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Back To School | Newsletter

My Xmas celebrations this year have been one of the sweetest moments I remember. It’s been twelve years away from the Caganer, el Caga Tió and my Catalan, Galician and Basque family celebrations, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! I have also beaten a new personal record at spending eight hours straight sitting at a table surrounded by conversation, food, drinks and an insane amount of sugar.Today in Barcelona, I’m sitting at a different type of table. It’s my third day back to school —that’s how I like to call it— because every email, every experience and every single challenge can be an opportunity to learn, grow and becoming wiser.A Thank You Love LetterIn 2014 a group of graphic designers asked me to teach them calligraphy. With the massive help and encouragement of Lauren Vilitati, I hosted my very first calligraphy workshop at Rotson Studios, and I instantly knew this is was my purpose. 2023 marks my ninth year as an independent educator and I couldn’t be prouder.

As part of my remote working journey, in 2020 I started sharing my knowledge at the University of Youtube, as a way to give back to the creative community, by offering approachable and accessible education. Last month, I received my highest Thank You donation to date, which brought me the biggest of the smiles to my face:) Thanks Bill!

None of this could have happened without you: my online community, students, mentees, friends and colleagues who have helped me to spread the word and support my journey. To all of you, a huge THANK YOU, I very much appreciate you being here ❤️


My Wishes To You For 2023Rest up, call the important people in your life, go out and look up, read a book and say Thank You!And if you are looking for some extra joy, gift yourself education.



Below, you’ll find a collaborative project called “NO/STILL NO”, a self-initiated project called “Paint the world pussy pink” and my new Youtube series called “Copperplate FAQs”, as well as my upcoming calligraphy course starting on February 1st.

On the last section of this newsletter, you’ll find an inspiring talk by the talented Crystal Zapata; a research project very close to my heart by the TypeTogether team, and the newest online type design education offering called Type Electives.


Let love win in 2023,Maria xx


No, Still No | Self-initiated Collaboration

Consent: Permission for something to happen, or agreement to do something.

In 2019 I went to Porto for a few days. On the first day, I saw a girl on the street with a tattoo on her right thigh that said: NO; and on her left thigh that said: STILL NO. I was struck by the tattoo, and by the time I tried to take a picture, she was already gone. I have thought about that young woman often, and how I personally interpreted the message.

I don’t know you girl but I like you a lot, and this is my homage to you and your tattoo as accurate as I can remember it (portrait photo).

A soft, loud, girly, manly, friendly, harsh, polite, rude, smiley, bossy, apologetic, angry, fearful, determined NO means NO, always.I decided to share this project with a few designers, and these below are their contributions. Many thanks to Wanissa and Ceci for your support, it means a lot!


No, Still No | By Wanissa Somsuphangsri

“Just go out with me once. It’s not like I’m going to rape you” is what the guy who asked me out said when I turned him down for the fourth time.

I was 23 then, and much less vocal than I am now. Being assertive doesn’t come naturally to me. Looking back, I’ve accepted situations I didn’t want to be in, taken on favours I couldn’t afford, stayed in relationships I should have ended, all because I couldn’t say no or because I was afraid of upsetting other people. This is still ongoing work for me, but as the years go by, I’m feeling less guilty for putting myself first.

When a woman says no, whether it’s quietly or loudly, once is enough for her to be heard. No explanations and no apologies are needed.


No, Still No | By Cecilia Del Castillo

“A man once told me that women shouldn’t flirt so openly with a man because it leads to being raped. And if that happened it was basically our fault. The incredible thing is that he told me this as if to “teach me” how to behave, so that this would not happen to me, and to justify jealousy. For a long time I was ashamed to even repeat his words.

It shocks me, and it makes me fucking angry to think that every woman has a story like this to tell.

Absolutely nothing you do as a woman justifies abuse.”


Paint The World Pussy Pink | Personal Project


“Been down, been up, been broke, broke down, bounced backBeen off, been on, been back, what you know about that?Been the light, been dark, been the truth, been that King Bey energyBeen thick, been fine, still a ten, still here, that’s all meBlack like love too deepDance to the soles of my feetGreen eyes envy mePaint the world pussy pink

She’s a god, she’s a heroShe survived all she been throughConfident, damn, she lethalMight I suggest you don’t fuck with my sis‘Cause she comfortableComfortable in my skin

Cozy with who I amFeet up above your sinsI love myself, goddamn.”

Homage to “Cozy” song lyrics by Queen Beyoncé from the Album “Renaissance” 2022.


New Youtube Series | FAQs


This is the first video of a new Youtube Series called Copperplate FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) where I am answering questions many of my students have previously enquired about. This short video is focused on a few different types of paper.PAPERS TESTED

Offset paper: 80gsm 100% recycle copy paper Laid paper: Galgo Parchemin 70gsm Marker paper: Canson Marker 70gsm Watercolour paper: Canson Watercolour 300gsm & Canson Watercolour Basik 370gsm


Intro to Copperplate Calligraphy Course (L1)


February 1, 8, 15 & 22, 2023Level 1: Beginner and intermediate2 hours x 4 Wednesdays6 to 8pm AEDT / 8 to 10am CET

My next Intro to Copperplate Calligraphy Course starts on November 2nd. For the first time in 8 years, this course will run on a school night from 6 to 8pm (MEL time), or from 8am to 10am (BCN time). Book your spot here.


Crystal Zapata | Typographics 2022 Highlight

An exploration of process, material, and a cross-disciplinary design approach.Crystal Zapata is a Chicago-based graphic designer and artist. She utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to develop printed matter, identities, illustrations, and images for cultural institutions and collaborators in music, fashion, and art.This talk took place on June18, 2022 as part of Typographics Conference.


Building Ligatures | The Power of TypeTogether

I have been following TypeTogether for a while now. In my opinion, this contemporary type foundry truly represent the values of diversity, respect and inclusion. In September 2022, TypeTogether presented their book called “Building Ligatures” at TypeThursday Barcelona, celebrating their fifteenth year journey.On that event, I met Veronika Burian in person for the first time, and purchased a copy of their book which I totally recommend.Additionally, TypeTogether is currently undertaking a research into the state of handwriting education for the Latin script, and they are looking for contributors worldwide. If this subject is also close to your heart, read more here.


Type electives | Online Type Design School 

Founded by Lynne Yun and Juan VillanuevaType Electives offers a wide range of live online classes focused on letterforms, including type design, lettering, and creative technology. Our faculty is made up of people who approach their practice from a place of respect, responsibility, criticality, and love. We’re excited to work with students interested in exploring a future founded in these principles.


Many thanks to all of you who have been following and reading —some of you since 2015!! I very much appreciate you being here. If you’d like to further support my free newsletters, here are a few ways:1) Leave a review/rating on my Google Business Profile, this helps me a lot!2) Forward this letter to a friend letting them know they can sign up here.3) Support the important work of making education approachable and accessible.