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We Crashed a College Course to Teach Typography 01

If you’re enrolled in a design program at a university, you’d probably be surprised to see one of our courses pop into your curriculum.

Well, for a select group of students at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC, that’s exactly what happened.

On Saturday, Jan. 25th, masters students from the Products of Design program had the opportunity to join a virtual classroom with Chris and take the Typography 01 course alongside him.

While Chris phoned in from Santa Monica, SVA students huddled into the classroom for a watch party of the course, followed by a practice session, live critique, and deeper instruction on the material.

This pilot program introduced a course outside of the school’s curriculum in a new and engaging way—without cutting into students’ tuition, schedules, or the university’s budget. In just one day, students turned an unfamiliar concept into a skill they can incorporate into everything they create going forward.

The Products of Design program at SVA focuses on three main fields: making (physical designs), structures, and storytelling. So…why did we teach Typography?

Unless you’re new around here, you know that Typography is essentially one of our secret sauces. It’s a design fundamental that, to us, is absolutely crucial to learn, understand, and implement into our work.

Everything about Typography’s roots—contrast, scale, composition, repetition—impacts every facet of design. Applying the fundamentals of type into our work definitely raised it to a higher caliber, and we firmly believe it can do the same for designers of any industry.

The rules of type are complementary to the three fields of the masters program: physical design, design systems, and storytelling and communication. Typography is just one more tool the students can add to their belts.

Those who participated had some really awesome things to say at the end of the day:

“Typography, generally, is where I feel the most creative block and anxiety in my design practice. Your master class felt conversational and engaging in a way that made it feel approachable and fun. Seeing the ‘live' corrections really helped me see what a stronger use of typography and layout actually looks like in a process-based environment.” — SVA student, Stephanie Gamble

This new, interactive classroom setup was a first for us, and most definitely not our last. Our eyes are still set on impacting 1 billion creatives around the world, and we’re excited for more opportunities like this to further design education for everyone.

Thank you to the Products of Design School for having us!

Photo credit: The School of Visual Arts

Want to see us in class?

Send an email to and tell us about your school/program, what course you’d like us to teach, and a few dates that’ll work with your class schedule. We'll reply with all the details on pricing, setup, and the lecture ASAP.

Interested in learning Typography?

Check out our Typography 01 course and get started.