Practica Two / Expansion

18 weeks
Live and online
Jan 19–May 30, 2023
Tues and Thurs @ 12p

Expand your typeface and your perspective on type design.

Immerse yourself in the world of type design while surrounded by the support of industry professionals and a community of like-minded typophiles. This live, online program is for designers who already have the beginnings of a typeface, but want to build it out into a multi-weight family. Students will work towards creating two compatible masters that are ready to interpolate into a larger family.

We’ll also focus on developing a more reflective design process and a more thoughtful typeface — one that is an expression of your unique outlook but also meets the needs of readers and users of type. Through the work of your classmates you’ll be exposed to a variety of typeface genres, giving you a window into approaches and styles outside of your own. We’ll weave these elements together and build a strong foundation in typeface design, not only for your current typeface but for future projects as well.

Through lectures and feedback sessions, we’ll explore these topics and dive into type design as a living, evolving discipline. By the end, you’ll be ready to tackle more complex projects with more confidence, and will have a better understanding of contemporary type design practice.

Practica’s constructive environment truly champions practical learning and experimentation for type designers of all backgrounds.

Andrew Bogard, Graphic Designer

What you’ll learn

Designing according to the intended use of your font

Building a strong visual system

Structuring font families and their design spaces

Creating new weights or styles through interpolation

Developing a more efficient and reflective type design process

Expanding character sets and designing diacritics

Keeping yourself motivated throughout development

The importance of writing systems outside Latin

Insight into the professional world of typeface design

Practica program with Sol and Nicole was a delight, I was not only able to develop my typeface by the hand of very experienced and generous professionals, in a warm and friendly environment, but to know new ways to approach expanding a font family.

Dafne Martínez, Heartline

More student work →

Week 0 Jan 19 / Course introductions, lecture
Week 1 Jan 24 / Students introduce their typefaces
Jan 26 / Lecture: the brief, making useful type
Week 2 Jan 31 / Feedback session, mini lecture: proofs as documentation
Feb 2 / Lecture: the system of the black
Week 3 Feb 7 / Flex session: Q&A
Feb 9 / Lecture: planning your typeface family, intro to interpolation
Week 4 Feb 14 / Feedback session
Feb 16 / Lecture: interpolation and its possibilities, design space ideation
Week 5 Feb 21 / Review of students’ font files
Feb 23 / Lecture with Nina Stössinger: a case study
Week 6 Feb 28 / Feedback session
Mar 2 / Lecture with Aleksandra Samuļenkova: the design of diacritics
Week 7 Mar 7—19 / Individual feedback sessions
No formal class this week
Week 8 Mar 14 / Feedback session
Mar 16 / Feedback session: diacritics with Aleksandra
Week 9 Mar 21 / Feedback session
Mar 23 / Lecture with Kalapi Gajjar-Birdawekar: type, culture and global scripts
Week 10 Mar 28 / Feedback session with Cyrus Highsmith
Mar 30 / Lecture with Alice Savoie: the role of research in typeface design
Mar 3—7 / No class this week, extended Easter holiday
Week 11 Apr 11 / Review of students’ font files
Apr 13 / Lecture: Design of numbers, punctuation, and more
Week 12 Apr 18 / Feedback session
Apr 20 / Feedback session: punctuation
Week 13 Apr 25 / Feedback session
Apr 27 / Lecture with Rutherford Craze: professional practise
Week 14 May 2—4 / Independant work time, no class this week
Week 15 May 9—11 / Individual feedback sessions
No formal class this week
Week 16 May 16—18 / Independant work time, no class this week
Week 17 May 23—25 / Individual feedback sessions
No formal class this week
Week 18 May 30 / Final presentations 🎉
Tuesday classes are 2.5 hours. Thursday classes are 1.5 hours.
Classes begin at 12pm Chicago / 3pm Buenos Aires / 7pm Berlin / Convert

Are classes recorded? →
Will daylight savings time change my class times? →

The schedule is subject to modifications.

What a blast! ... The program has boosted both my confidence and my motivation to produce more fonts. I recommend it highly.

Guillaume Berry, Rawr

Nicole Dotin
Lead instructor
Process Type Foundry
Sol Matas
Lead instructor
Hungry Type
Rutherford Craze
Visiting lecturer
Kalapi Gajjar-Bordawekar
Visiting lecturer
Universal Thirst
Cyrus Highsmith
Visiting critic
Occupant Fonts
Aleksandra Samuļenkova
Visiting lecturer
Type designer
Alice Savoie
Visiting lecturer
Type designer
Nina Stössinger
Visiting lecturer
Frere-Jones Type
What’s included
  • Live classes held over Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Lectures, feedback sessions, font file reviews, focused instruction to push your ideas further
  • Ability to watch lectures again (lectures are live, but recorded)
  • Individual feedback on your typeface
  • Five guest lectures and one critique from industry professionals
  • Access to our private Discord community
  • Free trial Glyphs license
Work study program

Work study applications are closed.

Beyond our sliding scale, we also have a work study position for a person with demonstrated need. Instead of paying tuition, the work study works approximately 3 hours per week for the duration of the program. In other words, they pay no fees or tuition but instead pay for their studies through a work exchange. There is only one work study position available per edition.

The person selected will work directly with the lead instructors and meet with them briefly once a week after class. Duties include basic administrative tasks like uploading videos, communicating with visiting instructors, or preparing social media posts. A good grasp of English is helpful in this position.

This course is full and applications are closed.

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