A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending an 8-hour long workshop called “Setting the Table,” on one of my favorite things in the entire world: typography. Super nerdy, right? And in the best way possible.
The workshop was held at TypeEd (and yes, their site is gorgeous) in Downtown LA, and taught by my friend Shannon, who runs a local design studio with her husband. The workshop itself was about designing with typography, and focused on creating a cookbook in particular, because cookbooks have all sorts of crazy type needs. Think: headlines, ingredients, step-by-step instructions, the works. Our assignment for the day was to create 2 spreads for a fictional cookbook using the branding of a real restaurant (Oinkster, in Silverlake.)
I came into the workshop thinking that it’d be a bit out of my comfort zone, but that I could totally rock it. Holy cow, did I underestimate the caliber of people who’d be there, both teaching/critiquing and doing the workshop along with me! Turns out this was the most advanced workshop they’d offered at TypeEd so far– and as a relative n00b to design and fully self-taught, I had a ton to learn! Luckily for me, everyone was patient and had great feedback, which helped so much! Shannon began the class with a great overview of binding, printing options, layouts…basically everything you’d need to know the basics on before creating a printed project like a cookbook.
The best part of the class, for me, was the “crits” or critiques, when the Type Ed staff (3 total, including Shannon), hung up our in-progress layouts and led a discussion of things that each design was doing well and areas that needed improvement. Not only was it great to get direct feedback from seasoned designers on my own work, but it was so inspiring to see what the other ladies taking the class had done with their layouts. We all had the same exact resources to work with, but went in drastically different directions!
For people just starting to explore typography or who are self taught (like me!), I’d 110% recommend working your way up to the more advanced classes and starting with their Basics workshop. The schedule of upcoming classes is here. If you know your way around a ragged right and can kern with the best of them, though, their more advanced classes like Whisky Type might be right up your alley (typography pun intended.) All in all, it was an inspiring and incredibly educational experience, exactly the type of design course I’ve been searching for since I started on this journey. As far as typography classes goes, Setting the Table definitely wasn’t (and isn’t intended to be) an introductory class. But for designers with a strong knowledge of typography basics and InDesign, this class is an amazing opportunity to work outside of your normal realm and get super creative with a fun side project. It was small, with great information and 1-on-1 advice from the instructors, with a fun curriculum. I will absolutely be taking more of their classes, and if you’re in the LA area, I’d love to see you there!