Get early bird tickets for the Cooper Union’s Typographics festival 2024

The diverse programme features a Q&A, a conference for informational exchange and a TypeLab for those who want a hands-on space to experiment and discuss.

4 April 2024

The Cooper Union’s Typographics festival is returning for its tenth year in June. The school is once again opening its doors for workshops and tours, conference talks, book fairs and its multi-day typographic hackathon, TypeLab. This year, its conference platforms a range of designers from across a broad scope of design, who all share a love for type. Audiences can hear from designers such as Desmond Wong and Christina Janus, M/M Paris partnering founders Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag, Jingqi Fan, Rozi Zhu and Black Joy Archive founder and designer Zoë PulleyEarly bird tickets are available for purchase, and Typographics festival will be releasing more updates on participant designers closer to the date.

The Cooper Union is in an institution with a long history of invoking new strides in design. Founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper, the school was known for enrolling working class individuals for free and educating women in design. Cara Di Edwardo, a 1985 graduate turned long-time professor at The Cooper Union, co-founded Typographics, and emphasises the institution as an important centre for its development. “As the school has evolved over the last 165 years, lettering, calligraphy and typographic education has been a constant course offering for the students in undergraduate programmes,” Cara says.

Through to the 1960s, the School of Art had up to nine lettering teachers on the faculty, before technology evolved and less emphasis was given to hand lettering, and focus on typography increased. “But calligraphy continues to be taught at Cooper Union and there is an unbroken legacy and commitment to teaching about letterforms. The festival really allows a full expression of that commitment and opens it to the broader world,” she adds.

This year, Typographics is honouring the jewels of years’ past, while also celebrating the new. It will take elements from conferences of the previous years such as its interstitial content between live talks referred to as ‘spotlights’; a compelling one from 2022 was the Tre Seals profile, highlighting his journey as a founder of Vocal Type, a foundry that uplifts diverse type from underrepresented cultures and movements.

Typographics 2022: Tre Seals Spotlight (Copyright © Typographics, 2022)

As for the new, the industry’s advancements will be reflected. “There are sure to be a few talks that focus on or at least touch on AI and design, which of course is on everyone’s mind these days,” Cara says. But there will also be an improvement of some of its formats, such as finding ways to create a greater connection between the speaker and audience during Q&A conversations. “We want to find a way to spark more interaction with the audience, but not have it weigh down the flow and experience.”

The festival will also feature Typographics’ TypeLab. Beginning as an anti-conference at the ATypl conference some decades ago, its first facilitator, the graphic designer, software author and typeface designer Petr van Blokland agreed to host its revival at Typographics in 2015, and it has been a staple ever since. “The spirit of TypeLab is to be a creative space, spontaneous, educational, with a spirit of sharing, peer to peer and young to old,” Cara tells us, “a space for troubleshooting, critique, challenging out notions of design, tools and education.” In the two years after Covid’s canceled events, Typographics has seen more hosts joining the TypeLab team and the online platform has gained more popularity across the world, which will be preserved even though the festival is now in person.

For The Cooper Union, Typographics 2024 is all about bridging connections, and the balanced lineup creates a space for budding designers to see their varied interests, design approaches, and languages reflected. Take speaker Vera van der Seyp for example, whose work focuses on machine learning and code to create letterforms that are both “contemporary and futuristic”, says Cara. Or Gen Ramirez, a typeface designer who also specialises in lettering, who will also be speaking at the event. Gen also teaches and has nurtured a community of designers in Latin America called Letrástica Communidad. “He and his Croatian partner just recently released a type family called YuMex with OhNo Type Foundry inspired by letterforms from a time when Mexican culture was popular in former Yugoslavia. We look forward to hearing about work that is both personal and historic,” says Cara.

All in all, Typographics 2024 balances established and emerging design voices and a range of disciplines across a diverse geographical and language background. The Cooper Union is using its position to foster connections throughout the industry, across hierarchy, position and interests. “The type community is already a kind and inclusive place and we want to nurture that,” Cara ends.

Typographics 2024 will take place from 10-18 June. For more information on its variety of events and access to early-bird tickets, click here.


Toshi Omagari (Copyright © Typographics, 2024)


Silas Munro (Copyright © Typographics, 2024)


Amy Lee Walton (Copyright © Typographics, 2024)


Teddy Blanks (Copyright © Typographics, 2024)


Parasto Backman (Copyright © Typographics, 2024)

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The Cooper Union

The Cooper Union is among the oldest and most distinguished colleges in the US. Founded by Peter Cooper, the college offers a world-class education in art, architecture and engineering. To serve in political and cultural life, he established The Great Hall. This is the venue of Typographics Conference.

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Typographics 2024 poster (Copyright © Typographics, 2024)

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