Mentorship

The Alphabettes Mentorship Program is an international, volunteer based program that connects Mentors in the fields of type, typography or the lettering arts with Mentees of all experience levels. Mentoring is a fantastic tool to empower others, grow confidence and new skills, and both our Mentors and Mentees have found the relationship both transformative and fulfilling.

We run an annual Spring and Autumn term for Mentees. Throughout the year, we are actively seeking available Mentors to support this wonderful, enriching community and improve opportunities for Mentees to immerse themselves in the industry.

Since Alphabettes supports and promotes the work of all women in our fields, every pairing centres a woman as either Mentee or Mentor (or both). Although the program is open to everyone in our field, we may fast-track pairings for women and underrepresented groups.

  • Mentor applications
    All year applications for Spring and Autumn terms

    We are thrilled to invite you to sign up as a Mentor anytime, and share your valuable insight with Mentees as part of our bi-annual program. Our mentorships connect you with students, newcomers and experienced professionals seeking guidance in the fields of type, typography or the lettering arts.

  • Mentee applications
    2021 Spring term, applications open 21, March until 4, April
    2021 Autumn term, applications open 21, September until 5, November

    We’re excited to offer you the chance to sign up to be a Mentee for our annual Spring or Autumn term. Our mentorships give you the chance to focus on development areas in the fields of type, typography or the lettering arts that are important to you and your future career.

Once we receive your application form, we will start the Matchmaking Process to pair a Mentee with a Mentor who is best suited to their goals. As we have a limited volunteer team, it takes time to process your application and find the great match for your mentorship. We appreciate your patience.

For more details, read our FAQ and recent blog posts. If you have any additional questions, drop us an email at mentorship@alphabettes.org and we promise we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Tell me more…?

The Alphabettes Mentorship Program was announced in 2016 as one of Alphabettes’ community outreach activities. It is a fully volunteer-based program with a fixed organisational team and an amazing network of Mentors around the world. We are so thankful and humbled by our Mentors’ generosity in helping to guide the inspirational journeys of Mentees in the fields of type, typography, or the lettering arts.

Our goal is to improve opportunities for people at every level, by connecting Mentees with Mentors who can share their knowledge and experience to give guidance. We emphasise that mentorships are not to be confused with free of charge consultation or private tuition. The bulk of Mentees ask for portfolio, career or educational guidance. Some Mentees simply look for a sounding board or an opportunity to discuss type related topics, and understand how they can get more involved in the wider community.

Our intention is to make the best possible match between Mentee and Mentor. This process may take a while, as we have limited volunteer team analysing Mentee applications to understand their specific needs. Periodically, we check in to ensure everyone is still happy with the arrangement and encourage both the Mentor and the Mentee to contact us if the relationship is not working for some reason.

We cultivate openness by pairing mentorships around the world and give consideration to conversational language skills, preferred duration and time zones. Specific needs for Mentors or Mentees may be accommodated upon request, such as woman-to-woman pairings.

If you have any questions, drop us an email at mentorship@alphabettes.org and we promise we will get back to you as soon as we can.

FAQ

How can I contact you?

Drop us an email at mentorship@alphabettes.org and we promise we will get back to you as soon as we can.

What will you do with my application information?

We will keep the information you provide confidential but may share parts of it with potential Mentees or Mentors to find the right match for you. Read more in our privacy policy.

How are Mentees and Mentors matched?

We will try to match potential Mentees with a Mentor who is best suited to their goals. When submitting their application, Mentees are invited to share their personal stories and elaborate on their expectations, helping us to gain a broader view on each one’s needs.

Since type is an overarching theme for a few fields (Type Design, Typography, Font Production, Lettering) we are asking Mentees to specify which fields are relevant to their mentorship. The field, combined with the topic they need guidance on, such as “Portfolio & Personal Projects”, “Education & Research”, “Career & Industry”, allows us to create meaningful pairs. For example, guidance on how to get involved with the lettering industry requires a different set of tools than needed for a variable font project. Throughout the matching process, we are feeling a great sense of connection with both Mentors and Mentees.

Will I be matched with a woman?

Since Alphabettes supports and promotes the work of all women in our fields, every pairing centres a woman as either Mentee or Mentor (or both). Specific needs for Mentors or Mentees may be accommodated upon request, such as woman-to-woman pairings.

How often will we meet?

Mentee and Mentor will work out together how frequently, and when, they will connect. It can be anything from a one-off session to quarterly, monthly, or even more frequent meetings.

Where do we meet?

That’s up to each mentorship pair to decide. Meetings can happen online or in person. Our Mentors and Mentees are spread across the globe. Some live, work or regularly visit type-congested areas such as London, Berlin, New York City or the Bay Area where face-to-face meetings can be arranged more easily.

Who is eligible to apply as a Mentee or Mentor?

The program is open to anyone seeking to be a Mentor or Mentee in the fields of type, typography, or the lettering arts. We may fast-track pairings for women and underrepresented groups.

Tell me more about being a Mentor?

We’re always on the hunt to grow our valuable pool of Mentors.

  • Not sure you could be a mentor? If you are unsure you are a good fit to join as a Mentor send us message and we will chat with you about it. Most likely you ARE a great fit, and can really help making a change in people’s lives ❤️️
  • Worried about the commitment? If this is a busy time for you, you can sign up for as little as a 1 month program (about 4 sessions).Moreover, you get to decide with the Mentee your preferred method of communication: Zoom, email, Slack or a combination.
  • How is the schedule? The sessions are flexible in time and dates, and you set them with your Mentee in a way which will make it work for both of you.
  • Will I need to be a mentor forever? We have two annual terms: spring and autumn. After every term, we check in and confirm with you that you are happy to continue. However, if you feel like you need a break, you can always pause.
  • What if I’m not a type designer? We have so many topics that Mentees are seeking guidance on: research, education, lettering, font production, business, writing, typography. If you are in type, you can be a huge help.
  • Can only women be a mentor? Not at all! Everyone is welcome. Since Alphabettes is a network supporting woman, we centre a woman in every pair.
  • Want to hear more? We can send you a recording of a previous Q&A session we did for Mentors. Just email us!

What does it cost?

The organisation of the mentorship is at no cost, but also at no liability.

What’s the difference between a mentor and a consultant?

Mentors provide guidance in the fields of type, typography or the lettering arts. The mentorship is not to be confused with free of charge consultancy or private tuition. If you require more extensive business consulting or expert knowledge, you are welcome to get in touch with individual professionals or apply to educational programs./div>