Type and Media

TypeMedia is a full-time one year Master program held at The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague in The Netherlands, that gives participants the possibility of delving deeper in the field of type design. At TypeMedia, students work intensively in small groups of no more than twelve persons. They work under the guidance of expert and enthusiastic teachers from the permanent and visiting faculty. Although the student’s personal motivation is given primary place, collaboration with other students is of fundamental importance.

This year's graduates came from a variety of countries:

Alexandre Saumier Demers from Canada, Hugo Marucco from France, Mark Frömberg from Germany, Mark Yehan De Winne from Singapore, Sláva Jevčinová and David Chmela from Slovakia, Nina Stössinger from Switzerland and James T. Edmondson from the United States of America.

The course also had past graduates from many more countries, of which Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Turkey.

With the help, assistance and supervision of the regular faculty teachers, visiting teachers and lecturers, the TypeMedia students immerse themselves in the type design world by completing many different assignments. These assignments range from stone carving classes, Python programming, the creation of revivals of lead typefaces, calligraphy exercises, exploration of different sketching techniques, all of which are constantly reviewed and discussed. On top of that, the students go on regular field trips around the country and abroad to explore the typographic, artistic and architectural culture of the region and attend many different conferences and lectures by numerous international type design experts. All this experience is used in the student's final projects, four months spent entirely on the creation of an original typeface family.


This year's students would like to thank the regular teachers, visiting teachers and supervisors at TypeMedia for their incredible help, support and commitment:

Françoise Berserik, Peter Biľak, Erik van Blokland, Petr van Blokland, Frank Blokland, Paul van der Laan, Just van Rossum, Jan Willem Stas and Peter Verheul.

The guest critics and instructors who graciously gave us their time:

Jo De Baerdemaeker, Frederik Berlaen, Liz Bijl, Frank Grießhammer, Luc(as) de Groot, Akira Kobayashi, Kristyan Sarkis, Christian Schwartz.

And finally, a non-exhaustive list of others who have enriched us this year:

Donald Beekman, Frederic Brodbeck, Liza Enebeis, Guy Hutsebaut, Bas Jacobs, Indra Kupferschmid, Warren Lee, Tal Leming, Mathieu Lommen, Hilario Nicolaas, David Jonathan Ross, Georg Seifert, Rickey Tax, Mr. Veenstra, Johan de Zoete.


Website developed by Frederic Brodbeck with Flask. Text set in Neutral designed by Kai Bernau and distributed by Typotheque.

TypeMedia 2014

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Latin type generally has thicker verticals than horizontals. But what if it doesn’t? – Exploring the subtler sides of reversed-stress typeface design beyond common clichés of cartoons and cowboys, Mica is a serif typeface suitable for text whose horizontals are slightly thicker than its verticals. This lends it a unique voice and texture, causing lines of text to strongly band together. Mica aims to be distinctive, lively, versatile and somewhat inconspicuous. The family contains romans and italics in four weights, along with a proposal for a companion sans.

Nina Stössinger

Nina Stössinger (1978) discovered her love of type while studying multimedia design at Burg Giebichenstein HKD Halle (Germany). After graduating, she freelanced as a graphic and web designer with a growing focus on typography and book design. A postgradual type design course at ZHdK Zurich led to her first published typeface – FF Ernestine – but it was not enough to scratch the itch: Besides selecting and setting type (and occasionally writing and speaking about it), Nina most of all wants to make type; so she happily left her studio to delve deeper into the craft at TypeMedia.


I strove to combine different (analog and digital) tools in the design process, choosing the one (or more) that seemed most fitting for each task. This was fairly new for me – I had previously worked almost exclusively digitally. The resulting process was intense and sometimes messy, but ultimately quite gratifying as it opened up a wider spectrum of options and ideas.

Early sketches for the Roman. These helped clarify some of the directions but also had recurring problems; at this point, they were generally too light, and most of them seemed too cold and spiky.

Writing practice, using a pointed pen held at roughly 90 degrees, turned out to be surprisingly helpful. It was useful for quickly trying out different structures; and on a more detailed level, the pen introduced interesting idiosyncrasies, some of which I adopted in my drawings – for instance the not-quite-consistent stress angle. This approach helped make the design less mechanic and stiff.

The digital drawings saw a multitude of revisions, tweaks, and iterations between early March and early July; the evolution is shown here in an example word.

I was anxious not to let the design become stiff or boring, which resulted in early versions trying too hard to be interesting and cute – which was at odds with my aims of making a relatively unobtrusive text face. Much of the process thus focused on eliminating distractions, and stabilizing the design and its horizontal emphasis.

Various sketches for the italic (roughly chronological from top-left to bottom-right), which was drawn in parallel to the roman. Again taking inspiration from writing practice, I opted for a cursive forms that allowed me to explore structures quite distinct from the roman.

The italic seemed easier than the roman to get roughly right, but then it took a lot of time to figure out the exact shaping of its various elements. One example are the upstrokes and the outstrokes in the arch shapes, for which I tried a multitude of different solutions.

The whole drawing process was very much an iterative one, dominated by testing, squinting, and correcting. This sheet of corrections shows that I drew two sets of (extremely-sized) capitals for the three main styles, between which I interpolated to pinpoint the right cap size. In this way, interpolation was used throughout the design process to take some of the guesswork out of it.

Especially towards the end of the process most of my time was spent staring at letters in context, identifying and fixing disturbances in the rhythm - regarding kerning, spacing or the drawing itself.