Start date March 5 2021
3:30 pm PDT
End date March 26 2021
5:30 pm PDT

Shifting Architectures: Modularity and System in Typeface Design with Jaimey Shapey


Attendance limit: 20

Shifting Architectures: Modularity and System in Typeface Design with Jaimey Shapey

4-day workshop:
Fridays, March 5, 12, 19, 26
3:30-5:30 pm PST

"Type is a beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters." -Matthew Carter

An alphabet is a network of functioning letters that requires the balancing of small details and broad ideas. Typefaces work as a system, with parameters set forward and defined by the designer in order to create letters that can repeat, work, and function in any written scenario. Modularity in type can be as extreme as Fregio Mecano, Albers Stencil, to as ubiquitous as a serif textface. Grid systems in letterform design relate to modularity, with organic forms such as the Romain Du Roi and inorganic forms such as Wim Crouwel's alphabet.

Layered type and variable type can serve as methods and mediums for creating experimental modular type systems, and for exploring the possibilities of letterform construction.


Workshop Outline
The objective of the workshop is to explore the concept of modular type design using traditional static design methods and variable type. Looking at historical models of letter construction for reference, participants will be required to draw building blocks to form an alphabet system.

  • Setting up documents and file organization
  • Drawing paths (with basic interpolation in mind)
  • Compositing (diacritics or ligatures)
  • Global spacing
  • OpenType features

Additionally, the workshop will cover beginning technical aspects of the Glyphs software, which will include:

  • What are the limits of legibility when working with a highly modular type system?
  • What elements of the latin alphabet are reused and recycled?
  • What are the rules of modularity in type design?
  • What historical methodologies exist behind determining modular systems?

Workshop attendees will need to bring their own Apple computer with a Glyphs license, as most type design softwares don't support a PC interface. References will be provided and attendees will be able to choose one, or are allowed to bring their own. By the end of the workshop, attendees will have a basic understanding of:

  • Typographic drawing principles
  • The differing features between type made in the digital era vs. a pre-digital era
  • Glyphs user knowledge
  • Where to start when beginning a type design based project, whether that be a wordmark, logotype, or full typeface
Jaimey JeongMi Shapey is a type designer who lives and works in Los Angeles and New York. She graduated from CalArts with a BFA in Graphic Design and from the Type@Cooper program in 2020.
Tickets are non-refundable, but may be transferred to someone else if you are not able to attend.

Available Tickets

$300 Course Fee $300.00

All proceeds from the workshop go towards facilitator compensation, Southland Institute expenses, and future programming costs. The Southland Institute is dedicated to offering meaningful, sustainable educational offerings that are affordable for students, and compensate instructors fairly. Your contribution makes workshops like these possible.

Please choose the workshop fee amount that best aligns with what you are able to contribute at this time. 

The Southland Institute is committed to accessible and inclusive education. If you would like to take part in any of these programs, but cost is an issue, or if any other accommodations are needed, please send us an email at general@southlandinstitute.org and we will do our best to accommodate.

$250 Course Fee $250.00
$200 course fee $200.00
$150 course fee $150.00
$100 course fee $100.00
$75 subsidized course fee $75.00

In order for these workshops to be financially sustainable, we have a limited number of subsidized $75 spaces available.