovations often open new possibilities but also come with unique limitations, both of which create an environment for creative solutions. Special attention will be paid to the major technological landmarks and their influence on typeface design. Topics will include: Evolution of the Letterform, Typefounding & hot-metal typesetting, Phototypesetting, Typeface Design & Newspaper, Stencil Types, Matthew Carter’s Bell Centennial.





Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Proportions with John Downer

Public workshop
Sat. Apr. 20 – Sun, Apr. 21, 2013
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

This course will address matters of concern regarding character proportions, stroke weights, curve descriptions, and miscellaneous ratios in type design. To quote the late American type designer, R. Hunter Middleton: “‘Relationship’ is the most important word in type design.”

But, in order for letterforms to perform correctly, they must be spaced correctly. Drawing letters and spacing them are simultaneous activities. The voids between characters must be allowed to play a role in determining character proportions. Secrets of spacing will be laid bare, as Mr. Downer demystifies the process and explains established principles via basic exercises.

Learning, applying, and remembering special hierarchies which pertain to the discipline of type design will help novices avoid countless common mistakes. And, even though makeshift gauges and calipers may be of use, “eyeballing” will ultimately determine correctness of form and arrangement.

  • no. 2 Pencil
  • eraser
  • 12” ruler
  • scissors
  • 1” black artists’ tape
  • clear scotch tape
  • 1 zig memory systems brand calligraphy pen, 2 ended with 2.0 mm and 5.0 mm felt nibs black.
  • pad of 14 x 17 layout paper (or tabloid copier paper)




Type@Cooper - Extended Program
Modular Modernism: Supertipo Veloz with Alexander Tochilovsky

Elective for Extended program students and open to the public for a fee (space permitting)
Mon. Apr. 01 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Supertipo Veloz, the typographic system developed by Joan Trochut in 1942, was a collection of modular forms which could easily be combined into typographic or decorative elements. The period following the Spanish Civil War starved small printers of the ability to easily create images. The Veloz system tried to address this problem in order enliven jobbing printing. This talk will discuss the history and context behind this fascinating system.