In the summer of 2015, I won the life lottery and got to spend five weeks in Cooper Union's Type@Cooper Condensed program studying type design. It ruled. This is not a finished project yet, but it's a pretty good start on a very humanist, heavily calligraphic sans serif inspired in part by Hermann Zapf's Optima, as well as a micro-visit to Japan.
Over the duration of the course we got our hands dirty with calligraphy ink, then cleaned them up and pawed through some 500-year-old manuscripts. We spent a healthy amount of hours learning the history of type from the dawn of writing to present, and even more hours sitting at the computer tweaking bezier handles. All of it, naturally, topped off with an uncountable number of authentic NY "$1 slice" pizza. Did I mention how great it was?