Japan 2016


Cultural Crafts and Letterforms

type of camp

Cultural Immersion Learning

group size



$2650 / $3350

specific dates

October 17-24, 2016


Tokyo & Ibaraki

This camp is now over, though head on over to our blog and read all about it.


expand your Latin and non-Latin typographic knowledge
explore Japanese modern and traditional art
experiment with Japanese and European calligraphy styles
understand Japanese and Latin calligraphic and lettering practices
discover your new hand lettering skills
transform fabric with traditional indigo
form your ceramic typographic talents
carve forms into stone, the old school way
make your own sake label
create a sculpture for the community
connect with artisans in the nearby villages
meet the locals that have welcomed you into their life
taste rustic food from the Japanese countryside
enjoy a week in the mountains in autumn


We filled with 12 and then allowed 4 more
because we have no backbone and now we’re REALLY full.

We might run this camp again in 2017 or 2018, so if you’re interested, let us know. 


We are so excited about this camp, our second in Japan!

We will start with two exciting days in the heart of bustling Tokyo, where we will prowl the city looking at those famous advertising signs, eating fabulous food in hidden-away restaurants, and creating mini-studios in some unexpected places. We will start our camp on Monday morning with a tour of the very famous Morisawa Type Foundry. While in Tokyo, we will also check out the Tokyo Printing Museum! We will also take several walks to explore the signage of this famous city and of course enjoy some of the fabulous food areas.

We will then take the train to the quiet countryside in Ibaraki to stay at a quaint Japanese hotel in Makabe, a small artisan village in this mountainous region. Some of our workshops will be at a gorgeous temple surrounded by lush gardens in the countryside, others will be at a ceramics workshop, and yet one more will be at a Sake brewery. West Ibaraki is a rustic agricultural area known for its scenic nature, so we will of course allow for plenty of time to explore and enjoy the mountain views.

You will apply typographic concepts to traditional Japanese arts and crafts, taught by experts in their field in environments that are conducive to learning and exploration. Each day of our countryside retreat will focus on a different aspect of Japanese craft, starting with a full day of Japanese brush calligraphy and then moving to indigo dying based on our designs. We will then create typographic objects with traditional Japanese ceramic techniques and the next day try our hand at stone carving. We conclude with an environmental typographic sculpture for the community.

We will connect with the residents of our rural village that have welcomed us, both with their food and their craft, and explore the cultural landmarks around this area. We will join them for a community luncheon and even a school meal after they show us even more of their day-to-day life. It is sure to be a wonderful cultural exchange! Our final project is an opportunity for us to give back to the community with a community typographic sculpture.

The area around Makabe is an idyllic and authentic rural view of Japan, therefore, we promise that you will truly see a part of Japan typically reserved only for residents. This is a rare opportunity not to be missed for it is a typographic trip that could not only help you explore another aspect of the typographic world and be a part of an artistic Japanese village . . . but it could also change your (typographic) life.