Alum’s typeface recognized by nation’s oldest professional design association

Author: Jamie Oppenheim
January 9, 2024
Vaja typeface shown on a red background

Chalermpol “Pol” Jittagasem created a typeface to help English language learners with pronunciation

Chalermpol “Pol” Jittagasem (M.A., ’21) created a typeface that tells a story about the immigrant experience, a story he knows well. An immigrant from Thailand, Jittagasem came to the United States 10 years ago on a student visa and struggled to learn English. Words like “subtle,” “basically” and “half” were confusing.

As a graduate student in Design at San Francisco State University and later as a student in a typography certificate program, he developed a typeface to help English learners with English pronunciation. His project recently caught the attention of the oldest professional design association in the nation: Vaja was included in the STA 100, the Society of Typographic Arts’ (STA) annual competition recognizing the 100 most innovative communication designs from around the world.

Jittagasem’s typeface, which he named Vaja (meaning “speech” in Thai), was designed to help people learning English phonetically pronounce English words. As part of the STA honor, it is featured on the organization’s website along with the other winners.

Read the full story on SF State News.