Working Seminar Amiens

Yesterday morning (5 February 2020 Amiens time), a small group of students from the University Faculty of Arts, which shares the same building as ESAD Amiens, decided to begin a strike and to block the main entrances, including the ESAD Amiens school’s entrance.

This is a peaceful protest against the pension system reform planned by the French government; students and staff could enter the school this morning through several other entrances on the left side and the back of the building. The blockade will continue tomorrow. Therefore, ESAD Amiens has changed the meeting point for registration for the ATypI Working Seminar.

Between 8:30 and 9:30 am, a small group of students will be waiting outside the ESAD Amiens building to take participants to the left side, rue Alfred Manessier, where there is another entrance. Registration will take place inside the building.

In partnership with the ESAD Amiens School of Art and Design (École Supérieure d’Art et de Design d’Amiens), the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) will present its first working seminar of 2020 in Amiens, France. This edition, is open to those interested in higher research, and especially PhD candidates and supervisors, researchers, educators, students, and those already holding PhDs.


6–7 February 2020


ESAD Amiens School of Art and Design, 40 Rue des Teinturiers, 80000 Amiens, France


Over the past two decades, typography has become a globally recognised field of study. During this time, higher education institutions have increasingly faced the challenge of formalising study in type and typographic design. The most important aspect of this process is the slow but steady growth of PhDs: these give structure to research enquiry, produce knowledge in recognisable, accepted formats that are arguably necessary for the maturity of the field, and equip a new generation of educators and researchers with the skills and qualifications to lead the process in their institutions.

ATypI’s working seminar in Amiens aims to capture the current state of PhD research in type and typography, afford participants a platform for sharing experiences from different stages in the PhD process, review perspectives from the points of view of researchers, supervisors, and research leaders, and strengthen the network of researchers working in this field in Europe and more widely.

Travel and Accommodation Information

Amiens is easily accessible by train from Paris (approximately 70 minutes) or Lille (about 80 minutes), with more than a dozen trains running daily.

There are two good options for those who will be traveling by air. Participants may fly into Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle (CDG) and take a train to the TGV Haute-Picardie station, then catch a shuttle to Amiens station. Alternatively, travelers may elect to arrive at Paris Beauvais airport (BVA) and then take a bus to Amiens station.

Here are some suggestions for accommodation:


There is no charge to attend this event, but participants must preregister online in the ATypI store. Registration is now open! Deadline to register is Friday, 31 January 2020. This event is sold out.


The ATypI Working Seminar Amiens programme is a single-track, two-day event, and is limited to sixty participants. All sessions will be recorded and uploaded on the ATypI video channel.

The programme will be in English.

Confirmed presenters and panelists include keynote Gerry Leonidas, University of Reading, UK; Sahar Afshar and Caroline Archer, Centre for Printing History and Culture, Birmingham; Tiphanie Chivot, Barbara Dennys, Patrick Doan, and Sébastien Morlighem, ESAD Amiens; Matthieu Cortat, Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL); Petra Dočekalová, Academy of Arts Architecture and Design (UMPRUM), Prague; Borna Izadpanah and Titus Nemeth, also of the University of Reading; Sarah Kremer, Atelier National de Recherche Typographique/ESAD Amiens; Rathna Ramanathan, Royal College of Art, London; Dan Reynolds, Braunschweig University of Art; Alice Savoie, University of Reading/Atelier National de Recherche Typographique; and Ana Catarina Silva, Escola Superior de Design/IPCA, Barcelos.

ESAD Amiens will generously provide an on-site lunch for registered participants during the working seminar, as well as dinner on Thursday, 6 February.

Day 1 | Thursday 6 February 2020

Registration and Coffee

Welcome by Barbara Dennys, Director of ESAD Amiens

Opening Keynote by Gerry Leonidas, University of Reading
The Current State of Research in Typography

Coffee Break

Presentation by Sébastien Morlighem and Tiphanie Chivot, ESAD Amiens
The Devillers Archive: From Document to Database


Lunch provided on-site for registered Working Seminar participants

Presentation by Patrick Doan, ESAD Amiens
Typannot and Inscript: Two Research Projects


Coffee Break

Presentation by Matthieu Cortat, Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne
Research in Type Design at ECAL


Public Event
ESADType 18-20 Projects
Exhibition Opening

Dinner provided on-site for registered Working Seminar participants

Day 2 | Friday 7 February 2020

Registration and Coffee

Talks and Panel Discussion—PhDs in Europe, Part One: Students
Sahar Afshar, Centre for Printing History and Culture, Birmingham
Petra Dočekalová, Academy of Arts Architecture and Design (UMPRUM), Prague
Borna Izadpanah, University of Reading
Sarah Kremer, Atelier National de Recherche Typographique/ESAD Amiens
Ana Catarina Silva, Escola Superior de Design/IPCA
Barcelos Dan Reynolds, Braunschweig University of Art

Coffee Break

Talks and Panel Discussion—PhDs in Europe, Part Two: Supervisors
Caroline Archer, Centre for Printing History and Culture, Birmingham
Petra Černe Oven, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana
Rathna Ramanathan, Royal College of Art, London

Lunch provided on-site for registered Working Seminar participants

Presentation Postdoctoral Research and Funding Opportunities
Titus Nemeth, University of Reading
Jack of All Trades

Presentation by Alice Savoie, University of Reading/Atelier National de Recherche Typographique
Afterlife: Some Postdoctoral Perspectives


Coffee Break

General Discussion
Student-Researcher, Teacher-Researcher: Status, What Status?

