Steve Hickey of Fresh Tilled Soil on teaching typography at the Startup Institute: "I love typography"

This is a guest post from one of our instructors, Steve Hickey, UI Designer at Fresh Tilled Soil.


In December last year I was invited to do a guest lecture for the Startup Institute on the subject of typography in product design for the web. For me, saying yes to this opportunity was the obvious choice. I love typography, a delightful side effect of my education in print design. In the last couple of years our industry has made enormous strides, but our previous inability to effectively control type on the web and the lack of access to quality typefaces had held back that particular area of our craft. So when presented with the chance to pass on my knowledge and passion for typography to a group of students who will have a chance at shaping the face of the web for years to come I felt it would have been selfish and short-sighted of me to refuse.

Crafting the lecture

So I set to work crafting a lecture and workshop that would help me pass on my own passion for typography to the students of the Product and Design Track at SIB. This was no easy task. For most people, type can be incredibly boring. There’s lots of math, obsessive attention to granular details and a huge bank of knowledge that no mortal person would ever kid themselves into thinking could be mastered in a single lifetime. Keeping the attention of the students, and packing all of this material into 4 hours, was a dual challenge I wasn’t sure I could handle. But I underestimated the passion of the students selected to participate in the program and they all rose to the occasion.

The passion

I think that this passion is one of the most powerful forces behind what the Startup Institute is doing. It takes dedication and desire to take a chance on the program and push yourself into the startup world. For the instructors, this is a huge help. Almost everyone in a classroom is there because they really want to be. And that makes all the difference in the experience of teaching. A room of excited students practically does the work for you by asking challenging questions, going above and beyond assignments, and just being willing to listen.

The choice

If you teach at the Startup Institute this is the dedication you’ll find. And if you apply to The Startup Institute, these are the types of people that will be your peers for years to come. I hope that makes the choice to apply as obvious as my choice to teach there.

Apply to Startup Institute in New York and Boston. Summer session starts in June. The sooner you apply the better your chances of getting in.