Type@Cooper and Letterform Archive Launch Type@Cooper West

POSTED ON: September 22, 2015

Letterform Archive library. Photograph courtesy Letterform Archive

Letterform Archive library. Photograph courtesy Letterform Archive

Type@Cooper and Letterform Archive are partnering to offer a post-graduate certificate program in Typeface Design in San Francisco, CA. In addition to this rigorous one-year course in typeface design, the newly established Type@Cooper West program also brings public workshops and a public lecture series focusing on lettering, digital typeface design, font production, and typography.

Since 2010, Type@Cooper, a program offered through The Cooper Union’s Continuing Education Department, has offered two programs in typeface design; one a year-long part-time Extended program, and the other, an intensive five-week full-time Condensed program offered in the summer. Taught by top industry professionals, both programs provide in-depth instruction in typeface design and production, lettering, and the history and theory of typeface design. Additionally, a series of free lectures by guest speakers attracts a dedicated audience of design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Public workshops offer both a point of entry for non-participants and a way for type design professionals to continue learning advanced skills.

“As with Type@Cooper in NYC, access to fine examples of printed matter and manuscripts will be central to learning in our new programs in San Francisco. Letterform Archive has a fine collection of rare books and type specimens from the 15th century to today,” said Cara Di Edwardo, Type@Cooper program co-founder, coordinator, and adjunct professor of art in The Cooper Union School of Art. “With the leadership of excellent and dedicated instructors, and involvement in all the activities that will surround participants in this new location, we expect to see some great designers emerge. San Francisco has a vibrant design scene, and seems the natural place to expand the program.”

Thanks to a generous grant by Monotype Imaging, a space in Letterform Archive’s new three-story Type Annex, adjacent to its primary location, is being equipped and furnished as a dedicated classroom for the Type@Cooper West program. The classroom will be made very welcoming and comfortable with high-quality furniture, blackboards and whiteboards, an 80” flat-screen display and A/V set up, a printer and scanners, as well as good lighting to complement the natural light.

“Letterform Archive and The Cooper Union share a common mission: to inspire and educate young designers. Type@Cooper is therefore the perfect vehicle by which to launch world-class educational offerings on type design here in the Bay Area,” said Rob Saunders, founder and Curator of Letterform Archive. “The Archive curates a wide range of inspirational artifacts—books, posters, periodicals, ephemera—that can support intensive collections-based instruction. We are especially pleased to be able to offer hands-on access to our newly-acquired Tholenaar collection, which includes 4,000 bound type specimens and 8,000 pieces of type ephemera.”

Among the workshop instructors for Fall 2015 are well-known typeface designers and lettering artists Sumner Stone, Jessica Hische, Jim Parkinson, Carl Rohrs, Cooper Alumnus Michael Doret, and Saunders. Applications for the 2016 Extended Certificate program will be accepted beginning mid-October and are due by November 16th, 2015. The details of the 2016 program will be posted soon.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and 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.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.