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Marrying the Impossible 2020

Organizing and assisting an experimental lettering workshop Marrying the Impossible as a part of an own Kyiv School educational initiative. Considering type as fundamental to design the workshop helps a student to explore type, discover its forms and create its DNA for further font face development

workshop organization
School’s mission

Ukraine has its own style with roots in contemporary visual practice and heritage. Unlike other schools, where local teachers comprehend European design, the School comprehend Ukrainian design together with teachers involved in the Western design tradition.

Marrying the Impossible

The workshop name is a metaphor for merging the physical characteristics of two selected objects together. These objects must have distinct and seemingly different plastics: material, shape, shading, detailing etc. So the student could “marry” these two things into unique lettering.

Jevhen Anfalov is a workshop author and a partner-in-crime at Kyiv Type Foundry. Graphic designer, based in Hannover, Germany, ECAL graduate with major in type design

Process: couple

All the students start their type design journey by selecting a pair of objects and taking photos of them from different angles noting specific form characteristics. Then they choose images that are the most eloquent in terms of a letter shape and allocate a style-forming couple.

Process: letter DNA

The style-forming images is then transformed into a letter. This letter is a result of many iterations. As a result it combines all the characteristics of two objects together: their shapes, details etc. Thus the student creates a unique DNA for his future lettering characters.

Process: lettering

In the end, the letter DNA is replicated on other characters of the lettering. During this stage as well as the previous ones the students are allowed only to use analogue techniques: brushes and paint, markers, pencils, pens, stationery knifes etc. Photocopies are also allowed for generating different letter variations.

Due to the general mood of the group, most of the letterings were created in cyrillic that concurs the School’s mission lying in reterritorialization of the local context into the Western design tradition


Unlike the webinar format, the offline workshop gives an opportunity for real communication with colleagues from other studios as well as from other fields of design (advertising, UI / UX, branding). It gives a warm and live form of information transmission so important for a creative mindset.

Being a typical art school workshop, Marrying the Impossible by its lectures and practice brings ‘art pour art’ approach for Ukrainian workers who have gained some empirical experience at work but thrive for contemporary graphic design education