Closing Remarks by Gerry Leonidas and Sébastien Morlighem
Towards a European Network of Research in Typography

Programme and speakers are subject to change.


Sahar Afshar
Sahar Afshar is a type designer and researcher from Iran. Her interest in typography developed while she was a student at the University of Tehran, leading her to attend the University of Reading, from which she holds an MA by Research in Typography and Graphic Communication. Recently, Afshar has been working on the design of Arabic typefaces and conducting research on the printing of non-Latin—specifically Arabic and Indic—scripts. Currently based in the UK, Afshar is a doctoral candidate at Birmingham City University, where she is researching Punjabi printing history and culture in postwar Britain.

Caroline Archer
Caroline Archer-Parré is co-director of the Centre for Printing History and Culture at Birmingham City University and Chairman of the Baskerville Society. With an interest in typographic history from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, Archer-Parré has published widely. She is the author of three monographs: The Kynoch Press 1876-1981: The Anatomy of a Printing House (British Library, 2000), Tart Cards: London’s Illicit Advertising Art (MBP, 2003), and Paris Underground (MBP, 2005). With Malcolm Dick, Archer-Parré has co-edited John Baskerville: Art and Industry of the Enlightenment (Liverpool University Press, 2017), Text, Type, and Communication in the Eighteenth Century (Liverpool University Press, 2020), and James Watt, 1736-1819: Culture, Innovation, and Enlightenment (Liverpool University Press, 2020). She contributes to numerous journals and writes regularly for the trade press.

Petra Černe Oven
Petra Černe Oven is a designer, researcher, and author of texts on typography, information design, and the theory and history of design. She has received prestigious awards as a freelance designer, and earned a PhD from the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading (UK). Černe Oven has organized conferences and workshops and worked with the Brumen Foundation. With Barbara Predan, she established the book series Zbirka 42. Černe Oven is the Slovenian representative of ATypI, cofounder of the Institute of Design, and vice dean for international cooperation at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana.

Tiphanie Chivot
After obtaining a Professional Baccalaureate in Graphic Communication, Tiphanie Chivot enrolled in ESAD Amiens in 2013. She became interested in the professional writings of archivists through a field survey in different archive locations, and then carried out her master’s project on the valorization and exploration of French graphic designer Jacques Devillers’ archives. Chivot is currently studying at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris, the Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), where she is preparing a master’s degree dissertation on the design of professional writings and its impact on the treatment of archives.

Matthieu Cortat
Matthieu Cortat has served as Head of Master Type Design of ECAL (University of Art and Design Lausanne) since its inception in 2016. Building this programme afforded him a unique opportunity to think about typographic education in a contemporary context as well as in the Swiss tradition and current educational landscape. Before taking on his role at ECAL, Cortat worked for three years to reshape the permanent collections of the Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication in Lyon (with Alan Marshall and Sheza Moledina). This initiative gave him an opportunity to merge personal research with creative process to design both retail (205tf) and custom fonts (Nonpareille). Both experiences create a dialogue within the field of postgraduate research at ECAL.

Patrick Doan
A graduate of the École Supérieure Estienne (ESAIG) and holder of a degree in Japanese language, Patrick Doan is a teacher-researcher at ESAD Amiens. He co-directs the Typannot research project, which aims to design a transcription system for sign languages. Doan collaborated on the Descript research project at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne (UTC), which focused on learning the writing gesture in an augmented environment. This project was extended at ESAD Amiens in the design of the Inscript platform, a digital tool for saving and transmitting scriptural practices. Doan is currently completing a PhD thesis on the study of attentional activity in the expert writer at UTC Compiègne. Parallel to his teaching and research activities, he works as a freelance graphic designer in Amsterdam.

Petra Dočekalová
Petra Dočekalová studies at the Studio of Type Design and Typography at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, where she is undertaking her PhD thesis on new script forms. Since 2013, Dočekalová has been a member of the Briefcase Type Foundry team. She focuses on editorial projects such as the Typo9010 book, which won several global awards. Dočekalová is also a type designer, sign painter, and lettering artist, and works on new digital scripts. In 2017, Dočekalová received an award of excellence from the Type Directors Club (TDC) for her diploma project on Czechoslovak calligraphy and new hand lettering forms.

Borna Izadpanah 
Borna Izadpanah is a typeface designer and researcher based in London. He holds an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading (UK) and an MA in Graphic Design from the London College of Communication. Izadpanah has received multiple awards for his original typefaces, including the grand prize in the 2015 Granshan competition and a certificate of typographic excellence from the Type Directors Club in 2017. He is currently undertaking PhD research on the typographic representation of the Persian language in Reading’s Department of Typography and Graphic Communication.

