Stories of Chicago’s letterforms—past, present, future.

An informal two-day conference, Thursday and Friday, Oct. 3–5.

Type Tales Chicago starts with a day of exploration: Hands-on workshops, from hand lettering with John Downer to the type business with Matthew Rechs. Visits to studios and an essential museum, hosted by the principals. Walking tours celebrating the lapidary and the neon.

And there is no extra charge for these sessions! See workshops and tours for details.

At the end of the day: A reception, a little food and drink, and an opening talk by Paul Shaw, the type historian.

Then, on Friday, presentations by and conversations with local heroes Jennifer Farrell, Rick Valicenti, Sharon Oiga, Patric King, Steve Matteson, Will Miller, Nermin Moufti, Douglas Thomas, and Guy Villa, Jr. Moderated by Northwestern’s Susan Mango Curtis. See the conference program.

The fee: Only $99 through September 30. And $49 for students. If you’re a member of TYPE magazine, check your e-mail for a discount code!


Opening Talk
Thursday, October 3.

Paul Shaw

For three decades Paul Shaw has researched and written about the history of graphic design with a focus on typography, lettering and calligraphy.

He’s spent much of his career as a graphic designer, lettering artist, and calligrapher. He has designed or co-designed 18 typefaces, among them Kolo, Donatello, Bermuda, Old Claude, and Stockholm.

A contributor to TYPE Magazine, Shaw is the author of Helvetica and the New York City Subway System (2011), editor of The Eternal Letter: Two Millennia of the Classical Roman Capital (2015), and author of Revival Type: Digital Typefaces Inspired by the Past (2017).


Starshaped Press
Founder and Design Director, Thirst Studio
Designer, Firebelly Design


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Conaway Center

Type Tales Chicago is being held in the Ludington Building, built in 1891. A part of the Columbia College campus, this is the earliest steel-frame building in the city that’s still standing. The Conaway Center is on the ground floor.

It is one of only two remaining buildings designed by William LeBaron Jenney, recognized as the inventor of the skyscraper.

Presented by TYPE Magazine

Roger Black, Editor

Lucas Czarnecki, Event  Director