March 12, 2018

SVA TypeLab Summer Residencies

School of Visual Arts (SVA)

Guest critic Nina Stössinger of Frere-Jones Type reviews student Guro Flåten’s preliminary character set. Photograph by Tobias Frere-Jones.

The School of Visual Arts welcomes applications to its 2018 TypeLab Summer Art Residencies, located on our beautiful campus in the vibrant Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. These two-week residencies may be taken individually or together, and offer participants an opportunity to create original typefaces and improve overall typographic mastery with the guidance of internationally acclaimed faculty and guest critics. TypeLab is intended for experienced graphic designers, type teachers, recent design school grads, and typophiles wishing to learn more about creating and using type in graphic design for all media.

Participants explore the rich discipline of typography within its social and cultural context, studying theory and usage, history, aesthetics, and technology. With an explorative philosophy that allows participants to concentrate on their work in an innovative and focused environment, these residencies facilitate self-directed inquiry, enabling participants to shape unique experiences that challenge and develop their practices in new ways. TypeLab residencies provide access to a dynamic program of activities including field trips, workshops, guest lectures, and studio visits, as well as plenty of independent studio time and access to the extensive Visual Arts Library and Milton Glaser Design Archives.

Type and the City (July 2–13) focuses on hand lettering. Participants will design their own styles of hand lettering based on New York City’s wealth of vernacular type, as explored through field work including sketching, journaling, and photography. A hands-on letterpress workshop and a typographic project interpreting a live spoken-word performance will round out this residency.

Faculty: Tobias Frere-Jones, Yomar Augusto, Dan Rhatigan, Victoria Rushton. Guest lecturer: Steven Heller. Guest critic: Christian Schwartz.

Expand Your Type Universe (July 16–27) focuses on digital typeface design. Participants will begin the process of developing an original typeface by creating and refining a set of control characters using font-editing software. They will explore creative ways to incorporate the finished letterforms in designs using Creative Suite software as well as digital fabrication tools—for instance, 3D printers, CNC routers, and computer-controlled embroidery machines—at SVA’s Visible Futures Lab. A field trip is planned to Lite Brite neon studios in Brooklyn.

Faculty: Tobias Frere-Jones, Elizabeth Carey Smith, Dan Rhatigan, Victoria Rushton. Guest lecturer: Ksenya Samarskaya. Guest Critic: Matthew Carter.

Both residencies are ideal for those seeking the time and resources to investigate new ideas and deepen existing inquiries into the conception, production, and reception of typographic work, providing concentrated time to develop a project with structured support, feedback, and conversation. The school’s location in the heart of New York City provides easy access to a vibrant community of world-class museums and galleries, a robust cultural scene, and some of the most beautiful beaches and parks in the United States.

Priority deadline
April 1, 2018 (applications will continue to be accepted after that, space permitting).

Tuition for 2018 is 2000 USD for each two week residency.

Tuition covers use of the facilities, instruction, guest lectures, field trips, and lab fees for the duration of the residency. Each two-week residency is worth 2 undergraduate credits.

SVA Housing is available for residents participating in Summer programs for an additional fee. TypeLab participants who opt to stay in SVA housing will have a private room in the Ludlow Residence. Building amenities include free laundry facilities, student lounge, communal kitchen facilities, outdoor terrace with a grill, free WiFi and high-speed Internet. Rooms feature extra-long twin beds and suite style bathrooms, and are equipped with central air conditioning, mini-refrigerator and microwave. Additional information about summer housing at SVA can be found at

Application instructions
To apply, or for further information, visit the TypeLab website or contact residency [​at​]

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