Type Design

Registration Deadline:
8 April 2022

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The Master Type Design offered at ECAL is unique in Switzerland. This two-year programme gives graduate students with a Bachelor in Graphic Design an opportunity to develop projects in the long term. This training provides privileged access to one of the flagship disciplines in Swiss graphic design, relying on ECAL’s expertise in this field as the first Swiss school to have integrated digital typography as part of its curriculum.

Presentation recording and registration for the online Portfolio Reviews

You will find below a presentation made at the beginning of 2022 as well as the date and link to register for our next online Portfolio Reviews, during which the head of programme and/or an academic assistant will give a preliminary opinion on your portfolio to apply at ECAL.

Information Session
Presentation recording and registration for the online Portfolio Reviews
Thursday 10 March 2022, 9am–4pm (15 min. per person)

LEARNING objectives


First Year

We give you the keys to:

  • Work on transposition from one medium to another, from the communication of ideas to sensations (e.g., transposition of a piece of music into typography).
  • Question type design processes according to the tools used, whether analogue or digital.
  • Contextualise letter drawing in its history.
  • Work in a group with the aim of creating a functional typeface based on specifications provided by a client.
  • Include typography in the wider context of graphic design (Editorial Design).
  • Develop research on writing that none of the students are able to read with a guest lecturer throughout the 2nd semester.
  • Enhance your knowledge through lectures given by lecturers from the MA in Type Design or guest lecturers (history of graphic design and typography, technical issues, design problems and presentations of their work by lecturers).
  • Write a Master’sthesis based on the knowledge acquired throughout the course and in line with the professional field.
  • Benefit from technical assistance to learn and solve technical issues that arise in type design.
  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects.
Offkey – Nicolas Bernklau
Course with Bruno Maag
Course with Bruno Maag
Cours with Kai Bernau – Janis Gildein, Nayo Kim et Sean Kuhnke,
Cours with Kai Bernau – Janis Gildein, Nayo Kim et Sean Kuhnke
Cours with Alice Savoie – Romain Tronchin
Course with Kai Bernau – Marcel Saidov
Course with Alice Savoie – Alina Andone
Course with Julia Born – Sophie Wietlisbach
“One-day guests” with Larissa Kasper (Kasper Florio)
Lecture by Matthew Carter
Workshop with Karl Nawrot
Workshop with Job Wouters
Summer University in Dubai – Sascha Bente
Course with Radim Pesko – Alberto Malossi

Second Year

We give you the keys to:

  • Develop three self-initiated projects (type design, use of typography in an editorial context and free project); for each project, the student chooses a teacher who will monitor the project.
  • Write a Master’s thesis based on the knowledge acquired throughout the course and in line with the professional field.
  • Put into practice the know-how acquired in a graduation work and a portfolio, which will serve as a business card to integrate into the labour market quickly.
Diploma jury
Personal project – Weichi He
Personal project – Maharani Putri
Diploma project – Benoit Brun
Diploma project – Sean Kuhnke
Free project – Sascha Bente
Free project – Janis Gildein
Diploma project – Weichi He


Graphic designer, Motion designer, Art director, Creative director, Publisher, Illustrator, Type designer, Web designer, Teacher…

Testimonials from our alumni

Jacopo Atzori
Paviani Federico
Florence Meunier
Luca Pellegrini
Kim Sohee
Davide Tomatis
Rani Yasmine Putri

Other alumni

BA Graphic Design and MA Type Design:
Harry Bloch (Studio Harris Blondman), Maxime Büchi, Chaumont & Zaerpour, Guillaume Chuard, Matthias Clottu, Emmanuel Crivelli, Marietta Eugster, Eurostandard, Matthew Fenton, Louisa Gagliardi, Gavillet & Cie, Eliott Grunewald, Noémie Gygax, Robert Huber, Kaj Lehmann, Maximage, Adeline Mollard, Omnigroup, Olga Prader, Aurèle Sack, Teo Schifferli, Haakon Spencer, Florence Tétier, Chi-Long Trieu, Nicole Udry....


Matthieu Cortat

Nicolas Bernklau
Malte Bentzen Bredstrup
Sophie Wietlisbach

Julia Born
Kai Bernau
Matthieu Cortat
Wayne Daly
Roland Früh
Anniina Koivu
Marie Lusa
Bruno Maag
Radim Peško
Alice Savoie
Chi-Long Trieu
George Anton Kiraz
Gerry Leonidas
Hrant Papazian
Irene Vlachou
Visiting lecturers
Sahar Afshar
Khajag Apelian
Etienne Aubert­-Bonn
Stuart Bailey
Alexandru Balgiu
Chiara Barbieri
Paul Barnes
Sofie Beier
Bianca Berning
Eleni Beveratou
Alex Blattmann
Thibault Brevet
Mirko Borsche
Johannes Breyer (Dinamo)
Dimitri Bruni (NORM)
Maxime Büchi (Swiss Typefaces)
Matthew Carter
Nadine Chahine
Mathieu Christe
Pippo Ciorra
Bart De Baets
Sara de Bondt
Lizá Defossez Ramalho (R2Design)
Maria Doreuli
Gary Fogelson
Tom Foley
Alaric Garnier
Gilles Gavillet (Optimo)
Emilio Gentile
Tanya George
Fabian Harb (Dinamo)
Jonathan Hares
Leila Hekmat
Franz Hoffman
Jan Horčík
Robert Huber
Thomas Huot­-Marchand
Larissa Kasper
Ueli Kaufmann
Simone Koller (Studio NOI)
Manuel Krebs (NORM)
Matthias Kreutzer
Dafi Kühne
Indra Kupferschmid

