The call for applications is open until June 23th, 2023.

The recruitment process is international 
and the number of places is limited to six. The programme is open to postgraduate in visual communication and graphic design who have completed a master’s degree or equivalent, and to professionals, regardless of their nationality – no age limit applies. Each researcher receives a personal grant of €4,450. The duration of the curriculum is 4 semesters: 3 semesters in Nancy (form October to March) and 1 semester of professionalisation/ internship. Applicants can present a personal research project or apply to one of the 2023 research programmes.

Research Programmes 2023

The decorative writing of Alfred Erdmann

Alfred Erdmann (1872-1966) studied under Anton Seder at the école des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg, before being appointed professor of graphic arts in 1902. He was passionate about lettering and calligraphy, whose forms are renewed with the rise of advertising, and the use of new tools such as “even” pens which produce a mono-linear drawing, with rounded ends. He brings together in a book his research on a “new decorative writing”: delayed by the First World War, it will be published in England in 1924, by Hutchinson et Cie under the title “Decorative Writing and Arrangement of Lettering”. Given its success, this book was republished a few years later by Isaac Pitman, also in London.

Unpublished archives of Erdmann will be deposited in 2023 at the ANRT to be studied. The objective of this research program is to study the genesis of this publication, its visual and technical documentation and to consider digital revivals of his writing models. It is also a matter of situating the role of Erdmann, a precursor in Alsace in the revival of graphic arts and typography at the beginning of the 20th century.

This program is part of the Renouveau project, in partnership with the École nationale supérieure des arts visuels de La Cambre (ENSAV, Bruxelles), L’École nationale supérieure d’art et de design de Nancy (ENSAD), le Musée de l’École de Nancy, la Haute École des arts du Rhin (Strasbourg), les Musées de Strasbourg et le Kaiser Wilhelm Museum de Krefeld (Allemagne).

Gutenberg Jahrbuch 100

For almost 100 years, the Gutenberg Jahrbuch has been one of the world’s leading journals on book and printing history. In addition to the quality of its contributions, the journal is also renowned for its typographic design. Outstanding typographers such as Hermann Zapf, Max Caflisch, Friedrich Forssman, and Ralf de Jong have been involved in its creation over time.

Research presented in the Gutenberg Jahrbuch regularly cites texts from manuscripts and early prints that contain a multitude of abbreviations and ligatures. This has repeatedly challenged the designers of the Jahrbuch, as common typefaces often cannot depict these characters.

The goal of this research program is to design a new typeface for the Gutenberg Jahrbuch, which contains the vast reservoir of abbreviations and ligatures of the modern period, while also functioning as a highly legible text typeface online and in print. As an open-source font, it will also be made available to the wider academic community.

In partnership with the Gutenberg-Institut für Weltliteratur und schriftorientierte Medien, Abtlg. Buchwissenschaft, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz (DE). Projet encadré par Dr. Nikolaus Weichselbaumer.

The Missing Scripts 2023

Unicode has become an essential character-encoding standard for exchanging texts electronically. Unicode 15 encompasses 161 different writing systems, and more than 149 000 characters: its ambition is to include all the scripts of humanity.

The website, started in 2005 by Johannes Bergerhausen, and its associated book « decodeunicode Schriftzeichen die der Welt » (ed. Hermann Schmidt) gives a fascinating insight into the richness and diversity of the scripts covered by Unicode. And yet, more than a hundred writing systems are still missing from Unicode. Jenticha, Kulitan, Garay (Wolof), Ranjana (Lantsa), Mayan Hieroglyphs… minority scripts, sometimes ancient or undeciphered (but not necessarily complex in their design), which are still awaiting to be approved by the Unicode Consortium.

The aim of the Script Encoding Initiative (SEI) at the University of Berkeley is to provide the linguistic expertise required to submit new proposals for these writing systems to Unicode. Many of these scripts have never existed in a typographic form, and display some very interesting shapes: they represent a kind of unexplored territory for type designers. The Missing Scripts project aims to support the SEI’s proposals to Unicode, through the design of typefaces for the missing entries. To achieve this, a multi-year research program is implemented, based on a classification by Johannes Bergerhausen, who established different levels of complexity for these scripts, based on the SEI database. The work will be conducted over a number of years, combining several levels of expertise: linguistics (SEI, Berkeley), type design (ANRT) and graphic design / mediation (decodeunicode, Hochschule Mainz).

The website The World’s Writing Sytems and the poster show the actual state of research.

The Missing Scripts programme will focus, from Octobe 2020 to March 2022, on the following scripts: BERIA, ESKAYA, GARAY (WOLOF), LAMPUNG, SIDETIC, VITHKUQI, YEZIDI…

Desired profile for the application:

  • Interest in Latin and non-Latin type design (specify which writing system)

  • English spoken

  • Good organisational skills

Visiting professors & experts:
Pr Johannes Bergerhausen, Hochschule Mainz (DE) /
Dr Deborah Anderson, Université de Berkeley (USA) / Script Encoding Initiative The Unicode consortium


Schedule 2023

  • April 2023: call for applications 

  • 23 June 2023: deadline for submission of applications on 

  • 26 June 2023: Notification of shortlisted applications available online. 
Interview dates and times will be announced together with the application results. 

