The Malee Scholarship recognizes nine women for their unique achievements and contributions to the type design industry.
This year The Malee Scholarship recognizes Andrea Hayek, Đông Trúc Nguyễn, Gabriela Jaime, Kajama Chakma, Lee Qiu Wen, Michelle Devlin, Shriya Agarwal, Yaprak Buse Çağlar, and Yejin Wi for their achievements and contributions to the type design industry.
Andrea Hayek is a Lebanese graphic designer and aspiring type designer. She was born and raised in Beirut, the cultural hub of the Middle East. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design at the American University of Beirut (AUB). She worked mostly in branding and publication design since her graduation in 2019, but pursues her passion for type design in her spare time. Her complicated relationship with her country has fueled a lot of her creative ideas; including her first Latin type family, Madinati, which she created during TypeParis22. The political and economic deterioration of Lebanon, as much as its culture and heritage, has become a part of Andrea’s identity. She is eager to grow her knowledge and experience in creating Latin and Arabic typefaces, in hopes of one day contributing to making Type Design education more accessible in Lebanon and the Middle East.
Đông Trúc Nguyễn
Đông Trúc Nguyễn is a graphic designer from Việt Nam and currently a type design student of EsadType 2022-2024. After receiving Bachelor in Graphic Design at Hồ Chí Minh University of Fine Art in 2020, she embarked on a journey of self-education on type design. While living in a rich culture city and getting exposure to 20th-century publications, her interest in typeface began to take root. She finds herself captivated by the typography crafted by Vietnamese artists in this period. I am particularly enamored with their creative manipulation of Vietnamese diacritics and letterforms. Becoming a student at EsadType represents a significant milestone in her career. Her primary objective in the meantime is to grasp the fundamental principles of type design and explore the challenges that must be addressed when designing Vietnamese typefaces. She also immerses herself in linguistic research to create a Vietnamese text typeface. She aims to improve Vietnamese speakers’ reading experience and strengthen and diversify the type design community in Vietnam.
(1995, Mexico) Gabriela is a graphic designer based in Lausanne, Switzerland. She is currently at ÉCAL Master Type Design, exploring the possibilities of her practice through a pragmatic approach of collecting, testing, and discarding —content, tools, methods, and even fields of work. Throughout her practice she quickly realized that typography was the foundation of most of, if not all, of her work and approach as a graphic designer, therefore she decided to leap from user to maker, to further her skills and knowledge of the thing she loves most. Her work has been featured as a winner and finalist on global platforms such as Adobe Design Achievement Awards, Bienal Iberoamericana de Diseño, and Porto Design Biennale; lately, she was the recipient of the 2023 Encouragement Award by the City of Renens, in Switzerland.
Kajama Chakma is a graphic and type designer from Tripura, India now based in Reading, United Kingdom. She graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Bengaluru, India. During her internship at Ishan Khosla Design, she worked on documenting the Godna typeface from “The Typecraft Initiative” which eventually inspired her to pursue type design. She is a recent graduate from the University of Reading’s Master in typeface design program. Monga her first typeface is a multi-script typeface supporting Latin and Bengali scripts which she designed as a part of her master’s course and hopes to continue working on. Research is an integral part of her design process, for her Master’s dissertation, she worked on the “Evolution of the Chakma script from manuscript to digital” and hopes to expand her research on the Chakma script which also happens to be her mother tongue. In the coming years, she hopes to continue designing multiscript-type families with an interest in South Asian and Indian scripts.
Michelle Britos Devlin is a Filipino-American Design Researcher currently based in New York, United States. They/she studied Graphic Design at Rhode Island School of Design, Communication Design Research at Royal College of Art, Latin Font Design at both Type West and Plantin Institute of Typography, and Hangul Font Design through The Alphabettes Font Design Mentorship program. For her thesis, Michelle analyzed the language of digital marketing for multilingual sans serif fonts and how word choice - particularly the use of the initialism ‘CJK’ - in some pieces published by ‘American big tech’ unduly homogenizes the unique histories of various writing systems throughout Asia. Michelle pays particular attention to the different ways word choice interacts with typography and font design in order to practice interdisciplinary ways of drawing letterforms. They study Korean language as a way to explore different ways of drawing legible Hangul characters outside of a purely visual approach to constructing letterforms. At this time, they work as a freelance web designer and design researcher with a special attention to typography. In the future, Michelle will continue to independently muse over questions related to fonts, technology, and language, like ‘What if Twitter was typeset in Times New Roman?’
Lee Qiu Wen
Lee Qiu Wen (Avery) is a type designer from Singapore. In 2022, she graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts (Visual Communications) and is currently enrolled in the 2023 Type West Online Postgraduate Certificate Program. Qiu Wen describes type as a culmination of all that she’s passionate about: writing, culture, and languages. Growing up in a multicultural society, she has always found it intriguing to be surrounded by different languages. When a career in writing did not take off, she pursued graphic design instead and stumbled upon type. That’s when she realised that words fascinated her in ways more than one. While in university, Qiu Wen met like-minded designers who recognised a gap in local type design education and practice. Excited by the potential of type, the three of them established a type collective: Death of Typography (DOT). DOT hosts type workshops, conducts research on type and design, and has a foundry arm dedicated to releasing typefaces created by young designers. She hopes to continue refining her craft and exploring paths to enable local designers to access and learn type.
Shriya Agarwal is an Indian Communication Designer who pursued her Bachelor’s Degree from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India. Her journey with art and design started with a solo exhibition of 100 paintings at the age of four that eventually transformed into a deep interest in art direction, graphic design, and type design. She was introduced to typeface design early in college and embraced the challenge to create a typeface - Meenar, in under two weeks. Meenar - is a Variable Devanagari Typeface inspired by the Art Deco Movement of the 1920s. Fusing one of India’s traditional scripts and the historical Western design movement resulted in a visually captivating and culturally significant expression. Shriya is currently practicing graphic design through a focused and comprehensive study of design principles with a combination of technique, aesthetics, and intuitive expression. She strives to create inclusive, culturally sensitive, and visually compelling design systems that resonate with a global audience.
Yaprak Buse Çağlar
Yaprak Buse Çağlar is a type designer from Türkiye. She received her Bachelors degree in Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design in Sabancı University. She always had a special interest for fonts and tried to mold this interest with her creativity. She worked as a graphic designer in many global agencies, yet later agreed on pursuing her true passion in type. She attended in TypeParis’22, got fascinated by everything related to type design and decided on being a full time type designer. She also will be attending esadType program to widen her perspective on this area and train her abilities further. She also likes to push the limits of letter shapes so that makes her a huge fan of Art Nouveau type!
Yejin Wi is a typeface designer from Seoul, South Korea. She worked for six years at Sandoll, a Korean type foundry, where she developed an expertise in Hangul and a curiosity about the formative relationship and history of Chinese and Japanese scripts. While studying for her MA in Typeface Design at Reading, UK, she experienced the broader type design industry and learned a variety of scripts, including Arabic and Latin alphabets. Still, what inspires and motivates her most is her East Asian heritage and language. She is currently an active member of FDSC(Feminist Designers Social Club), a Korean women’s graphic design community, and also loves collaborating with her colleagues and going for walks in sunny weather.