Type]Media 2011 Graduates Present Their Work To Universal Praise

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News | Yves Peters | July 4, 2011

A message on the official Type]Media Twitter account last week saying “Final evaluations are done and we’re very happy announce that all our students have successfully passed! Congratulations!”, and the subsequent announcement Saturday that the TypeMedia11 website was online has created a minor wildfire this weekend which still is raging through the Twitterverse. Underware advised all type lovers to grab a beer and take an hour off to enjoy the work from this year’s Type]Media students, and Nick Sherman proclaimed that the work from the 2011 graduating class is among the most impressive things he’s seen all year. Dave Foster, an Australian graphic designer from Sydney with a fetish for letters who will be attending KABK Type]Media Masters in 2012, admitted that it will be a hard act to follow, as this year’s class has set the bar and set it high. Yet the www.typemedia2011.com website strengthens Guido Groeneveld’s – graphic designer, aspiring type designer and musician – resolve to keep on working hard to be able to enter that great course one day.

Both the website and the twelve graduates’ work received universal acclaim, including praise from high-profile (type) designers and studios like Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Jason Santa Maria, Jo De Baerdemaeker, Folkert Gorter, Frederik Berlaen, Typeradio, Ministry of Type’s Aegir Hallmundur, Dan Reynolds, Village, Dalton Maag’s Fabio Haag, and so on, with Commercial Type congratulating the graduates for the impressive range of styles on display, a sentiment echoed by Tal Leming. Stephen Coles clarifies “I love the way @typemedia students explore functional but unconventional families (beyond the standard regular, bold, italic).” Fred Smeijers attributes the terrific results to tradition and expert guidance meeting hard work and talent. Some commenters occasionally singled out their favourite typeface/family: Erik Spiekermann declared that his favourite is Cassise, while Ken Barber claimed that Kunihiko Okano’s Quintet is blowing his mind. Nice Web Type’s Tim Brown had an interesting observation, noting that the Type]Media typefaces feel very balanced – and even more important, their design intentions are meaningful, adding a little later “Nice job with the site, and with the type samples! The word of thanks at the end is a great touch, too.” W+K’s Bram Pitoyo concurs “What’s great about the 2011 #typemedia site other than its new types? The fact that most specimens are SVGs.”

Göran Söderström didn’t shy controversy, comparing the work with the output from University Of Reading’s Department of Typography MA Typeface Design, claiming the Type]Media type designs have more originality. Dunwich Type’s James Puckett agreed “Not one Unger font in the entire wonderful batch of new Type & Media fonts,” which elicited Söderström to reply “Yes, this is what any design school should aim for, coaching each student to create something personal.”

FontFont Marketing Director Ivo Gabrowitsch asked an interesting question: “The impressive work from @typemedia class makes me wonder once more: is the type (consumer) world big enough for all today’s great stuff?” Erik van Blokland has faith: “I remember that same question from the ancient early 1990’s. You know, it worked out well.” His brother Petr is convinced: “Even more so: all today’s great stuff does leverage the increase of type (consumer) world size.” Dan Reynolds however comments: “Lots of great student typefaces are never sold. More to do with their designers than the market, tho…” Food for thought. What do you think?

All images of the Type]Media 2011 Graduation Exhibition by Martin Weber.

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  1. And what do you think? Of the typefaces?
    This is a collage of tweets we read already (and contributed to ourselves).

    Posted by Indra on Jul. 4, 2011
  2. For legal reasons I agree with everything everyone else has said. : P

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jul. 4, 2011
  3. Indra and everyone else, sorry for my smart-alecky reply earlier on. ; ) I really want to study the faces in detail before commenting.
    What I’ve seen at first sight looks convincing, diverse and exciting. I only partially agree with James Puckett that there’s “[n]ot one Unger font in the entire wonderful batch (…)”. Subtle hints of the tutors’ influences shine through in a couple of designs, but not in a blatant way. Also, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We are all coming from somewhere, incorporating in our work the traces of places and people we meet on our journey. It’s what you do with those influences, and how exactly they find a place in your creations that’s of major importance. The TypeMedia11 graduates’ typefaces show no sign of slavish copying; their work seems original and balanced.
    What has always astounded me is the wildly varied output Type]Media produces. When visiting the graduates’ exhibition at Robothon09 I remember marvelling at the delightful posters, and being genuinely excited by some of the typefaces. There’s some enchanting and occasionally mind-blowing stuff coming out of that postgraduate course. This proves that the students are encouraged to go their own way and take chances, which ultimately enriches the field of type design.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jul. 5, 2011
  4. Oh, and their website? Blows any comparable graduation website straight out of the water. Informative, clear, and beautiful. ’Nuff said.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jul. 5, 2011
  5. ’Nuff said. Danke :)

    Posted by Indra on Jul. 5, 2011
  6. First of all I send a big congratulations to the T]M students, as always very innovative and top-notch work, a pleasure to see all of their work.

    I am a former Reading student and I would be very interested to hear what exactly Mr Puckett and Mr. Sördeström see of Unger’s style, or what kind of ‘impersonality’ they spot, in the following fonts: Maiola (Veronika Burian), Motet (Sarah Soskolne), Athelas (José Scaglione), Gentium (Victor Gaultney), Nassim (Titus Nemeth), Arrival (Keith Tam), Calouste (Miguel Sousa), Edita (Pilar Cano), Tisa (Mitja Miklavcic), Strela (Tom Grace), Median (Patrick Giasson), Elena (Nicole Dotin), Skolar (David Brezina), Cassius (Mathieu Reguer), Ingeborg (Michael Hochleitner), Malabar (Dan Reynolds), Formal (Mark Weymann) — and I could include much more here. I remind them both, plenty of those are composed of Latin+Non-Latin versions, often one with harmony with the other (is that Gerard’s speciality?).

    Reading and KABK are schools, not necessarilly centres for generating “the most innovative and cool fonts on the market”. I was there and I can say that Reading is doing a lot for typedesign academic research with the amount of essays and dissertations in different design aspects, and they all count a lot for type as history/research/practical activity. Many great fonts came from there, and KABK, of course, is also doing its part for years.

    It’s a shame to see people still generalizing things and only comparing the [practical] outputs of the courses, even people who’ve been visiting Reading and know the staff and the students. Both courses go far beyond their practical outputs.


    Posted by Fernando Mello on Jul. 6, 2011
  7. First my congrats to all graduates! I went to see the exhibition and who ever is close should go and see it. Especially for the process books which usually are not featured somewhere on the web. There you will find something very crucial: the documentation of how students evolved their projects, what influences they refer to, what struggles they encountered and how they grew getting over them.

    This is what the one-year journey in type design is about, and in this respect I totally agree with Fernando. The general – and the professional – public likes to speak about the outcome as if it were the latest label release. That is flattering somehow. But still the invisible work behind the product is in my eyes what makes the real value.

    Go see their work!

    Posted by Fritz Grögel on Jul. 6, 2011

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