Typeface design education from Cooper Union

About Us

The Cooper Union

Founded as a tuition-free college by philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

Cooper Union has offered classes in typography and lettering at its New York City campus since the 19th century. In the 20th century it became a significant hub for lettering, with courses taught by prominent letterers like George Salter, Paul Standard, Philip Grushkin, Alexander Nesbitt, and Ismar David.

Cooper Union is also the alma mater of many noteworthy typographers, typeface designers, and lettering artists, including Herb Lubalin, Milton Glaser, Reynold Ruffins, Michael Doret, Jeanyee Wong, Victor Moscoso, Seymour Chwast, Ellen Lupton, Lou Dorfsman, and more.

In 1985 the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design & Typography opened at Cooper Union as an archive of modern design that is free and open to the public.

More recently, the typographic legacy of Cooper Union has been further strengthened with the Type@Cooper typeface design programs and the annual Typographics design festival for people who use type.

History of Type@Cooper

Type@Cooper was launched in 2010 by the Continuing Education Department of The Cooper Union as the first post-graduate typeface design certificate program in the USA. In 2011, Type@Cooper’s Condensed program was added as intensive alternative to the longer Extended program. 2011 also marked the start of the Herb Lubalin Lecture Series and a series of public workshops. Starting in 2015, almost all of the Lubalin Lectures have been recorded and made freely available for online viewing thanks to the support of our generous sponsors.

In 2015, Type@Cooper and the Herb Lubalin Study Center launched the Typographics design festival, an annual event series devoted to typography, with talks, workshops, tours, a book fair, TypeLab, and more.

Also in 2015, Cooper Union partnered with the Letterform Archive in San Francisco to launch Type@Cooper West, a west-coast offshoot of Type@Cooper that evolved into the independent Type West program in 2018.

Over a decade after its founding, Type@Cooper continues to offer a wide variety of educational opportunities around typeface design and related topics.