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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Shequalin [ʃɛ-'kwa-lɪn] is designed for sophisticated humoristic literature and all kinds of typographic shenanigans. Be it satirical or dadaistic poetry, escapist or fictive novels, d’playful Shequalin seamlessly suits works by masters of the comical word. For the reader’s alertness, it rhythmically drops in oddities without distracting from the reading flow. In order to create a more severe and fervent contrast, the roman and italic were designed independently and merged later, creating a dynamic sense of tension and blatancy in Shequalin. Subtlety can sweetly go to sleep!

Mark Frömberg

Mark Frömberg (1984) is a native Berlin-based [type] designer and illustrator. Before TypeMedia he received his BA in Communications Design at the University of Applied Sciences (Berlin 2012) where he focused on type and illustration which never happened to detach since. Working as an independent designer since 2008, he likes to combine systematical structure with unpredictable moments. Mark disguises complexity behind a clear decency with a strong, saucy wink, augmenting the outcome with lots of layers to discover over time.


I started my visual research process pretty much by hand. I filtered the seen input (basically baroque italics, greek & civilité) by every technique I could imagine to be helpful to carve the desired flavour out of nothing. I made weird TypeCookers to extend my horizon, sketched odd and interesting features from old books set in (sometimes corrupt) hot metal, got dirty with the broad brush, speedball and markers, wrote with broad nib and drew details with its pointy edge.

I didn’t want to extract the italic out of the roman, but rather design both parallelly, influencing each other during the process and come up with a richer bouquet of design vocabulary. Most of these experiments didn’t work at all when tried in other letter combinations. Decisive elements of both cuts should be a modulated stroke (flexible shadow axis) and varying angles of certains stems, keeping the rhythm alive.

So I started a long iteration of rapid prototyping, creating a lot of rather tentatively drawn fonts out of the hunkiest drawings in order to set paragraphs and judge the different characters and particular effects of features in every depth of detail.

This was pretty tedious, since I started to drown in all the in- and output. I had no clue how to decide on things, kill darlings, distill the concentrate out of it. I got almost trapped in a neverending process. But i didn’t. It was very important and hard to balance between keeping a humorous tone and avoiding a goofy circus flavour.

I decided to make the typeface lively and quirky (meaning things like wiggling baseline or x-height) by the design itself and not by alternating letters that are triggered by code. Since I aimed to make a text face, spotting each font’s native size (in which it feels most at home) helped to exclude.

At next I wrote a python script that combined every roman with every italic in paragraphs. I could investigate all the pairings rationally, but also with a great deal of gut instinct blended in. One pair caught most of my attention. It had the tension and vivacity I seeked.

From here on it was all about cleaning things up, tying the letters into word shapes, developing the rhythm, finetuning the sizes, contrasts, colors, weights, etc. to render a suiting roman-italic-pair. The character set got expanded for everything that sophisticated typography requests. Small caps, diverse figure sets, diacritics, symbols.

The design is based on a non-modular structure, yet it needed to keep consistency in certain places. Clashing combinations needed to be fixed either with the design itself or via OT-features and substitutes. The diacritics contained lots of opportunities for adding a certain spice to the typeface.

The character set grew and I added illustrative elements. They are interpolatable throughout the weights. These fellows are supposed to work as inline symbols in text as well as set larger as vignettes or paragraph openers.

Suddenly the year was over and the process needed a break. There are still things to do but typefaces need to ripe and mature over long time. Taking some distance is one of the most vital parts here. That’s what I do – for not too long! Let me know if you are interested in a less brief insight of the process.