Saturday 09.09.17 – 10.09.17, 12:00
Create your own typeface with the founder of Grilli Type (Workshops)

Learn how to reconstruct the DNA of a typeface on the basis of a few found letters, as well as create your own, with the co-founder of the Swiss type foundry, Noel Leu 


09.09.17 – 10.09.17






studio 3





A text poster begins with a font. The font begins with a pair of inspired letters. And inspiration comes from the surroundings. How do you distill this into a tool that you can use? The aim of this workshop is to analyse the typographic DNA and deduct the missing characters to build a complete typeface. Designers will learn some of the basics of designing a typeface and understanding its structure with a master of laconic, high quality Swiss design, Noel Leu. At the end of the workshop, they will design their own typeface and a poster to present the result of their research.

‘I hope to increase the awareness and appreciation of typography as well as empowering people to design typography themselves’, — Noel Leu.

Noel Leu is a Swiss graphic designer and co-founder of the type foundry Grilli Type, as well as the independent publishing house Edition Grilli. Grilli Type is an independent Swiss type foundry that offers original retail and custom typefaces. They are famous for high quality products with a contemporary aesthetic in the Swiss tradition. This tradition is reflected in both the visual and technical standards of their fonts and service. Leu is a nominee and winner of numerous design awards, including the Swiss Federal Design Award, ADC Young Guns Award.

Designers will learn how to:

  • Raise their awareness of the rich and inspirational surroundings that public typography in Moscow offers and train their eye to look out for interesting designs in daily life
  • Get a basic understanding of how type design functions and how typographic characters are interrelated
  • Repurpose found typography as a typeface and show it in an interesting new context
  • Talk about typography and present their own typographic works vividly and competently

Working professionals and experienced students in applied visual communications are invited to participate. Attendees need a basic understanding of typography and digital tools and should know how to use layout software, how to work with vector based tools like Adobe illustrator, and learn the basic functions of the font software Glyphs, a trial version of which may be downloaded and installed here.


Before the workshop starts, participants should find one example of typography in public space and bring it to class. For example, specially designed lettering that’s been used on a subway stop, a store name, or an inscription near a front door — it is important to find a typographic example that is not part of a typeface — in these cases, it was probably an unknown designer that just came up with some letterforms and wrote a single or a few words with them. The participants should document their example (by photo or scan) and document in what context it has been found.

The workshop will be held in English; spoken English is mandatory. Applications are accepted until September 6th. The Institute producer will contact each candidate after the close of the application period. For students studying graphic design there is a 20% discount. Please write to workshop producer Maria at with the subject line ‘Discount for the Noel Leu’s workshop’ for the discount or with any other questions.