Typeface design education from Cooper Union

Condensed Program

Industry leaders conduct a rigorous 5-week intensive program in typeface design this summer at Cooper Union’s New York City campus.


About the Condensed Program

The Condensed Program will be held on-campus at The Cooper Union in 2024.

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 FamiraAlexander Tochilovsky (curator of the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography), Ewan Clayton (renowned calligrapher and professor), and Troy Leinster as well as guest instructors, speakers and critics.

In conjunction with lectures and independent research, instruction in both traditional and digital letter-making 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 4–5 days per week for 5 weeks, from June 17 to July 18 , and provides a total of 162 in-class hours. Classes will held be in 2–3 hrs sessions from 9:00 am to 9:30 pm with breaks and independent work time between. Attendance to all sessions is required to earn the certificate. 

A tentative detailed schedule will be available here soon. 


Tuition for accepted applicants is $5,325, to be paid in full no later than April 4, 2024. Payment instructions will be provided with the acceptance notification.

Apply to the Condensed Program

Applications are due by Feb 29.

Applications will be accepted beginning February 1. The application deadline is midnight on February 29. A $75 non-refundable application fee must be submitted for each application. Applicants may pay the application fee online. Alternatively, the fee may be paid by phone or email. Please write to type@cooper.edu to make alternative payment arrangements. 

Pay the application fee online here.

The program is limited to 16 participants. Applicants will be informed of their acceptance status by March 12. 

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. 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.

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

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