Phil Lubliner (Other Means)
Louis Lüthi
Amir Mahdi Moslehi
Robin Mientjes
Yoann Minet
John Morgan
Reto Moser (Grilli Type)
Sandrine Nugue
Mitch Paone (DIA Studio)
Michele Patanè
Julie Peeters
Edwin Pickstone
Jonathan Pierini
Krista Radoeva
Mohamed Rafed
Artur Rebelo (R2Design)
David Rudnick
Aurèle Sack
Kristyan Sarkis
Jens Schildt
Isabel Seiffert
Wissam Shawkat
Izet Sheshivari
Fred Smeijers
Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès
Adam Szymczyk
David Jonathan Ross
Régis Tosetti
Nora Turato
Richard Turley
Linda van Deursen
Carlo Vinti
Ryan Waller (Other Means)
Job Wouters
Pascal Zoghbi


Yearly fees (materials included)
CHF 1 925.–

Language: English

Length: 4 semesters

Credits: 120 ECTS

Qualification issued
Master of Arts HES-SO in Design, major in Type Design

Frequently asked questions


What are the qualifications required to register for the admission exam in Master?


  • Bachelor’s degree in the target field
  • Equivalent foreign certificate*

*ECAL evaluates title's equivalences. This procedure being relatively long, a request of examination must be submitted by email to ECAL Secretariat until 18 March 2022 the latest. Request of evaluation submitted after the above mentionned date will not be processed.

What is the Master’s project?

This is a project that can be developed over the course of an applicant’s studies, perhaps in the context of the diploma. ECAL does not, however, expect applicants to submit finalized project plans on registration. Applicants usually submit ideas or outlines that they then develop over the course of their studies.

Is there a limit to the size of the portfolio?

Yes, in that applicants are asked to submit a portfolio that is representative of their recent work. Applicants thus select the work they want to present.

Is it possible to work at the same time as I complete the Master programme?

The ECAL Master programme is full time. The time spent in courses and workshops, along with the hours spent on course-related personal work, leave little time for a student job.

Does ECAL offer French classes for non-French-speaking students?

No, not at the moment.

Can I register for one of the ECAL Master entrance exams if my Bachelor is not in arts and design?

Yes, but only for the Master in Film Studies, which comprises various options (direction, editing, screenplays, sound and production). For the other Masters (Fine Arts, Product Design, Photography and Type Design). applicants must have a Bachelor in a related field. Don’t hesitate to contact the ECAL Secretariat if you have any questions.

Can I register for two Master entrance exams at ECAL at the same time?

Yes, if you have the requisite diplomas. Don’t hesitate to contact the ECAL Secretariat if you have any questions.


What are the languages of instruction?

Courses and workshops are in French in the Foundation Year and at Bachelor level (some Bachelor workshops are in English). Master / MAS programmes are for the most part bilingual (English/French). Fluency in French is therefore essential for the Foundation Year and Bachelor programmes. The same applies to English at least for Master programmes.

Do I need a language certificate to enrol in an ECAL course?

Yes. For the Foundation Year and Bachelor programmes, non-French-speaking applicants who have not attended school in Switzerland must be able to attest that they are proficient in French at the B2 level of the European Language Portfolio. The B2 level is required on registration.

Generally speaking, language proficiency is also checked by the juries during the entrance exam.


Does ECAL have a residence?

ECAL has neither a residence nor a campus, but it can, to a limited extent, help students looking for accommodation. As the housing market in the Lake Geneva area is relatively tight, students are advised to make arrangements well in advance.

Can ECAL act as a guarantor on a lease signed by a foreign student?

No, not at the moment.

Practical informations

Due to a serious lack of availability on the local market, it is very difficult to find an accomodation in Lausanne therefore you should look well in advance to find a suitable accommodation. Please keep in mind that you may be required to provide a
3 month safety deposit.

The following solutions are available:

Furnished studios or flat-sharing for students in Lausanne

Rooms to rent

Scholarships / tuition

I am a foreign student. Can I obtain a scholarship in Switzerland?

Educational assistance (grants or student loans) is awarded by the cantons and is intended for Swiss students (nationals, foreign permanent residents and persons with refugee status). It is not available to foreign citizens residing in Switzerland for the purposes of study only. However, the Swiss Confederation offers excellence scholarships to foreign students, researchers and artists for a period of study or research in Switzerland.

I am resident abroad. Will my tuition at ECAL be higher than for a student resident in Switzerland?

Except for the Foundation Year, where the course fees are determined by the student’s domicile, tuition is the same for all students in the same Bachelor, Master or MAS programme.


Does ECAL offer evening or summer courses? Can I sign up just for certain specific courses or workshops?

No, not at the moment.

Can I have a tour of ECAL?

En dehors des manifestations organisées par l’ECAL (expositions diverses, Open Day, etc.), aucune visite n’est autorisée à titre individuel. Des visites de groupes peuvent être organisées, mais planifiées suffisamment à l’avance. Le cas échéant, merci de contacter directement le Secrétariat de l’ECAL, à l’adresse

My company wishes to hire an ECAL student as an intern or employee. What do I have to do?

Please send the ECAL Secretariat, at, an advert in A4 PDF format containing all the information on the internship or job. The advert will be published on the ECAL intranet. Interested students will contact the advertiser directly.