Primarium is a pioneering educational project by TypeTogether which studied the methods of Latin script-based handwriting instruction for primary school children, spanning five continents and about one-quarter of the world.

In early 2022, independent type foundry TypeTogether embarked on a groundbreaking research project to explore the state of Latin script-based handwriting education in primary schools in over 40 countries and spanning five continents. The result of this ambitious and extensive project is Primarium, a freely accessible resource designed to serve the typographic and educational communities.

The study aims to collect and organise crucial information about handwriting education in primary schools, including its role in school curricula, the handwriting models and resources used, and the teaching methods employed in classrooms. In an era where digital devices are increasingly prevalent, the issue of handwriting education has become a topic of debate in educational, pedagogical, and typographical circles. Primarium offers an unique and comprehensive perspective, enabling in-depth contextual analysis of the complex factors that influence how children learn to read and write, from the benefits of learning to write by hand, to the most effective current handwriting models and teaching methods.

Veronika Burian from Typetogether reviewing with a colleague some books for Primarium project

The scope of the research was extensive, ranging from poring over legislative documents and investigating historical threads, examining curricula and syllabi, surveying teaching materials, and analyzing academic publications and marketing information from educational publishers. Additionally, interviews with teachers, parents, educationists, administrators, and designers helped contextualise the research findings with real-world experiences.

The resources, publications, experts, and links compiled and freely shared on this website can serve as a base of reference for any serious future research on the topic.
Furthermore, the comprehensive data collected and presented in Primarium has been utilized to develop Playpen, an innovative open-source variable typographic engine. This groundbreaking tool enables the creation of country-specific handwriting fonts by allowing the mixing and matching of structural letter variations and collecting them in a single font. Playpen also offers customisation options with four design variation axes: stroke speed, extender size, weight, and slant.

Who has made Primarium?

Primarium is an initiative developed by the independent foundry TypeTogether, with the support of Google Fonts, the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil, and numerous collaborators across the world. At its core, Primarium embodies the ideal of international and cross-cultural collaboration, a process that demands trust, generosity, curiosity, and respect. The project’s success is a testament to the contributions of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds who worked together to bring their unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table. This resulted in creative solutions, greater mutual understanding, and personal growth. Please take a moment to meet our esteemed collaborators.

The Primarium Team

Caroline Schäfer

Research Assistant

  • Research
Caroline is a graduate student and teaching assistant at UFRGS, Brazil. Her first typeface, Fulô, was chosen to represent the university in BDA 2022, and she joined TypeTogether in 2023.

Cecilia Brarda

Researcher, icon ideation and consultancy

  • Research
  • Publishing
Ceci, an Argentine graphic and motion designer, has specialised in type in motion at TypeTogether since 2016. She teaches at the National University of Litoral.

Doug Arellanes

Copywriting

  • Publishing
Douglas handles communications and social media for TypeTogether. An American based in Prague, Czech Republic for more than 30 years, he has translated numerous typographic texts from Czech to English.

Elena Ramirez

Web design and development

  • Publishing
Elena is the digital creative director and co-founder of Ashler Design. She is responsible for bringing digital projects to life for clients worldwide, such as Google, Telefonica, and TypeTogether’s Primarium website.

Elena Veguillas

Graphic Designer

  • Publishing
Elena is a Spanish designer, writer, and publisher based in London. She is also a research student at Central Saint Martins, exploring British architectural lettering and early corporate identity.

Fernando Pujolá

Type Designer

  • Typography
Fernando received a master’s degree in typography from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and worked at Fontana Diseño, specialising in editorial design and branding. His freelance business creates type and graphic design.

Joancarles Casasín

Font Engineering

  • Typography
Joancarles is a Catalan type designer specialising in font engineering who tries his best to make font things work right.

José Scaglione

Type designer and Researcher

  • Research
  • Typography
José is a typeface designer, lecturer, and author specialising in typography. He co-founded the TypeTogether font foundry with Veronika Burian, where they have published numerous award-winning type families.

Joshua Farmer

Copywriting and editing

  • Publishing
Joshua works as a writer and editor who champions simplicity, clarity, and excellence. His client roster includes Martina Flor, Underware, Tobias Frere-Jones, Laura Worthington, Miles Newlyn, and several books.

Kamal Mansour

Technical Advisor

  • Typography
Working at the crossroads of technology, writing systems, and language, Kamal wields OpenType techniques to transform digital text into pleasantly legible forms fit for human readers.

Laura Meseguer

Type Designer

  • Typography
Laura is a freelance graphic and type designer based in Barcelona. She is specialises in all sorts of projects involving custom lettering and type design for branding and publishing design.

Linda Kudrnovská

Press Officer

  • Publishing
Linda is a natural born critic, design writer, editor (Building Ligatures: The power of type, 365typo & 52typo: Stories on type, typography and graphic design), and former editor-in-chief of Typo Magazine.

Luciana Sottini

Icon Designer

  • Typography
Luciana is an Argentinian Graphic and Icon Designer. Luciana focuses her practice on illustration, iconography, and corporate identity programmes for companies based in Argentina and America.

Martín Sesto

Type Designer

  • Typography
Martín received a graphic design degree and continued with a Master’s in typography. He has created fonts for Google, independent projects with Yorlmar Campos, and works as a UX/UI designer.

Petra Dočekalová

Logo Designer

  • Typography
Petra is a type designer and letterer. She finished her PhD studies on handwriting in 2020 at UMPRUM in Prague, and received the TDC Award for her diploma project on Czechoslovak calligraphy.

Pooja Saxena

Project manager and researcher

  • Research
  • Publishing
Pooja is a type designer and typographer with a focus on Indic scripts, and an occasional design researcher and educator. She documents street lettering in India and collects ephemera.

Rabab Charafeddine

Graphic Designer

  • Publishing
Rabab is a Lebanese graphic designer and aspiring type designer. She looks for projects that allow her to be surrounded by her true passions: type design, typography, and interesting conversations.

Sandro Fetter

Researcher

  • Research
Sandro is a Professor at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, and researches type design and handwriting education. His doctoral thesis proposed a freely available typeface to support Brazilian literacy.

Tom Grace

Type Designer

  • Typography
Tom is an award-winning designer of typefaces and letterforms. He works as a go-to specialist and creative partner for design agencies and type foundries around the world.

Veronika Burian

Type designer and researcher

  • Research
  • Typography
Veronika is a co-founder of the international indie foundry TypeTogether. She is one of the organisers of the alphabettes.org mentorship program, chairwoman of the GRANSHAN project, and organiser of TypeTech MeetUp.

Felicia Priscillya

Graphic Designer

  • Publishing

Feli is a graphic designer based in Indonesia. She concluded her studies in 2019, now specialising in branding design and joined TypeTogether in 2022.

Yorlmar Campos

Type Designer

  • Typography
Yorlmar is a Venezuelan architect and typeface designer based in Buenos Aires. He is currently researching and designing typography for native languages in South America and the Caribbean.