Type Crit Crew

A resource for type design students

Juan Villanueva
Published in
7 min readApr 12, 2020


The Type Crit Crew is a free resource for type design students to meet 1–1 with experienced type designers for virtual critiques.

🚨 We have a new website: typecritcrew.com

Our goals are:

  • To make type design and type designers more accessible and approachable to students of all levels from anywhere in the world who are serious about honing their skills
  • To do our part in making our field more inclusive and diverse
  • To spread our love and passion for type

How does it work?

If you’re a student, just take a look at the Type Crit Crew Spreadsheet, reach out to a type designer of your preference, and schedule a time for a 1–1 session with them via email or their online calendar. All of our critiques are private because we believe this allows for more conversational, detailed, and targeted feedback. Always remember to be nice, polite, and curious. Only school or personal self-initiated projects are allowed.
🚨 Client work is strictly prohibited 🚨

If you’re an experienced type designer, you can sign up to be added to the spreadsheet using the Type Crit Crew Instructors Sign Up Form. New Type Crit Crew members will be announced through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Who can be part of the Type Crit Crew?

Any experienced type designer who is willing to share their availability and experience with a type design student.

If you work for a foundry or for yourself, if you’ve released dozens of fonts or just one, or if you’ve graduated from a type design program or are self-taught, your experience counts. The most important thing is that you‘re willing to share your time and hard-earned experience in the field with those who are just starting. Think of it as paying it forward.

Instructors are in complete control of their availability and you’re welcome to change your availability at any time.

Is this really free?

Yes!!! Although tips/donations are welcome, they’re completely optional.

Think of it as if you were buying a cup of coffee (or tea) to one of your favorite type designers in exchange for their feedback on your student project. It’s a symbolic thank you, more than anything else.

Instructors can choose to skip the tip and instead point a student to a charity of their choice on the tip/donations column.

That said, don’t tip or donate if it in any way causes you hardship.

The best way to support is by being kind to your instructor(s), follow up with a nice thank you email, spread the word about this resource, and let us know if you have any feedback or comments.

Can instructors be students?

Absolutely! We all have gaps in our education and areas we want to get better at. As an instructor, you’re welcome to participate as a student and schedule time with other instructors.

However, keep in mind that this is not a place for free professional consultations on paid or spec work. Design consultation is a job that many of our instructors engage in. In fact, many of them are available for freelance work, and you’re encouraged to reach out to them in a professional capacity to hire them for a project.

Remember, this is fundamentally a learning resource meant to open doors for people and make type more accessible.

Any report on abuse of our policy against client work will not be tolerated.

📐 Rules 📐

  • Crits are 15–30 mins, make sure to sign on and sign off on time. The length of the meetings and the use of video conference software is up to the discretion and preference of the instructor.
  • Each student gets a maximum of one crit a month or at the discretion of the instructor and their availability.
  • To schedule an appointment, book one through the instructor’s online calendar, or kindly reach out to the instructor via email.
  • Make sure to reach out to the instructor and send them your presentation/type proof with a brief description of your project before your appointment.
  • There are no dumb questions, ask away.
  • Instructors reserve the right to cancel or reschedule an appointment based on their availability.
  • Please be respectful of the instructor’s time and do not use the contact information for any other purpose than to schedule a crit, send a type proof, and a thank you note.

Rescheduling and Cancellations

Students, if you need to reschedule, give AT LEAST twenty-four hours notice to the instructor (or more if possible). We know that life happens. But our instructors have set aside this time that could otherwise have gone to paid opportunities, so please be respectful of their time.

If something does happen and you need to cancel with only a few hours notice, be sure to send an email to the instructor as soon as you know you can’t make your appointment. And please don’t reschedule an appointment before first reaching out to the instructor. If a student has canceled at the last minute, instructors reserve the right to not reschedule the appointment.

Treat this as you would any professional interaction and make a good first impression!

Why a spreadsheet?

This is meant to be a resource to facilitate the interaction between type design students and instructors. The intention is to create a safe space for students where they have the power to choose who they want to interact with and get feedback from.

But also because it’s easy to update and easier than designing and maintaining a website.


Screenshots and recordings of any session are at the sole discretion of the student and instructor. Don’t share anything that was shared in private on social media or otherwise unless first approved by both parties. Make sure to always ask for permission and respect each other’s privacy.

We will not tolerate harassment of any kind. Instructors and students can both be removed and/or banned without notice.

Who is behind this?

I’m just a person who is passionate about type, education, and helping students succeed. If you want to read more about me, you’re welcome to check out my Instagram or website.

This is a labor of love and any comments, feedback, or suggestions for how to make things better are welcome. Feel free to reach me (Juan Villanueva) at jv.kafka@gmail.com and put Type Crit Crew in the subject line.


Who is considered a student?

For Type Crit Crew, student is more of a mindset than a strict definition. It includes anyone who is genuinely interested in honing their type design skills, regardless of an association with a specific institution. This includes people who have already graduated and who want to continue growing. Anyone can be a student as long as they’re willing to learn.

What is personal self-initiated work?

It’s work you’re not getting paid to do and is self-initiated. It could be work for the sake of learning like student work, work in preparation for your first release, or an improvement of something already released.

Only when the work is either paid client work or unpaid for a client pitch (spec work) then this exchange starts to become a freelance opportunity. If that’s the case, you’re encouraged to hire the instructor at their appropriate rates.

Is this a place for lettering and calligraphy feedback?

Yes, but lettering and calligraphy in relation to typeface design.

The main reason being that type design requires a deep study of letterforms involving the practical and theoretical aspects of lettering and calligraphy as they are inherent to the practice. While an experienced type designer might not be an expert letterer or calligrapher, they would be able to discuss lettering and calligraphy as applied to type design, since they’re both an essential part of their education.

This will be a constantly evolving platform as we learn more about how people are using it and what they’re most interested in learning. There may be an opportunity to open this up to people practicing only lettering or calligraphy in the future. Or if anyone is interested in starting a similar platform only for lettering and calligraphy, I’d be happy to serve as a resource.



Juan Villanueva

Typeface Designer @Monotype NYC. Opinions are my own ✍️ ☕️ 🤓 🇵🇪 🇺🇸