Python for Designers

Python for Designers with Maurice Meilleur

Python for Designers with Maurice Meilleur

Cost: $485.00

Mon., Jun. 22 – Tue., Jun. 23, 2020
10:00AM – 5:00PM 
tuition: $ 485 
location: Online


There are lots of ways to generate and explore ideas in design, but one great tool for this is writing code. You can start with a few conditions or settings—a color palette; a group of shapes; a series of sizes, positions, orientations, or textures; a typeface—and quickly generate many hundreds of variations and iterations. Using code to explain to a computer how to make something can help you think it through and understand it better yourself. Mistakes in the code, and unanticipated effects and outcomes, can sometimes result in something better than what you’d originally planned to make. They can even help you discover new design ideas, directions, and possibilities.

Participants in this workshop will learn the basics of writing in Python, a popular and powerful programming language, working in the free and user-friendly application DrawBot for the Macintosh operating system. No previous experience with Python is needed. You’ll create high-quality vector art, and work with text to explore DrawBot’s advanced typographic features. You’ll be able to save your creations as static or moving images (.jpgs and .pngs, animated .gifs and .mp4s), and even export to multipage .pdf files. You can treat these files as sketches, using them as starting points for work in other applications, like the Adobe Creative Suite. Or, you can refine them further in the DrawBot code editor to develop final products: animations, type specimens, posters, magazines, and books.

Class will meet live over a dedicated Slack channel for the workshop with a series of demonstrations/lessons using Zoom (which will be recorded live and archived for your reference afterwards) There will be a workshop conversation thread and one-on-one chats for questions and troubleshooting. I’ll encourage participants to play and improvise with the code to extend the basic methods introduced in the course, and we’ll be able to share and give feedback on each other’s output. All the code for the lessons will be shared with participants in a GitHub repository, and the Slack channel will be kept open indefinitely for participant-instructor interaction after the course is over. 

Required Materials

  • Computer with MacOS 10.9 (Mavericks) or newer installed
  • a quiet place or headphones to set up for the workshop
  • good internet connection

In the spirit of Typographics Festival, we’ll also share virtual lunches during and happy hours after each day of the workshop. 


Course Code: Python01

  • 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.