Sarah Kremer
Sarah Kremer is a graphic designer and type designer. From 2014 to 2018, she worked on a PhD research project as part of the digitization of Walther von Wartburg’s etymological dictionary of the French language, Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, at ATILF (Analyse et Traitement Informatique de la Langue Française–Analysis and Digital Processing of the French Language, the joint research unit of the CNRS French National Center for Scientific Research and the University of Lorraine) and at ANRT (Atelier National de Recherche Typographique–the National Institute for Typographic Research at ENSAD, Nancy’s art and design school). Kremer teaches at ESAD Amiens and regularly lectures at the school of applied arts in Nevers, the École Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués de Bourgogne (ESAAB).

Gerry Leonidas
Gerry Leonidas teaches and researches typography and typeface design at the University of Reading (UK). He supervises MA and PhD research and lectures widely. He consults on publication and typeface design, reviews bodies of work, and runs knowledge-transfer projects with a twin focus on global business development and new education initiatives. Leonidas is the president of the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) and is a founding member of the Granshan Foundation. He also helps organise the International Conference on Typography and Visual Communication (ICTVC) and other events. He serves as director of Reading’s MA Typeface Design (MATD) and Type Design Intensive (TDi) summer course, both global reference points for type education. In 2017, Leonidas launched another initiative at Reading: the MRes Typeface Design programme, a hybrid MA on research in typeface design.

Sébastien Morlighem
Sébastien Morlighem is a graduate of the École Supérieure Estienne (ESAIG) and the University Paris Diderot—Paris 7 and holds a PhD from the University of Reading (UK). He is a researcher and teacher in the history of graphic design and typography at ESAD Amiens (École Supérieure d’Art et de Design d’Amiens) and coordinator of the postgraduate course ESADType. A founder of the Bibliothèque Typographique for Ypsilon Éditeur, Morlighem has co-authored several books and written many articles. He has also curated numerous conferences and exhibitions on graphic design, typography, and type design.

Titus Nemeth
Titus Nemeth is a type designer and typographer. His internationally recognized practice spans commercial and cultural work with a focus on Arabic and multilingual design. Nemeth’s interests and activities extend to academic research and teaching in higher education. His monograph Arabic Type-Making in the Machine Age was published by Brill in 2017. Nemeth has taught type design and typography at schools in Austria, France, Morocco, Qatar, and the UK.

Rathna Ramanathan
Rathna Ramanathan is a Reader in Intercultural Communication and the dean of the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art in London. Her research focuses on intercultural typography and graphic design and experimental publishing practices. Ramanathan has over twenty years’ experience in diverse contexts: professional (design research, publishing practice, and design education), cultural (South Asian, European, and American), and organizational (academic, commercial, and nonprofit). She works in international cross-disciplinary teams surrounding the research, design, and delivery of communication for BBC World, the British Council, UNICEF India, World Bank, Harvard University Press, and Tara Books. Ramanathan specializes in the research, design, and curation of marginalized content and endangered practices within intercultural publishing with South Asia as the site of investigation. Themes that resonate in her work include the politics of typography, relevance of tangible and intangible heritages in communication, and dialogues of people, politics, and place.

Dan Reynolds
Dan Reynolds works at LucasFonts in Berlin. He is also a design historian focusing on foundries from Imperial Germany. In January 2019, Reynolds passed his doctoral examinations in Braunschweig, where he taught for several years. He previously worked for Linotype and freelanced for clients like FontFont, Indian Type Foundry, and Typejockeys.

Alice Savoie
Alice Savoie is an independent typeface designer, teacher, and researcher. She holds an MA and a PhD from the University of Reading. She collaborates with design studios and type foundries on the design of multi-script typeface families. In 2018, Savoie released the typeface family Faune, which was commissioned by the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP) in partnership with the Groupe Imprimerie Nationale. Savoie teaches and supervises research projects at the Atelier National de Recherche Typographique (ANRT) in Nancy and the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL). She is the principal postdoctoral researcher on the Leverhulme-funded project “Women in Type,” working at Reading under the supervision of Fiona Ross.

Ana Catarina Silva
Ana Catarina Silva is a teacher and researcher. She holds a PhD in Sciences and Technologies of Communication from the University of Porto in Portugal, her thesis focusing on the design of the technical book in a hybrid editorial context. Her research projects address a variety of fields and their borders, from hybrid editions to independent publishing, typography, and illustration. Books (and their forms) are Silva’s passion. Since 2007, she has taught typography in editorial and design projects for undergraduate and graduate degree programs in graphic design and digital design at the Escola Superior de Design at the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA) in Barcelos. Silva is also a research member of CAOS (Communication, Art, Object, and Synergies)/ID+ (the Research Institute for Design, Media, and Culture) and a member of the Design Obs, a Portuguese Design Observatory.

Support and Sponsorship

The ATypI Working Seminar Amiens 2020 is generously supported by ESAD Amiens, the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, the Région Hauts-de-France, Amiens Métropole, and Google. We welcome sponsorship to help cover additional costs and create new opportunities for participants. Please see the Working Seminar sponsorship page for more information.


Get in touch with the ATypI Working Seminar Amiens team by emailing