Image: Graduation project 'Lewis' | Alexandre Saumier Demers, Master TypeMedia 2014, Winner Master TypeMedia Department Award, Winner Royal Academy Master Award
Type and Media is a full-time one year Master program. Its schedule can therefore incorporate every day of the week. At the beginning of the course, each student establishes an individual study-plan in consultation with the permanent faculty.
Because of the international character of the course, it is taught primarily in English.The academic year is divided into two semesters, with the second semester divided in turn into two parts. At the end of the first semester and in the first part of the second, all assignments that have been undertaken are evaluated. In addition to the assignments specific to this course, students can follow the calligraphy and the lettering and type divisions of the regular course in Graphic Design. Those subjects distinguish this regular course at the Royal Academy from other academies, both in the Netherlands and abroad.
Individual study space is provided for each student. Students can also, of course, make use of all the facilities in the academy’s various studios and workshops.The course is completed in the last part of the second semester, when the students work individually on their own final projects, guided by their personal interest. An oral review based on their visual presentation marks the end of the course. All teachers – including the visiting faculty – are present during this evaluation. Not only are the final projects reviewed; the students’ other assignments are also discussed, as well as their dedication and the insights they have gained throughout the course. Displays of the results of study are made. Students who complete the course with positive results are awarded the title Master of Arts (MA).
The design of typefaces, like any other creative discipline, is a process. The first semester consists of a series of assignments that focus on the foundation of letter forms, drawing and digitisation. The eye and hand are trained in different ways. For instance: writing letters with different tools, letter carving in stone and by drawing letters based on prescribed parameters. Contrast research studies of basic form principles are applied to a whole typeface. The revival assignment consists of a thesis on the origin and production of a historic typeface and a digital revival. Non-Latin glyph structures are explored by drawing Cyrillic, Greek, Arabic. Coding and tool development with Drawbot and Robofab let the designer control the workflow of the type design practice.
In the second semester these skills are used to define, design and produce a new typeface. This can be for a specific context or environment (e.g. ‘type on screen’) or application (‘type for newsprint’) but generally the projects are conceptually very diverse. The development and research for the typeface is documented and presented with a process book and a presentation.
While some Type & Media alumni have gone on to build a career in the design and production of non-Latin typefaces, the emphasis of the course (and the resources and faculty) is on Latin.
Find out more about Type and Media.
Last updated: 2016-09-08