Working Seminar sponsorship

ATypI’s new series of Working Seminars are smaller in scale than major conferences, but with similar reach online: we will be recording and uploading for free viewing all sessions, and making available online other material handed out or generated dur ing the workshop sessions. 

Workshop themes are developed with sensitivity to regional concerns and developments, which will ensure that relevant communities seek and engage with our online material. Focusing on useful content for the talk and workshop sessions ensures that the online material will be sought long after the event.

The events are modest in scale, so our sponsorship will be directed primarily on ensuring a high-quality of visual documentation, and rapid uploading of videos and related material. 

All sponsors are acknowledged on the introductory frames of our recordings and all online material.

WS Gold Sponsors
$5,000 / €5,000

WS Silver Sponsors
$2,500 / €2,500

WS Bronze Sponsors
$1,000 / €1,000

WS Local Sponsors
In-kind / services

To discuss sponsoring the Colombo Working Seminar, please email
Sumanthri Samarawickrama, Pathum Egodawatta, or Gerry Leonidas

Working Seminar Colombo

In partnership with FARU (Faculty of Architecture Research Unit), University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and the Akuru Collective, ATypI will hold a Working Seminar in Colombo on 22–23 March 2019. The single-track, two-day event will be limited to 60 participants, and give priority to seminars and workshops, with an expectation that all participants engage actively.


The main theme for the Working Seminar is the teaching of typography and typeface design in universities, colleges, and self-contained courses in the broader region.
We aim to provide a structure for educators and professionals to exchange information and experience. We will look at ways of building up and enriching study programmes, growing resources for educators, professionals, and students, and coordinate actions for growing their audience. We will also look at the impact of the growing interest in typography on the careers of educators, and how to support this growth.

Travel and accommodation information

Sri Lanka has one of the easiest Visa regimes in the world for tourists. There are direct flights to Colombo International Airport (CMB, officially Bandaranaike International Airport) from many major and regional hubs. The airport is further out from the city, and you will have to take a taxi or a bus to get to Colombo.
Getting around Colombo is easy, with street hailing of the local three-wheeler rikshaws possible on every major street, which cost around $0.30/km. There is also a popular Uber-like local trishaw-hailing app, as well as Uber for air-conditioned cars. Public transportation is safe, although not as efficient.
Accommodation in Sri Lanka is affordable, and there are many options across hotel levels, and private rentals through AirBnB. The UoM is a 30 minute drive from the centre of Colombo, but there are many hotels and AirBnB options on the beachside nearer to the UoM, in the beach-side area of Mount Lavinia. (A taxi from this area to the University would typically cost 2-3 USD.)

Here are some suggestions for accommodation:


The Working Seminar is free to attend, but you need to register on Eventbrite.


The programme is a single-track, two-day event and is limited to sixty participants, with a priority on seminars and workshops, rather than more formal lectures. All sessions will be recorded, and uploaded on the ATypI video channel. Documentation circulated will be posted online as well.

Here is the schedule for two days. Each section starts with an opening / position talk, that sets an agenda, followed by generous time for Q&A. Each of these is followed by a workshop session during which participants collaborate on an aspect of the themes in the talk.

DAY 1Friday 22 March 2019
8.00- 9.00 amRegistration and introductions 
9.00- 9.30 amOpening remarks
9.30- 10.00 amOpening talk by Gerry Leonidas
10.00 – 11.00amQ&A
11.00- 11.30amCoffee break
11.30 – 12.30pmWorkshop session: Gerry Leonidas
Integrating research in practice
12.30 – 2.00pmLunch break
2.00 – 2.30pmPosition talk by Shaima ElBardawil
2.30 – 3.30pmQ&A
3.30 – 4.00pmCoffee break
4.00 – 5.00pmWorkshop session
5.00 – 5.15pmRecap statements
7.00pmPublic Event
Let’s Talk Type; Forum on Typography, text technologies and fonts as infrastructure for culture and economy
DAY 2Saturday 23 March 2019
9.00- 9.30 amRegistration
9.30- 10.00 amOpening talk by Girish Dalvi
10.00 – 11.00amQ&A
11.00- 11.30amCoffee break
11.30 – 12.00pmPosition talk by Sumanthri Samarawickrama
12.00 – 1.00pmQ&A
1.00 – 2.00pmLunch break
2.00 – 2.30pmPosition talk by Keith Tam
2.30 – 3.30pmQ&A
3.30 – 4.00pmCoffee break
4.00 – 5.00pmWorkshop sessionby Keith Tam
5.00 – 5.30pmRecap statements and closing remarks

Support and sponsorship

The Working Seminar is generously supported by the University of Moratuwa and Akuru Collective, who provide spaces, equipment, and organisational support. We welcome sponsorship to cover the costs of capture and documentation, and incidentals for delegates. Please see the Working Seminar sponsorship page.


Get in touch with us: Sumanthri Samarawickrama, Pathum Egodawatta, Gerry Leonidas

Announcing: ATypI Working Seminars

Ladislas Mandel at Reading 1976

Learning is at the heart of ATypI’s mission. We provide a space for research, practice, formal education, and life-long learning to come together and support our rapidly evolving field. Our annual conferences always involve local design schools, we have a large community of Country Delegates, and we endorse many events that promote the exchange of ideas among professionals, educators, and students.
In order to extend ATypI’s engagement with global audiences, we have decided to start a new series of annual Working Seminars, in addition to our main conference. We aim for each Working Seminar to focus on a topic that relates to education and its interfacing with professional, technological, and business aspects. This will underline the engagement of educators with other agents in the wider visual communication sphere, and develop opportunities for collaboration and growth.

The location and timing of each Working Seminar will provide a counterpoint to the main conference, and allow ATypI to have a stronger presence in regions that the main conference is not scheduled to visit, or has visited already. The Working Seminars will also enable the Association to develop its engagement with the local community of educators and professionals. This approach can develop a network with the aim of hosting the main event at a later time.

This is not a new initiative: in the 1970s and 1980s, when computers began to take over the typesetting world and typefaces migrated to optical and eventually digital formats, ATypI was at the centre of discussions about the impact of the new technologies on design. In addition to (and separately from) the annual conferences, ATypI hosted eight Working Seminars, in Basle (1974), Reading (1976), The Hague (1978), Mainz (1981), Stanford (1983), Hamburg (1985), Gdansk (1988), and Budapest (1992). These events were modest in scale, and structured so that attendees could engage and interact. They also left records behind, like the well-known Visible Language special issue of 1985, which drew on papers from the 1983 Stanford Working Seminar (which Ferdinand Ulrich recently wrote about in “From punch cutters to number crunchers”, in Eye 94).

We envisage a single-track, two-day event, with a cap on the number of participants, and a priority on seminars and workshops, rather than more formal lectures. There will be three objectives to the events:
community building: to promote interaction and active learning for all participants;
wider impact: to produce an online record of the proceedings that can be useful for other educators, professionals, and researchers; and
leanness: to make the event happen with the absolute minimum of expenditure, drawing on coordinated work by participants, local support, volunteers, and sponsorship in order to spare every possible expense.

We will expect every Working Seminar participant to contribute some knowledge, experience, or reflection. In return, we aim to provide a stimulating environment for transformative learning and community building.

Our first Working Seminar is scheduled for 22–23 March 2019, in Sri Lanka, in partnership with FARU (Faculty of Architecture Research Unit), University of Moratuwa, and Akuru Collective. If you are interested to be kept up to date with news and the event, and possibly take part, sign up for email updates below.

Gerry Leonidas, September 2018