Type@Cooper - Advanced Techniques in Script Lettering

Advanced Techniques in Script Lettering


with Ken Barber




Mon., Jun. 20 – Thu., Jun. 23, 2016
9:00AM – 4:00PM
location: On campus

A discount is available to Typographics conference participants. A promotional discount code will be found on the PDF of qualifying conference tickets. Please apply the code to workshop registration.

This four-day seminar will provide enhanced instruction to participants with a foundational understanding of formal and informal styles seeking to expand the boundaries of ordinary script lettering.

Following a brief refresher on drawing basics, students will investigate the distinctive features of numerous script models —from acclaimed calligraphic masterpieces to everyday advertising headlines— building on their discoveries to create new and engaging pieces of lettering. While the influence of different writing tools will be examined, coursework will concentrate on drawn letterforms. In addition to gathering inspiration from various genres, including American ornamental penmanship and 20th century “spencerian”, special attention will be given to developing strategies for unusual letter construction, flourished forms, and eye-catching compositions.  

Comprehensive slide presentations, hands-on demonstrations, skill-building exercises and personal critiques will provide further guidance as students explore logotypes and word-marks beyond conventional script lettering.


    Required Materials

  • No.2 pencils (conventional or mechanical)
  • pencil sharpener (if applicable)
  • erasers (conventional and kneaded)
  • pad of tracing paper (9″×12″ pad is recommended)
  • pad of quadrille 4×4 grid/graph paper (9″×12″ pad, 4 squares per inch is recommended)
  • 12 inch ruler
  • Sharpie® Fine and Extra Fine markers
  • white-out correction fluid pen
  • adhesive tape (for posting sketches)


Please note that this workshop will focus on manual exercises intended to underscore ideas fundamental to advanced script lettering techniques. Although workshop participants will not be using vector drawing software, aspects of digitization will be covered. With that in mind, students are welcome to bring a laptop with an installed licensed copy of Adobe Illustrator for reference during vectorizing presentations and discussions. 

Enrollment is open to intermediate letterers, as well as students of my introductory Script Lettering and Freehand Lettering two-day workshops, looking to strengthen their script lettering skills.







Instructor: Ken Barber

Advanced Techniques in Script Lettering
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 typeandlettering.com, an online resource for students and attendees of his frequent workshops.

• Type and Lettering
• House Industries



Venue