  • 30 June 2023: admission interview with the selection committee (video-conference interviews are possible). 

  • 05 October 2023: academic year starts.


Applications must be submitted by June 23th, 2023 in electronic form only (PDF) and should include: 

  • A document or portfolio demonstrating the candidate’s approach and his recent work. (PDF format, 10MB maximum);

  • A typographic research project. Candidates should present in written form the personal project, or the research programme they plan to undertake at the ANRT (3 pages maximum); 

  • A covering letter detailing your reasons for applying; 

  • A registration form, to be downloaded from the ANRT website:

  • A detailed CV; 

  • A photocopy of the candidate’s identity card or passport; 

  • Two passport photographs with the candidate’s name; 

  • Copies of certificates

For further information


The interview panel comprises:

  • The Course Director and one tutor from the ANRT 

  • Three qualified interviewers appointed by ANRT’s management board

During the interview the panel will focus on: 

  • The quality and maturity of the work presented 

  • The candidate’s ability to contextualise and present their project effectively, as well as visualising ways in which it might be developed 

  • The candidate’s motivation and level of expertise 

  • The ability to approach typography from an experimental and/or interdisciplinary perspective



I am currently a master student and I will soon graduate. Can I apply now for the next session?
— Yes. The applications are open to students who are currently registered in Master 2. 

I graduated a few years ago, but my diploma is not a Master’s degree. Can I still apply?
— Yes. Exceptions can be made : for the holders of DNSEP who graduated before 2011 (when the DNSEP became a Master’s degree) and for the holders of a DSAA. 

Is there an age restriction to join the ANRT?
— No.

I do not speak either French or English, is it a problem?
— Yes. The discussions at the ANRT are in French and in English. A good level in both languages is required : if you have some difficulties in one or the other, training is available on the Artem campus, at “la Maison des Langues” (self-learning, language exchange groups). 

I submitted my application. What is the next step?
— The shortlist will be made the following week. Then the applicants will be invited to an oral examination in Paris. The final selection will be unveiled afterwards. 

I live very far from France. Do I have to come especially for the oral examination?
— No. Videoconference interviews are possible. 

I already work. Can I still do my work while studying at the ANRT?
— No. A full commitment is required. 

I live in Paris. Do I have to move to Nancy to study at the ANRT?
— It is highly recommended to live in Nancy to be able to do a proper one-year-long research. Each student will have his own workspace at the Atelier, and a permanent access to the equipment and documentary resources of the ANRT. 

What is exactly a research project at the ANRT?
— The fields are typeface design (latin and/or non-latin), editorial design (printed or on screen) and, in a general way, relations of typography with space, movement, architecture, new technologies, writing or fine arts. While a historical and theoretical support is needed, each project has to keep a practical dimension, aimed at the production of new forms. For the application stage, the project can remain a bit vague, the general idea is explained, as well as a few references. 

My project is not about typeface design. Is it an issue?
— No. Research at the ANRT questions typographical design in a wider sense : it can cover the relationships of typography with space, movement, architecture, new technologies, fine arts, literature. We frequently talk about typeface design but it is not the only field of research.

Teaching method

How is the teaching at the ANRT organized?
— Teachers are at the ANRT 2 days a week, on Thursday and Friday. Each teacher comes to the ANRT one or two times a month. The discussion mode alternates between group sessions and individual sessions. Each researcher has to regularly present the progression of his research and has to produce a synthesis paper at the end of the year. The year ends with an oral presentation, supervised by the teaching team and a special guest. 

I am interested in one of the research programs (ANRT/ATILF or ANRT/LORIA). Do I have to submit a research project?
— Not necessarily. An explanatory note about the applicant’s motivations may be enough. 

How are supervised the research programs linked with the partner laboratories?
— The supervision is combined, both the teachers of the ANRT and the researchers of partner laboratories are taking part in the project. These partnerships result in regular discussions with the researchers, access to the documentary resources of each laboratory, and perspectives of group publications. 

Do you give training on specific softwares?
— Yes. The researchers-students will benefit from a training on typeface design softwares (Robofont, Glyphs and Fontlab). 

Are workshops or field trips planned?
— Yes. A field trip is organized every year. A thematic workshop takes place each semester. ANRT students also have to lead a workshop with students of the ENSA Nancy once a year.

Practical aspects

How much does a year at the ANRT cost?
— Registration fees are about 400€, to be paid to the ENSA Nancy. 

Is there a research allowance?
— Yes. A research grant of 4 450€ (paid in 6 times) is allowed to each of the 6 researchers-students. 

When does the academic year start?
— The academic year begins in October, in Nancy.


Application form


École nationale supérieure d’art et de design de Nancy
Atelier National de Recherche Typographique (ANRT)
1 place Charles Cartier-Bresson
BP 13129
54013 Nancy CEDEX