Building Bridges: The Stencil Letter and Typeface Design

The modest stencil letter is a common sight in our everyday landscape. However, stencils offer more than just an alternative solution where the use of conventional typography and lettering is either impractical or simply impossible: creating stencil letters can provide clues to understanding the formulation of complex typographic systems.

In this hands-on workshop, participants will combine foundational drawing exercises with basic type design concepts to produce a select group of reusable display stencil letterforms. In addition to honing the skills necessary to build a cohesive character set, attendees will learn how to apply this thinking during the typeface development process.

Please note that this workshop will focus on manual exercises intended to underscore ideas fundamental to typeface design. While workshop participants will not be using font editing software, aspects of digital typography will be discussed.

Participants will be required to provide the following materials:

  • Tracing paper
  • Pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Eraser
  • Fine and Extra Fine point Sharpie markers
  • X-Acto knife
  • Ruler

A workshop materials fee of $15 payable in cash directly to Ken
on the first day of class will cover the following items:

  • X-Acto blades
  • Stencil template vellum
  • Pouncers
  • Grid and stenciling paper
  • Paint / ink

If you are interested in attending this workshop please email to add your name to a list. Once we determine how many seats are available we will notify you. To receive updates, join our mailing list.

About Ken Barber

Ken Barber is a letterer, type designer and type director at design studio and type foundry House Industries. He is also a partner of Photo-Lettering, Inc., the online lettering-vending service nominated by the Design Museum London as a 2011 Design of the Year recipient. Ken's work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and has been honored by the New York Type Directors Club. Association Typographique Internationale recently selected several of his typefaces for inclusion in the organization’s decennial design competition. In addition to teaching at Maryland Institute College of Art, Ken regularly lectures internationally on the subjects of lettering and typography. He also manages, an online resource for students and attendees of his frequent workshops.

Ken Barber

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 10:00amSun, Nov 11, 2012 5:00pm

Cooper Union