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Graphic Design: Typography Summer Intensive

Discover contemporary typographic practice, ranging from letterpress to coding.

Dates: New dates to be announced soon

Duration: Five days

Location: RCA White City

Regular price: £1,200

Please note: ​​​​​the course fee does not include materials, accommodation, food or transport. 

Register your interest

Course overview

This five-day short course offers a series of focused workshops in the principal aspects of contemporary typography. 

The course aims to establish an intensive learning environment, offering practical and theoretical guidance in forging your typographic practice.

Each participant will work on an individual typography project that develops their personal interests. At the end of course there will be a final presentation in the studios, followed by a drinks reception with RCA tutors. 

The Visual Communication programme has a wide variety of typographic expertise within its teaching cohort: from letterpress to coding, non-Latin typography to generative type, designing fonts to the history of type. With this array of expertise, the Summer Intensive offers the opportunity to study with RCA staff and external practitioners, many of them leaders in the field. 

How will I learn?

    Learning takes place in groups of up to 20 participants. Through a series of workshops, lectures, practical exercises, studio visits and presentations on the Visual Communication archive you will:

    • experience the RCA model of studio teaching and practice to develop design and presentation techniques while building a portfolio
    • work collaboratively with a diverse range of colleagues from varied backgrounds, honing teamwork and leadership skills
    • work with leading design practitioners and educators to develop a critical, creative and insightful practice.

    What will I learn?

    You will learn to:

    • view typography as a multifaceted discipline and one that has expanded to encompass most aspects of graphic communication
    • recognise typography as a fundamental component of visual communication 
    • develop a new found confidence in the ability to make type function in a variety of traditional and contemporary settings – from print to electronic, handmade to computer generated. 
    • be able to discuss approaches and gather knowledge about contemporary and historical trends, building awareness of the wider typographic landscape
    • develop an enhanced notion of what a contemporary typographic practice can be
    • expand your skills and grow confidence in making typographic expression.

    Course outcomes

    Examples of course outcomes might be: 

    • a new typeface
    • experimental typographic outputs (print and digital)
    • typographic publication (print and digital).

    Who should attend?

    Those who should attend include:

    • current graphic design students
    • recent graduates with a need/desire to improve typography skills and knowledge
    • professionals working in publishing, advertising and communications who want to increase typographic knowledge.  
    • those seeking an opportunity to experiment in a ‘safe’ environment without the limitations of professional life, and where the only rule is the need to be brave
    • those preparing for Master’s-level study.

    Programme team

    This course will be delivered by staff from the RCA School of Communication’s Visual Communication programme.

    Adrian Shaughnessy is a visiting lecturer in Visual Communication at the RCA. With a reputation in all aspects of graphic communication, Shaughnessy co-founded the influential design group Intro, leaving after 15 years to set up the independent publishing imprint Unit Editions, now entering its tenth year. In 2017, Unit Editions was selected as one of the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year. Shaughnessy has designed, written, edited and published numerous books on design, typography and visual culture. His book How to be a Graphic Designer has sold over 80,000 copies and has been translated into numerous languages. Shaughnessy is a member of AGI, the organisation of the world’s leading graphic designers.

    The full list of academics and external practitioners names is to be announced.

    Admission criteria

    It is preferable for participants to:
    • have an undergraduate degree in a design or a demonstrably creative background
    • possess familiarity with some of the industry standard software packages (e.g. Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, FontLab, Glyphs, etc) and participants must bring their own laptop
    • have a basic understanding of typography
    • have a good level of English language
    • be 18 years or over. 

    Disclaimer: The information given is accurate at the time of publication, however, the RCA reserves the right to amend the described courses as circumstances dictate.


    School of Communication Executive Education

    +44 (0)20 7590 4279
    [email protected]

    Please review our FAQs to keep up to date with the latest information about Coronavirus (Covid-19) and how it affects the RCA short courses.

    Please register your interest to download the full course description.

    "The course is very well planned and executed, with assignments and engagements covering the overall spectrum of typography. Supported by talks from industry experts, hands-on work and presentations along with personal critiques. I feel very satisfied with the varied perspectives I learnt during the course. Thank you!" Gunjan Ahlawat

    Creative Head, Penguin Random House, India

    "I loved every minute of the Typography Summer Intensive. The course team were deeply knowledgeable, supportive and generous with their time. I'd recommend this course in a heartbeat!" Christopher Murphy

    Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design, Belfast School of Art

    "This course played a huge role in making me realise how much I want to pursue graphic design as part of my career in the future." Morgan Harney

    Student at George Washington University Business School, USA

    "Typography is part science and part art – a failure to understand this results in mediocre typographic expression and failed communication. This course aims to reacquaint participants with the core principles of typography (the science) but also to inspire participants to aim for the sublime (the art)." Adrian Shaughnessy

    Visiting Lecturer, Visual Communication

    Adrian Shaughnessy
    Adrian Shaughnessy