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Petra Rüth (TypeWeek 2016)

‘I joined the ISIA Type Design Summer class in 2016, which was a lot of fun. I learned about the basics of type design, starting with writing, then cutting stencils, and then creating a digital font – which I had not done before. The class was intense, with plenty of feedback sessions and additional inspirational lectures in between. There was a shared energy that encouraged me to try new things and motivated my project work. Getting to know other type enthusiasts was enlightening, and developed connections and friendships that are still ongoing. I had a great time combining summer vacation and learning about type design in the atmosphere of the beautiful city of Urbino’

Petra Rüth works in the area of editorial design, calligraphy, and lettering. Petra is currently a MA student at the HGB Leipzig where she researches the work of the German writing theoretician Christian Gottlob Rossberg.

Giovanni Pignoni (TypeWeek 2014)

‘The ISIA Type Week was an enjoyable experience and a rare opportunity to work in close contact with experts in type design. You will not make a complete typeface in less than a week of work, but you will have the opportunity to learn, and try out new approaches to type design using a friendly, hands-on method.’

Giovanni Pignoni graduated at ISIA Urbino and recently moved to Norway tto pursue a Master Degree in Interaction Design at the NTNU Gjøvik.

Loris Olivier (TypeWeek 2014)

‘To me, Urbino was the perfect place to study: far away from the daily routine and designing type for one full week with Fred Smeijers. Getting a great historical introduction to type and to stencil methods, really placed all students on the same step. Feeling a bit like a monk in a monastery, it was nice to understand how to explore type shapes with Fred Smeijers’s method. The whole syllabus was interestingly balanced between exploration on paper, historical insight from Mr. Smeijers and digital execution. I would strongly recommend this program, as it really offers such a versatile approach to the world of type design.’

Loris Olivier graphic, typographic, and UI / UX designer, working in Paris and Tokyo. Prior to attending the ISIA Type Week in 2014, Loris studied art direction at ECAL Lausanne. In 2015 Loris completed a MA in Type Design at t]m - KABK in The Hague.

Ute Kleim (TypeWeek 2016)

‘I really enjoyed this intense week of type design! The combination of handwriting, lectures about typography and type history, as well as an introduction to digitisation, provided me with basic skills and an insight into the type design process. Our exercises helped me understand basic strokes and how to rotate and assemble letters correctly. Fred Smeijers not only shared his knowledge and helped us to shape our letters, but also gave us a step-by-step insight into his personal way of working, which was very helpful. There were ample networking opportunities with the course leaders and other participants that I appreciated. Italy and the beautiful city of Urbino, with its fantastic architectural background and nice food, added to a great experience. All in all, this is an excellent course and a great opportunity to learn how to draw letters and take your first steps in type design. I highly recommend it!’

Ute Kleim is based in Hamburg, working in the field of graphic and typographic design. After attending the ISIA Type Week, Ute pursued further type design education at the University of Reading.

Peter Glaab (TypeWeek 2015)

‘My desire to learn the basics of typeface design has been brilliantly realised in Urbino. The five-day workshop was very intense and has expanded my horizons. Nowhere else is there such a top-class mix of outstanding teaching concept, experienced leadership and committed support. Fred Smeijers lives for his vocation - Type Design - and has impressed me as a personality and designer. His passion for type has spread to the students. Often, breaks were simply skipped to get as far as possible. Learning is a process that, at its best, works across multiple directions. Fred's concept of writing, drawing, stencilling and digitizing combines working by hand with computer precision. Writing gives you a sense for shapes and contrast. Stencilling brings the balance of white spaces into play. In digitization, letters are fine-tuned and brought into a consistent design language. The exciting lectures have made it clear to me that Stencil Type has its own place within the field of typography.

The four supporting tutors - Eric, Riccardo, Roberto and Jonathan - must also be praised. They have all contributed to the relaxed and inspiring atmosphere through their commitment. It was great to get such an uncomplicated and competent support in design matters. It felt wonderful that the nationalities and age differences played no real role in the course. So we made contacts among each other and learned a lot about the work, culture and life of others in different countries.

My perspective on typography has changed this week, because the criteria for an excellent typeface have become even clearer to me. And it's really fun to make hand-drawn letters and ending with a font.’

Peter Glaab is a Hamburg-based typographic designer. Peter’s writing about typography is published on his eponymous blog and on FontShop. His graphic and typographic work has earned multiple awards, among which are: The Best Book Designs of Germany, Red Dot Award, and German Design Award.