News & Events

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Design Envy

Design Envy

April 10, 2015

Next week I’m taking over AIGA’s Design Envy blog, with one post a day Monday through Friday. I’m glad to have the opportunity to highlight five of the most exciting type and lettering projects I’ve seen recently.

Typography 35

TDC Typography 35

January 28, 2015

The Type Directors Club’s 2014 annual, Typography 35 is now out, including the TDC² competition I judged last year, and my write-up of my Judge’s Choice, Metro Nova. You can order your copy of the book directly from Harper Collins.

Las Vegas Letters

Las Vegas Letters

January 27, 2015

Las Vegas, here I come! As the Neon Museum’s latest scholar-in-residence, I will give my personal perspective on their stunning collection of retired signage in a free lecture on Tuesday, February 10, and also visit the graphic design department at UNLV.

Cortado script

Cortado Script Released

December 8, 2014

Very exciting news! Ben Kiel and I are pleased to present our new retail typeface Cortado Script, the first that either of us has independently released. See extensive samples at—and license the typeface for print, web, or mobile app use.

AIGA St Louis

AIGA St. Louis Lecture

December 2, 2014

I’ll be the keynote speaker at AIGA St. Louis’s 2014 Annual Meeting next Thursday, December 11. All my previous public lectures have been in coastal states, so I’m looking forward to my first inland audience. (Um, not that Inland.) More information and tickets here.

AIGA Philly

AIGA Philadelphia Lecture

September 15, 2014

On Thursday, September 25, AIGA Philadelphia invites you to spend “An Evening With Jesse Ragan,” at The University of the Arts. In this lecture I’ll explain what it takes to design a typeface, where my concepts originate, and how I develop them into full-fledged families. More information and tickets here.

Type at cooper

Taking a Break From Teaching—Sort Of

August 22, 2014

I have decided to scale back my teaching activities, to invest more of my time and creative energy in upcoming typeface releases. I don’t make this decision lightly, after teaching typeface design for eight years, first to undergrads at Pratt Institute, then to working professionals at Cooper Union. Starting this fall, my illustrious colleague Sumner Stone will take over my classes at Type@Cooper, and the class of 2015 is extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to study with him.

I feel a deep personal investment in Type@Cooper, the certificate program I co-founded four years ago. In my time as the primary instructor for the Extended Program, I have had the pleasure of guiding 54 incredibly talented students to achieve certificates in typeface design. Teaching at Cooper has fostered immense professional and personal growth for me, and I am grateful to have been involved with the program on the ground level.

Happily, I’m keeping one foot in the door—this fall I will make guest appearances as a substitute teacher and critic. I’m pleased that I can continue a relationship with Type@Cooper, while also seeing the launch of some exciting new projects.

Pride site

Something Queer

June 25, 2014

For the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, I made my website a little more fabulous! As a proud gay man who believes that human rights are fundamental, this rainbow makeover is my small show of solidarity. Every bit of visibility can make a difference.

[The site has returned to its more subdued color scheme, but you can still visit the archived Pride version.]

New Faces Comm Arts

New Faces in American Type Design

March 10, 2014

Angelynn Grant profiles four “New Faces in American Type Design” in the March/April 2014 issue of Communication Arts. I’m delighted to have a nice big spread, with samples of my work and a brief interview.


ADC NJ: Talk & Type

March 7, 2014

Next Wednesday, March 12, I’ll be speaking about my work for the Art Directors Club of New Jersey, at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ. Get your ticket here.

Society of Printers

Society of Printers Lecture

February 24, 2014

I will be in Boston on March 5 to speak about my digital interpretations of unfinished typefaces by Rudolph Ruzicka. This is a momentous occasion for me: lecturing for the Society of Printers, of which Ruzicka was a member, at the Club of Odd Volumes. Full information on the official invitation.


Pencil Factory Hosts AIGA/NY MIX

January 27, 2014

My studio friends at the Pencil Factory and my fellow AIGA/NY board members are teaming up to host the next installment of the organization’s monthly MIX. Come & party with us on Wednesday, February 5!


TDC Typeface Design Competition

October 10, 2013

In January 2014, I will have the privilege of judging TDC², the country’s foremost typeface design competition. Joining me on the jury are Andy Clymer, Ellen Lupton, and Georg Seifert. I’m glad that I can give back to the Type Directors Club, which has benefitted me greatly during my twelve years working in New York. For more information, see the call for entries.


AIGA/NY Board Member

June 20, 2013

I am very excited to join the AIGA New York chapter’s Board of Directors. Two years of hard work and new challenges lie ahead, but I’m looking forward to collaborating with colleagues I admire to support an organization that contributes so much to the design community. And I’m far from the first typeface designer behind the scenes in the organization—Dwiggins and Goudy were two of its founders.

TDC PSG 2011 Critique

TDC Pratt Student Group Workshop

January 29, 2013

After the success of my last graduate-level workshop at Pratt in 2011, I was pleased when the Type Directors Club’s Pratt Student Group asked me to return and teach another. We’ll be in the classroom February 9 and 16, for a crash course in typeface design and an introduction to RoboFont. I’m always glad to revisit the school where I taught an undergraduate Typeface Design elective from 2006 to 2011. [Update: The workshop has been postponed until February 16 & 23 due to inclement weather.]

PencilFactory Suite 514

The Pencil Factory in Print Magazine

January 18, 2013

Check out Rob Walker’s article about the Pencil Factory (home to my studio) in Print Magazine, including photos of my workspace. The article documents the evolution of the loose network of talented designers and illustrators who work alongside me.

Comm Arts Typography Annual

Communication Arts Typography Annual

January 7, 2013

The Communication Arts 2013 Typography Annual, which I judged with Gail Anderson and Jessica Hische, is out now. It was such an honor and pleasure to have this experience. As Patrick Coyne quoted me in his editor’s letter: “Most of all, I was very pleased to see such unbridled enthusiasm and energy for making letters. Something in the air lately has empowered a wide range of people to try their hand at lettering, and we saw some beautiful and unexpected results in the entries.”

Don t Get Me Started

Interview: Don’t Get Me Started Podcast

December 13, 2012

In an interview with Dan Balser for his podcast Don’t Get Me Started, I discuss how I ended up in typeface design, and why I love my favorite clients. Find the interview in iTunes or download the MP3 directly.

The Creative Circus

Lecture: The Creative Circus

November 16, 2012

Today I visited postgraduate advertising school The Creative Circus in Atlanta. It was a busy day, between reviewing student portfolios, giving a lecture on my work, and interviewing with Advertising Department head Dan Balser for his podcast (stay tuned).

Jesse Ragan studio photos

Interview: Design Sponge

November 1, 2012

In an interview with Ginny Branch Stelling for the blog Design*Sponge, I answer the question “What’s in your toolbox?” and more.

We will be close inspiration

New Site: We Will Be Close

October 24, 2012

Today I launch my new blog, We Will Be Close, a collection of photos of words communicating more than they mean to. I have been taking these photos for a long time, and I’m glad to finally have an outlet to share them with you.

Beautiful bitmaps square

Uppercase Magazine’s Beautiful Bitmaps

October 19, 2012

My contribution to the “Beautiful Bitmaps” project appears in this month’s issue of Uppercase magazine. Read more on the project page.