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You are here: Home / Conferences / Montréal 2017 / Workshops


Do not miss this year's pre-conference workshops. They will be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Please note there are half-day and full-day workshops, so be careful not to choose two workshops that will happen at the same time!

Full-day workshops run from 9:30 am–5:30 pm with a two-hour break for lunch.

Half-day workshops run from 9:30 am–12:30 pm for morning sessions, and 2:30–5:30 pm for afternoon sessions.

Half-day workshops are $50 and full-day sessions are $100 (plus materials fees, if any). Sign up for workshops during conference registration in the ATypI Store.

Responsive Typography & Variable Fonts for the Web

by Jason Pamental

Full-day session - 9:30-5:30 - Sid Lee - maximum 20 participants

This workshop is meant for designers who want to learn how to practice great typography on the web. Typography is the single most present element of your design when screen size gets smaller, and has the greatest influence on readability and retention. Learn how to use web fonts well to amplify the message and voice of your design without sacrificing performance, how to scale your typography based on screen size, and how little details layered together turn a good experience into a great one. We’ll also look at variable fonts, how they work, and how to use them on the web.

The workshop will cover a number of topics, with exercises to work through each one. We’ll learn how to implement web fonts properly for optimal performance and progressive enhancement. We’ll also look at how screen size impacts typographic scale, with sample code that includes a modular scale to start. Finally we’ll cover a number of ideas to leverage such as OpenType features, CSS equivalents of typographic techniques, and troubleshooting tips. Students are required to bring their laptops with a code editor and a web server (for example MAMP for the Mac) installed but only a basic knowledge of HTML/CSS is required.

  Jason is Senior Director of Design and Technical Strategy at Isovera (, where he heads the design and development team, leads workshops, and works with clients establishing their digital strategy. He is a seasoned design and strategy leader with 20+ years’ experience on the web. Projects range from the Ivy League to the NFL. Jason researches/writes on typography for the web: author of Responsive Typography from O’Reilly, articles for .Net magazine, Print magazine, How, Typecast blog, He is a frequent speaker and workshop leader, having presented at over 50 national/international conferences; and is featured on numerous podcasts including The Web Ahead, Boagworld and Creative Briefs.


Stop clicking: an introduction to shell scripting

by Nicole Dotin 

Half day - 2:30-5:30 - Sid Lee - maximum 20 participants

What you can do by hand in minutes or hours, a computer can do in seconds. Using the command line, you’ll learn how to automate repetitive or intricate tasks by writing bash shell scripts. I’ll demonstrate scripts that I use in my own work focusing on the post-processing of fonts — generating web fonts, creating web font specimens, and packaging fonts. By applying the concepts introduced in my examples, you'll be able to create scripts that fit your own needs. You’ll come away more comfortable in the command-line environment and be better prepared to use pre-existing tools like TTX and Adobe’s FDK.

  Nicole Dotin is a typeface designer and partner at the Process Type Foundry, an independent type design studio based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. She holds an MFA in visual studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MA in typeface design from the University of Reading. While at Reading, Nicole began designing a serif typeface called Elena, released in late 2011. When not designing typefaces, she uses her love of logic and problem-solving to find more efficient ways to maintain the Process fonts library.


Sign Painting Workshop: Single Stroke Block Letters

by John Downer 

Full-day session - 9:30-5:30 - UQAM, École de design (1440 Rue Sanguinet), room DE-2260 - maximum 20 participants

Brush lettering has seen a resurgence in recent years. The sign painting trade is attracting more and more young people. John Downer began teaching commercial lettering at the university level in 1972, and continues to offer classes at Cooper Union in New York City. Block lettering is the sign painter’s “bread and butter” style. This style has been equated with the 20th-century American vernacular, and it serves as inspiration for a good many of the latest sans serif typefaces being released.

Nontoxic paint (water base tempera) will be used.

  John Downer has been a journeyman sign painter since 1973, and a type designer since 1983. He is known as a type critic and type historian. He teaches hand lettering regularly and lectures widely at educational institutions and professional conferences. Mr. Downer earned a BA degree in Fine Art from Washington State University, and both an MA degree and an MFA degree in painting from the University of Iowa. He resides in Iowa City. His typeface Brothers has has helped make better beers more trendy.


