Amy Papaelias

Type Nerd & Design Educator

Type Projects:
  • A collaborative blog by women in type and the lettering arts. 2015.
  • You Are What You Kern. Type tips and HTML demo for your web resume. updated, 2016.
  • Personatype: Living Type Specimens. Expressive, kinetic web typography and voice recorded type specimens. 2012.
  • SonoType. Sonogram interpretations of letters through various emotions and people. 2007.
  • TypeTalk: Handwriting Fonts With Something to Say. Self-censoring fonts that edit themselves through the magic of OpenType. 2005.
  • Digital Humanities Collaborations:
  • Converge: Disciplinarities and Digital Scholarship, an upcoming AIGA Design Education Conference in Los Angeles, June 1-3, 2017.
  • Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities. A special issue of Visible Language journal. Co-editor with Jessica Barness. Publication: December 2015.
  • We are all Digital Humanists, episode 16 of Through Process, a great podcast by Mitch Goldstein and Namdev Hardisty, features Jessica Barness and myself talking about the digital humanities, design scholarship, critical making and pedagogy.
  • Placeable: A Place-based Mobile Learning Tool. This case study documents a collaborative community-based project with New Paltz design students and the Wassaic Project, 2012-present. With Aaron Knochel.
  • Serendip-o-matic: Let Your Sources Surprise You. A playful, web-based discovery tool that connects your research to digital sources from around the world. 2013.
  • Where are all the artists and designers?, notes from a session I led at THATCampNE, 2012.
  • News:
  • I will present “Delicate, Light, Strong, Bold: Gendered Language Descriptors in Typefaces and Letterforms” part of the Cultural Histories of Typography panel at the College Art Association annual conference in New York on February 16.
  • Happy to participate in this discussion on “The Real Assignment” at The New School on December 6, part of a series of talks around design education by the authors of Taking a Line for a Walk.
  • On, I found the perfect pumpkin patch signs.
  • I contributed some thoughts on great, new typefaces released in 2016 (so far) for this feature in Print magazine.
  • As part of the My 2¢ series on, I wrote about the ubiquitous Take a Penny, Leave a Penny trays.
  • Had a blast hosting the first ever Alphabettes Live Variety Show at the Type Lab at Typographics in NYC. Read more about it or tune in.
  • I expressed my love for Unicode, and our adoption of the 💌, on For the Love of Unicode.
  • Create Upstate is an awesome design conference in Syracuse, NY. I was invited to serve as one of the judges for the first ever Cropped, a live design competition. Fun and hilarity ensued.
  • 2015 was a great year for new typefaces. I selected Beloved for Typographica’s epic Our Favorite Typefaces of 2015. Read the review.
  • I spoke with Thomas Jockin of Type Thursday on design education, community buidling and the life of digital projects. Oh yeah, and type. Read the interview.
  • The Recorder Issue 3 is out and includes, “The New Wardens,” an article I wrote on a new generation of typographers carrying on the legacy of Beatrice Warde. Read the article online or order the beautifully designed and printed magazine.
  • It was an honor to present “In Your Face: Speculative Typography as Critical Design Practice” at the Type Directors Club. Watch the video of my presentation here.
  • Thanks to Yves Peter for a great interview about Alphabettes on the Font Shop blog, also featuring some of our amazing contributors.
  • I presented “Making Places: Design Methods And Practices In Interdisciplinary Scholarship Labs” at the Design Incubation Colloquium 2.5 at FIT.
  • “Typography for [Digital] Humanists”, a free workshop I offered as part of NYCDH Week. Read a thoughtful review of the workshop or view my slides.
  • As part of the Alphabettes February Love Letters series, I wrote about a 1950s Moddess dispenser near and dear to my heart.
  • It’s live! “Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities,” a special issue of the design journal Visible Language, co-edited with Jessica Barness, is now available on the newly revamped Visible Language website, which includes open access to the journal’s entire 50-year archive.
  • Snobs, Nerds and Maniacs, some of my thoughts on the potentially problematic labels we give ourselves, a post on
  • Thirsty for past news? Visit the News Archive.

    Hello! I'm Amy. I am an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the State University of New York at New Paltz, teaching courses in web and interaction design, as well as 2D design and visual communication. I received my MFA in Intermedia Design from SUNY New Paltz and my Bachelor of Art in English Cultural Studies from McGill University.

    Presentations about my creative work and design pedagogy include: the Type Directors Club (2016), TypeCon (2012, 2007, 2005), the AIGA Design Educators Conference (2013, 2008), Theorizing the Web (2014), the Midwest Modern Language Association's Design and the Digital Humanities Panel (2013), among others. I am also currently part of several collaborative digital humanities initiatives and recently participated in One Week | One Tool, an NEH-funded Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities, hosted at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (2013).

    My creative work investigates the performative possibilities of expressive typography in screen and digital environments. Challenging the arbitrary boundaries between visual and verbal communication, the work explores themes related to font intelligence, relationships between vocal and visual representations of speech, and the emotive potential of kinetic texts. This work has been recognized in the pages of Print and Communications Arts, and online at the Graphic Artists Guild, UnBeige, Typographica, I Love Typography, Typedia, and Design Observer, and others.

    I am a member the Type Directors Club and a founding member of Alphabettes.


    This site was handcoded with 💖 and currently uses Adelle Sans for the headlines and Eskorte for the text.

    Get In Touch:

    @fontnerd | hello [at] amypapaelias [dot] com