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 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 operate on a basis of trans inclusivity and supports and promotes the work of all women and non-binary people in our fields, every pairing centres a woman as either Mentee or Mentor (or both).

  • Mentor applications All year applications for annual 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 From 01/12/22 To 20/12/22
    In the meantime please read the Mentee Guide

    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. We cultivate openness by pairing mentorships around the world and give consideration to conversational language skills, preferred duration and time zones. This process may take a while, as we have a limited volunteer team analysing Mentee applications to understand their specific needs.

To overcome various difficulties, delays we experienced in the past years, and to ensure a smooth journey for both Mentees and Mentors, for this new instance of the program, we have decided to limit the number of Mentees applicants to 20 participants. And we no longer accept male mentee applicants. It is not a decision we took lightly but we could no longer ignore the limitations of being a small team of volunteers. Each Mentee/Mentor pair, will be assigned one team member who will periodically check-in to ensure everyone is still happy with the arrangement, and/or discuss and help to solve any possible problems.

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 encouraged to share their personal stories, and most importantly are expected to have clear goals and expectations, describing how they envision the ideal outcome of the mentorship program. This could be a brief for a design or research project.

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.

Who will be my mentor?

Matches will be made based on expertise required and expertise offered.

How often will we meet?

The program is limited to a set time of 3 months, running from 1 March to 31 May. Mentee and Mentor are expected to keep in touch weekly for 13 weeks. The format is to be decided by the pair (phone/zoom call, email, WhatsApp, Slack, Miro, Notion,…).

Where do we meet?

That’s up to each mentorship pair to decide. Meetings can happen online or in person and length can vary. Not all weeks may require a call, sometimes a quick check-in email will suffice. 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?

After a few years of accepting anyone seeking to explore more the fields of type, typography, or the lettering arts, we have made the decision to close Mentee applications to men. We operate on a basis of trans inclusivity, and accept Mentee applications from all women and non-binary people.

I am male, can I apply?

For the 2023 term, we are not accepting male mentee applications anymore. In the past we have accepted male mentees. However in this next term 2023 we are reducing the mentee quota to 20 and want to re-focus on Alphabettes core agenda. Alphabettes was established to support and promote the work of all women and non-binary people in the fields of type design, lettering, typography, and research.

Who is eligible to become a Mentor?

The program is open to any gender and to anyone seeking to be a Mentor in the fields of type, typography, or the lettering arts.

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!

How do you process the applications and how many are you accepting?

We are limiting the number of successful participants to 20. Spots will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis, providing applicants are eligible and applications are fully completed, and we have a suitable mentor in our pool of mentors.

When will successful and unsuccessful applicants be notified?

Successful applicants will be notified and asked to confirm their participation during the first week of February. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in the second week and third week of February.

What does it cost?

The organisation of the mentorship is at no cost, but also at no liability. The program is fully run by volunteers.

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>