Ligatures digital lettering workshop

by Christopher Rouleau 

Half day - 9:30-12:30 - Sid Lee - maximum 20 participants

With the resurgence of hand-lettering in recent years, designers and professionals are eager to move their work from the page to the screen.

This digital lettering workshop will help letterers learn how to convert their lettering and calligraphy into versatile vector files, perfect for all print and web uses. We will review the digital toolkit (including the beloved pen tool), give an overview of building beziers point-by-point, and offer tips on making the most of Adobe Illustrator’s auto-trace, with plenty of demonstrations and exercises. We allow plenty of one-on-one time with the instructors to ask questions and perfect your work. A laptop with Illustrator installed is required for this workshop.

  Christopher Rouleau is a freelance graphic designer, letterer, & visual artist in Toronto. He uses analog techniques of brush lettering evoking the pre-digital commercial arts style of the 1940s–1960s. When he's not planning an event or teaching a workshop for Ligatures (a Toronto-based organization which fosters typographic education, promoting local talent through workshops, lectures, and meet-ups) or collecting antique signage samples around the city, you'll find him working on new lettering projects at his Ossington studio. His work has been featured in Spacing magazine, Uppercase magazine, & Flare magazine. Christopher attended the Alberta College of Art & Design, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary.


Variable fonts: make them, test them, then use them in websites- Sold out

by Laurence Penney

Half day - 9:30-12:30 - Sid Lee - maximum 15 participants

This workshop starts with a background on variable font technology, focussing on the OpenType 1.8 format. You’ll learn how the technology works at a deep level using developer tools. You’ll learn how to make variable fonts using Glyphs, FontLab VI and fontmake. You’ll test variable fonts (including your own) in the interactive Axis-Praxis website. Finally you’ll use your new knowledge to take on the role of a front-end developer and write CSS code for a website that uses multiple instances of one variable font instead of many separate fonts or to offer interactive adjustments to end users.

  Laurence Penney is a font technology consultant based in Bristol, UK. Focussed on dynamic type tech, he specialized in TrueType: coding rasterizers, hinting fonts, and training others how to hint. He took on the challenge of creating MyFonts, the open platform selling fonts from all foundries, and helped build the team that made it the market leader by a wide margin. The recent revival of colour and variable fonts gives Laurence hope that the type world has not forgotten the best ideas from a generation ago, and he looks forward to helping these technologies take off.


Presenting content

by John D Berry 

Half day - 2:30-5:30 - Sid Lee - maximum 20 participants

Typography is all about space. This is a workshop for people who use type, especially in long texts for continuous reading. We’ll take a detailed look at how type size, leading, tracking, line length, and word breaks make a paragraph inviting and readable. We’ll delve into optical size, color or reversed type, OpenType layout features, and targeting for paper or screen. We’ll consider where and how your typographic document will be seen. We’ll explore using different kinds of contrast to distinguish individual elements in complex information. The end result of the workshop will be a typographic hand-out that you can distribute at the conference.

Bring a laptop, a love of words, and a lively typographic curiosity.

  John D. Berry is an editor, typographer, book designer, & design writer. He is the founder & director of Scripta Typography Institute, former president of ATypI, and former editor & publisher of U&lc magazine. He has been a typographic consultant to several software companies, and he writes and speaks frequently about design & typography.



Under pressure/overboard: printing with Hamilton Wood Type

by Judith Poirier, Bill & Jim Moran

Full-day session - 9:30-5:30 - Musée de l’imprimerie du Québec, Musée de l’imprimerie du Québec, 999, avenue Émile Journault, (métro orange line, Crémazie station) - maximum 18 participants

Join brothers Jim and Bill Moran of Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum and Judith Poirier from l’École de design UQAM for a day of printing with blocks from the Globe Collection.

The Globe Printing Company of Chicago was once among the leading makers of posters for circuses, attractions, and general merchandising. After the business closed, the largely irreplaceable printing blocks were donated to the Hamilton museum. Dating mostly from the mid-20th-century, the Globe Printing collection includes vintage wood type and hand-cut illustration blocks.

In this workshop Jim and Bill will demonstrate pressure printing with a few highlights from the collection, and participants will then work with imagery rarely seen in print.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring your favorite apron.

