The Malee Scholarship

The mission of The Malee Scholarship is to provide financial assistance and mentorship to support and empower women of color as they pursue a career in type design.

Chantra Malee

The Malee Scholarship is named after the co-founder of Sharp Type, Chantra Malee Montoya-Pimolwatana.

Chantra is a first generation American. Her father is from Mahachai, Thailand, and her mother, American born, is of Spanish and Native American descent. Both instilled in her the value of her cultural background and womanhood from an early age.

Creating opportunities

With a more culturally, ethnically, and gender-diverse community in type, we will introduce new ideas and inject new meaning into the field, further enriching and growing the industry both commercially and artistically.

Our mission

We do not anticipate or expect all of our applicants to share the same circumstances. Some may already have a foothold in the field, but need the time to finally complete your typeface. Others may just be starting out and need a stepping stone to enter the industry. 

Our intention is to provide financial assistance to those who demonstrate  a strong and serious interest in a career in type design. The funds are expected to be used on anything that will support their progression and focus as type designers; from paying rent while they finish designing their typeface, to attending a type design program where they can hone their skills. 

In addition to providing financial aid, we will plan a mentorship program for the annual recipient and provide them with professional and creative guidance. This mentorship is not an official type design course, so we recommend applicants have an in-progress typeface that they would like to work on with us. Additionally, since the Sharp Type team’s expertise is in Latin type design, as of this moment our mentorship can best support Latin typeface projects.

We recognize that proper mentorship and financial support can have a profound effect on an individual and their trajectory in life. We encourage all eligible candidates to apply.

Please note, due to the ongoing pandemic, the mentorship program will be remote until further notice.

Pay it forward

We believe in paying it forward. Applicants will be judged on their design and leadership skills. We hope they will remember our support and our confidence in them, and we encourage them to pass it on to a community or cause they are passionate about when they are in the position to do so.

The Malee Scholarship grants $6,000 USD annually to one woman of color over 16 years of age. It includes an optional four-week mentorship program with Sharp Type staff, who will provide professional guidance toward the production of the recipient's typeface. The mentorship program is available at the Sharp Type studio or via email and video chat.


  • Ages 16+
  • US Domestic or International
  • Ethnic Minority
  • Woman of Color
  • Design portfolio
  • Resumé
  • 1 autobiographical statement
  • 1 statement about your interest and any experience in type design
  • 1 statement about why you are an ideal candidate
  • 1 statement of financial need and how you plan to use the funds towards type career
  • 1 recommendation letter
  • Have a work-in-progress typeface project


Chantra Malee Montoya-Pimolwatana

Malee Scholarship Founder, Sharp Type co-founder

Malee grew up in an entrepreneurial family. Her parents were local business owners, and gave her a managerial role at a young age, which led her to pursue her own entrepreneurial path. After receiving a BBA in Design and Management from Parsons, New School of Design in NYC, Malee worked in the branding industry where she further sharpened her design and business acumen. She co-founded Sharp Type with Lucas Sharp in 2015, where she handles strategy, brand management, graphic design, sales, and communication.

TienMin Liao

Type Designer / Malee Logomark

Independent graphic and type designer. She studied typeface design at The Cooper Union and has designed various custom logotypes for consumer brands as well as global organizations. In 2018, she was named one of the Ascenders by the Type Directors Club, a competition that recognizes the achievements of designers 35 and younger.

My-Lan Thuong

Typeface Designer / Malee & Malee Sans

Following her studies in graphic design at the ÉSAD Amiens, My-Lan Thuong specialized in type-design for which she has long been passionate. In 2018, she received an MFA in type design from the École Estienne in Paris. She collaborated with the type foundries Coppers and Brasses and Type Network prior to joining as a type designer at Sharp Type in 2019.

What The studio

Branding & Design Studio / Malee website design & branding materials

Creative studio based in Amsterdam and working for the world. With a concept-driven approach, What The creates content, design and art direction for brands, campaigns, photoshoots, websites and editorial projects.

Sara Landeira

Sara graduated in Graphic Design and Art Direction at IDEP in Barcelona. After gaining experience in packaging and editorial design at different agencies in Barcelona, she decided to move to Amsterdam to develop a more conceptual design approach at De Designpolitie/What Design Can Do, where she has worked for 7 years, before co-founding What The.

Ekhiñe Domínguez

After her graduation in Audiovisual Communication at The University of the Basque Country and Aarhus University in Denmark, Ekhiñe studied a Master in Film Art Direction at ESCAC and Graphic Design at Bau Design College in Barcelona. She has worked as an art director for films and music videos, and as a graphic designer at Two Points.Net, De Designpolitie/What Design Can Do and Thonik, before co-founding What The.

Default Value

Web Development Studio / Malee website

Default Value is a technology and design studio partnership between Jen Evans and Trevor Carr.

Trevor Carr

Designer and front-end developer originally from Virginia. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in graphic design and studio concentration in architectural design. He is interested in research related to the aesthetics of automation, machine learning, materiality and methods, systems, pedagogy, and infrastructure.

Jen Evans

Designer and front-end developer originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She holds a BFA in graphic design from the Maryland Institute College of Art. In addition to design, she studied cultural anthropology and social justice, disciplines that motivated her to seek equity in the fields of design and technology.

Florence Fu

Copywriter and Editor / Malee content

Florence studied Art History and Journalism at Northwestern University, where she fell in love with typography and the power of storytelling. Her interest in type design led her to the Type West certificate program in San Francisco. At Malee, she writes copy to share and support the voices of women in type design.

If you have any questions about The Malee Scholarship, please let us know in the form below. We will respond to you shortly.

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