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Our Type Design intensive (TDi) summer course offers an intensive dive into research and the practice of designing for global scripts.

Launched in 2009, the course brings the unparalleled expertise and resources of the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication to a format that is accessible to:

  • designers and typographers, and those who work with them
  • engineers and developers
  • researchers
  • educators.

The course enables participants to develop invaluable knowledge and skills that will inform their future work.

Course content

During the course we will look closely at typeface design for specific typographic applications – such as editorial design, reference works, and signage – across genres and rendering environments.

We break down design and evaluation methodologies for revivals, adaptations and new designs that explore innovation in design.

We also highlight the contribution of research to the design of scripts that are under-represented typographically, or where new use scenarios require innovative solutions.

Our sessions on global scripts start with an understanding of the forms and composition of each script, then discuss issues of quality throughout extended families, and the balance of originality and utility in each script and style combination.

Course structure

The course will provide a series of core seminars and archival sessions, along with three strands of elective sessions that focus on participants’ interests.

Core sessions

Taken by all participants, these sessions will cover:

  • fundamental aspects of typemaking technologies
  • theoretical approaches for typographic letterforms
  • typographic genres
  • designing for specific requirements and evaluation principles
  • understanding the range of type design, from revivals to originality and innovation
  • in-depth work on selected world scripts (Arabic, a range of Indian scripts, Greek, and others)
  • an introduction to a methodology for working with unfamiliar scripts.

The sessions will make extensive use of our world-class collections and archives, which include manuscripts, rare printed books and ephemera, objects across typemaking technologies, fully operational presses, and a Monotype caster.

We'll provide unprecedented access to original material that can only be found in the University’s collections and archives.

Elective sessions

Participants will be able to choose from one of three elective strands:

Masterclass practical strand

For participants with some competence in typeface design, these sessions will enable you to either refine your work within the existing script coverage of your typeface, or – more likely – to extend your work to other scripts.

Expanding Research strand

Aimed at academics, researchers and those preparing for PhD study who need to focus on a specific research project, or want to develop a research publication or proposal, in an environment of intense support and feedback.

Fonts as Infrastructure strand

This group will comprise technologists and engineers who need to better understand the complexities of supporting languages and developing solutions for global scripts.

Course schedule

  • Date: 19 to 30 June 2023
  • Time: 09:30 to 17:30 daily, with a break for lunch (provided).

The weekend of 24 to 25 June is free for you to explore options in London, Oxford or further afield.

We work with participants to tailor their schedule to their interests. We’ll plan the optimum mix of hands-on workshops, archival seminars, workgroups, and digital design work.

How to apply

Apply for the TDi course via our online form.

If you would like further information, please contact Gerry Leonidas at

We can advise you on accommodation and travel options..

Our staff

Staff on the course represent a broad range of perspectives and experiences in typeface design, and are all experts in their respective fields.

Core staff on the course are Borna Izadpanah, Gerry Leonidas, Fiona Ross, Fred Smeijers, and Geoff Wyeth. We are supported by our archivist Emma Minns, and a range of visiting demonstrators.

About the Department

The University of Reading has been at the forefront of typography's evolution into a fully-fledged discipline – from the theory of graphic language to research in visual literacy, and from the history of typesetting technologies to the design of typefaces for global scripts.

The Department of Typography & Graphic Communication boasts the first typography course within a research-intensive university. It is the home of Typography Papers, and a wide range of research, knowledge transfer projects, and consultancies with wide-ranging impact across many scripts.

We are internationally recognised for our exceptional research output, and for the quality of our teaching.