  Judith Poirier (MA Royal College of Art, London) is a professor at l’École de design, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), as well as an experimental filmmaker, book designer, and letterpress practitioner. Her films have been screened at numerous international festivals and given awards by the Canadian Film Institute and the Nashville Film Festival. She also directs La chose imprimée, a research-creation project focusing on experimental book design. Her works have been recognized by the Type Directors Club and by the Alcuin Society for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, and shortlisted at the Leipzig “Best Books from all over the World” competition. 

Jim Moran is the Museum director at Hamilton Wood Type. He runs letterpress workshops, archives the collection, and maintains the museum on a daily basis. Previously he had volunteered at Hamilton and donated presses and equipment from his Green Bay, Wisconsin, printing firm, Moran’s Quality Print Shop, where he worked as apprentice, pressman, partner, and owner with his father and grandfather for over 35 years.

Bill Moran is a third-generation letterpress printer, graphic designer, and professor of printing history at the University of Minnesota. Since 2009 he has served as artistic director at Hamilton Wood Type. In 2004 he wrote and published Hamilton Wood Type, A History in Headlines. Bill is responsible for merchandise, annual programming, and the museum’s visual brand. Bill also leads Travels in Typography, a study abroad program visiting Madrid, Venice, and Mainz. 


Variable fonts in Glyphs

Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer & Georg Seifert

Half day - 2:30-5:30 - Sid Lee - maximum 25 participants

Set up and export OTVar fonts in Glyphs, and test them inside Glyphs and in browsers. Learn some useful tricks, including Virtual Masters, and avoid potential pitfalls. Plus: animate an icon glyph in your font, and display the animation in a web browser. 

Bring your MacBook with the latest cutting edge version of Glyphs and a OTVar-capable browser (like Chrome Canary) installed.

  Rainer Erich (‘Eric’) Scheichelbauer was born in Vienna. A trained photographer, Eric holds both a philosophy and a Dutch studies degree. He creates typefaces, works as a digital punchcutter for other type designers, and gives type design workshops on a regular basis. Since he has joined the Glyphs team in 2012, he has been writing articles, tutorials, and Python scripts, as well as the blog and the handbook. He lives and works in Vienna, where he runs his type studio Schriftlabor.

Georg Seifert, Bauhaus University graduate, (b. 1978 in Halle an der Saale, Germany) is a type designer and a software developer. His typeface families Graublau Sans and Graublau Slab have become international bestsellers. He co-developed the typeface for the new Berlin Airport. He is most well known, however, for the font editor ‘Glyphs’, first released in 2011. Seifert lives and works in Berlin.


Type Insights

Half day - three sessions 9:30-12:30 - Sid Lee - maximum 20 participants

* The Type Insights sessions are complimentary for students and recent graduates only.

This new strand features experienced designers discussing the design decisions and process behind the development of new typefaces in an accessible, informal environment. It is intended to help beginners and students in typeface design learn from professionals and ask questions on workflow, design choices, and anything that will assist in the early stages of learning about typeface design. The sessions will feature short presentations on specific projects, with a generous allowance of time for discussion, questions, and advice. Our inaugural Type Insights feature Jordan Bell, Émilie Rigaud, and Lucas Sharp.


 Jordan Bell

Jordan is fascinated by handwriting and its effect on modern type design, as well as the origin, evolution, and localization of the American Gothic. He is originally from Waco, Texas and received a BFA from Abilene Christian University. He worked as a graphic designer in Santa Fe, New Mexico before joining the MATD program at Reading University to further his knowledge in design history, graphic communication, and type design. Jordan has contributed to the design of the Archer Heavyweights and Operator.


 Émilie Rigaud

Émilie Rigaud is the founder of the type foundry “A is for...”. After a master’s degree in graphic design at ENSAD (Paris), in 2008 she joined the MATD program at the University of Reading. Here, she developed the Coline typeface family, which was awarded the Tokyo Type Director’s Club Type Design Prize 2011. She currently works as both a freelance book designer and as a typeface designer. Since 2013, she is a teacher at the ANRT and ENSAD and she does research on the history of Japanese typography.


 Lucas Sharp

Lucas Sharp is an American typeface designer and artist currently living and working in Granada, Spain. Sharp graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2010, where he studied under renowned typeface designer Joshua Darden. In 2015, Sharp founded the Sharp Type Co. with partner Chantra Malee where he designs award winning typefaces like Sharp Grotesk and Ogg as well as custom typefaces for major global players such as Samsung and Hillary Clinton. Sharp designs typefaces with beautify and utility for the modern era.









Locations and times are subject to change.