Susana Carvalho.
Design for readers, education for empowerment.

Hi, my name is Susana. In 2005 my partner Kai Bernau and I co-founded Carvalho Bernau. We design publications, identities, typefaces etc. After 18 years in The Hague, we moved to Porto in 2021.

If you are curious about my takes on design, feminism and design education listen to this:

Contact me

Yes please, get in touch:, 🆕 +351 91 402 30 56. You can follow the studio on Mastodon: 🐘 or on Instagram: 📸 @carvalho_bernau.


I am taking a break from teaching after 10 years of graphic design in the Graphic Design BA course at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague (2011–21). I previously taught typography in the BA programme Graphic Design at ArtEz Academy, Arnhem.

My interest in education led me to receive an MEd in Education in Arts in 2019 from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, where I researched the potential of space as a pedagogical tool in the graphic design classroom. You can download my thesis “Counterspace: Classroom Space as a Pedagogic Tool to Share Authority and Empower (Design) Students” here.

Retail type

With Kai and many others, we designed a typeface family called Algebra that was released in 2016 with Commercial Type.

Together with Christian Schwartz, we developed Atlas Grotesk and Typewriter, see in 2012. It too is available from Commercial Type.

Custom type

With Carvalho Bernau, we have been making custom typefaces for projects and clients big and small — for identity projects like Amsterdam’s Sandberg Institute or type-as-a-subscription-model for Esquire UK’s Big Black Book (art direction by David McKendrick).

We made many projects for Internazionale: The masthead/logotype, a stencil typeface, and a comprehensive newspaper headline family; they were all art directed by Mark Porter.

We also designed a complex interface type system for HBO, together with Erik van Blokland, Ilya Ruderman, Irene Vlachou, hinting by Mike Duggan, mastering by Alphabet.

There are others, from publications to corporations — too many to list here. You should hire us for custom type projects, too!