Putting together a "typography workshop"

Craig Hughes's picture

I realize "typography workshop" is very vague, which is why I'm looking for input from others who have attended or even assembled workshops for events like TypeCon, et al.

I'm on the board of directors for our local chapter of AIGA in Nebraska (USA). I'd like to consider hosting a one-day or two-day workshop that would allow our local design community to dive deeper into typography-related learning than what is available at most 4-year schools. Obviously I'm not looking to make them experts in 7 hours, but I would at least like to let them get their hands dirty doing something they wouldn't normally do.

The key thing to keep in mind is that our community likes to be able to walk away with something tangible as a measuring stick of what they learned. We have less success with the abstract design lecturers (Ellen Lupton), and better success with speakers who offer something tangible (Jim Sherraden from Hatch Show Print brought his woodblocks for a printing workshop).

Does anyone have any success stories to share, or ideas for topics that would be great for advanced non-type-designers? Modular typeface development? Lettering? Is anyone familiar with this: http://www.thetypestudio.com/workshops.html


.00's picture

Ilene Strizver does great workshops and seminars through The Type Studio. She has held a number of "Gourmet Typography" workshops around the country and they always get a great response. The TDC has offered her workshop many times in NYC, with much success. I believe several AIGA chapters have hosted her workshops as well.

I know she also does customized typography workshops for corporations as well.

Si_Daniels's picture

Class size would be a factor. How many participants?

Craig Hughes's picture

Thanks terminal for confirming that Ilene is a great presenter!

Sii, the class size would be no more than 40; realistically in the 20-ish range. The more people, the more chance we have of breaking even on paying for event costs, but my first and foremost goal is to just make it a great workshop.

blank's picture

20+ people is a lot for a hand-on typography workshop. If you plan on having multiple presenters it might make sense to rotate smaller groups people through the workshops.

Si_Daniels's picture

Yep what James said. No more than 10 participants in a getting dirty and coming away with something activity. Rotate.

.00's picture

I've seen Ilene do great workshops with 30+ people.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

What I found quite rewarding – and truely tangible – when I held one-week seminars to undergraduate students was this: everyone to bring a dozen of potatos and a sharp knife. I provided simple A-Z sample sheets of some good typefaces. And the students were to cut these letters into the potato halfs and then stamped some posters with it. They enjoyed it very much and I think, one learns a good deal about type shaping from it.
Though this more a beginner’s exercise, naturally.

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