TypeThursday London

Julie Strawson
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Whether you’re a beginner or an expert you always have more to learn from others. I was excited when the challenge to launch TypeThursday London landed…

Doing what you love comes naturally. And I love letterforms. After a career in the type industry I was missing my friends, not to mention hearing what the latest design and technology thinking was. 

I felt the time was right to create something totally open for the design community in London so I had a great catch up with my friend Meghan Arnold and she suggested I chat with Thomas Jockin, type designer, teacher, boxer (really!) and Founder of Type Thursday, monthly – Type Critique meet ups run by volunteers in love with type.

I learned how TypeThursday was committed to the appreciation of all kinds of letterform design and education. Anyone that uses letters, or what we've come to commonly call 'type' in fact. Think about that. EVERYONE uses type every day. We're creating information and content all the time but do we know how to use it effectively? That's an art called typography.

Designing letterforms is another art. To improve how letterforms work in language needs diverse feedback. From all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds. TypeThursday is all about diversity. And inclusivity. Work in progress is shared and all are invited to make comments openly and freely. Regardless of how successful you are. Status is persona non grata.

When Thomas invited me to launch TypeThursday London last May there were only three U.S. chapters. Now TypeThursday meets monthly in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago - annually reaching over 3000 attendees. To make that happen every month needs a special team properly supported and recognised for the contributions they make. 

The TypeThursday London team began with Sandina Miller, information designer and typographer because after meeting her only briefly I just sensed that she was a force of nature. She was. Sandina's communications systems helped TypeThursday launch and sell out. Gregarious design teacher Anastasios Maragiannis and expert typographer Andrew Boag joined the founding team, injecting their enthusiasm and knowledge to the Type Crit and event organisation to ensure that the launch was a success in October 2017.  Jean-Luc Jawed was our Photography Lead and Mante Baleviciute Videography Lead.

The vibrance of that event was a magnet for Olive Lai, our current communications & design lead  and Rebecca Hibberd joined later as Welcome Lead.  We are lucky to have very dedicated regular volunteers Jasmine Hodgkins, Giulia Romagnoli and Kayley Hill, that help pull everything together and are exceptional graphic designers in their own right. 

Now I not only lead the team in London but also marketing for TypeThursday HQ. It's my passion project if you like. We are working on increasing the diversity of work shown at our events. To encourage anyone and everyone working with type to join us, say what they think and not be judged for it. 

TypeThursday London team photograph kindly taken by Valerio Trafeli, April 5th 2018