In a little over two weeks I will – along with fourteen other students – be starting at one of the few type design programs in the world. Type@Cooper is probably by far the youngest program of its type, and its most certainly the only program of its kind in the United States (the only others that come to mind are the Masters in Type Design at Reading, and the Type & Media masters program at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague).
My inclusion into the program is, in fact, one of the main reasons I’m finally starting up a blog – it’s my hope that over the course of the program, I’ll be able to post some (semi)regular updates on my work. Our class hours are essentially from 9am ’til 9pm, five days a week for six weeks – “relaxed” will definitely not be in my vocabulary for that span of time.
On the one hand, I am extremely excited and honored to be attending such a program and to be given the opportunity to learn from those in the type world that have released such awesome work: Sara Soskolne worked on Verlag, Chronicle, Sentinel, and Gotham (to name a few); Andy Clymer produces some of the industry’s best production tools; and Sumner Stone is the former director of type at Adobe, and one of the designers on Bodoni Seventy-Two which, incidentally, I’ve been using for my personal identity for the past two years.
On the other hand, I am filled with a sense of trepidation – that I won’t measure up, that my skill-set will not be able to evolve quick enough to meet the demands of the program, that I’ll inevitably fall behind my colleagues. Whereas in other design classes I have been able to be a pace-setter, I fear that my lack of drawing skills and my (comparatively) mean sense of typography and typographic history will soon get the best of me.
The ghostly voices of Saul Bass and Doyald Young continually haunt me: learn how to draw. I never really could get my hand to do what my brain wanted when it came to drawing, and I likewise lacked the patience and perseverance to be even a semi-decent illustrator. This lack of drawing, and indeed the curiosity that it takes to draw, leaves me frustrated every time I go to pick up a pencil – the disconnect between my mind and my hands means that what I put to paper is never truly a complete thought, but rather a collection of fragments; unformed.
And while I have confidence that my skill-set with evolve to meet the demands of the program, the unknown is daunting – fear truly does lay in anticipation. I’m excited to see what the next six weeks hold.
Scans taken from various specimen books that I have been looking at as part of my preparation for the program
Sketches are from undeveloped typeface ideas / lettering experiments.