The Type@Cooper West Extended Program has come to an end. It’s a bit of an emotional event for a couple reasons.
First of all, the students were wonderful. They were truly motivated, thoughtful, and incredibly creative. It was the first time I got to teach in a more extended setting, so we got to see them blossom as type designers for three semesters. During that time, everyone sharpened their skills, but friendships were created as well. It’s a wonderful thing to witness that happen over the course of a year.
Secondly, this graduation happens as my dear friends and co-teachers Frank Grießhammer and Tânia Raposo pack up their things and move from Oakland to The Hague, Netherlands. Frank and Tânia have been close friends for years, and saying goodbye is just sad. I’ve had the pleasure of learning a lot from them about type design and teaching, and I’m wonderfully grateful for their friendship. They are extremely high quality people.
Frank, Tânia, and I wanted the best possible experience for this group of students, but they went above and beyond with the quality of their work, and how it was presented. Each student pushed themselves to create a nice poster for the final exhibition, and a few got together to create a website showcasing the work. As Frank pointed out, it is the first time in history that a student-made website for the exhibition was ready on the same day the exhibition opened—an impressive feat considering every student has a day job already.
I hope you can take a moment
to → check out their projects.
This group blended together amazingly well. They fed off one another in a way that was motivated by inspiration, and not miserly competition. That’s what happens in the best of classes, but I have no idea how to facilitate it. I wish I did! It makes the work better, and the experience more rewarding.
Now we are moving ahead with plans for the next term. The new program is simply called Type West. Grendl Löfkvist will continue teaching the history portion, and I’ll be co-teaching type design with Graham Bradley, Christopher Slye, and Catherine Leigh Schmidt. I’m very excited about all of this, but at the same time I feel the same way I do when I’m packing up Christmas decorations. Like Boyz II Men sang, “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.”