Type@Cooper - Capital Letter Breakdown

Capital Letter Breakdown


with Gen Ramírez




Sat., Mar. 09 – Sun., Mar. 10, 2019
10:00AM – 5:00PM
tuition: $ 460

location: On campus

Capital letters are ancient wisdom in the modern age; a point where brush philosophy meets Béziers. They can adapt to any trend and come fresh from your font editor still reflecting their millennia-old sources. Understanding the origins of Roman capitals is essential for a successful type design. Awareness of the evolution of letter skeletons is established by an introduction to the letters in their natural environment and by writing them with the original tools: pen and brush.

In this two-day introductory workshop, students will explore the historical roots and anatomy of capital letters. Analyzing the stylistic properties and the structural elements of the Roman capitals gives us a deep understanding of the history and evolution of the Latin script. Importantly, it offers us solid resources to make well-founded creative decisions in the typeface design.

Students will construct letters by exploring their essential geometry and then gradually adding more complexity to their details. As drawings progress, students will have fun practicing variations of the model from the perspective of the legendary hands of Edward Catich, Rudolf Koch and Edward Johnston. And, for the bravest, enjoy experimenting freely with all features at will.

Finally, shifting to the world of mathematic curves to rationalize the practice sheets, organizing them systematically to work towards producing a beautiful and original digital alphabet.


    Required Materials

  • 1/2" Flat Brush and any other flat brush you want to try. (We recommend W & N series 995)
  • Sumi Ink or tube of black gouache
  • penci, eraser, sharpener
  • several sizes of black markers
  • drafting tape
  • 12" ruler (or bigger)
  • laptop with any vector drawing application or font editor (i.e. Adobe Illustrator, Robofont, Glyphs, whatever you have.)


Registration for this workshop opens January 3, 2019. Please join our mailing list to receive updates and news.


Save the date: Sat., Mar. 09, 10:00AM


Instructor: Gen Ramírez

Capital Letter Breakdown
Gen Ramírez is a typeface designer, graphic designer, calligrapher and sign-painter from Guadalajara, Mexico. His strong interest and passion for brushes and letterforms developed since a young age as he was taught mastery of sign-painting in his father’s workshop. It later led him to graduate from TypeMedia at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague as well as completing both Type@Cooper Extended program in San Francisco and Condensed in New York. He teaches calligraphy, sign-painting, and type design workshops and leads Letrastica Festival, a conference in Guadalajara. With strong roots in an organic approach to letterforms, his work focuses on embracing both the analog and digital dimensions of design. He loves adding a dash of code in there to spice things up too! His work has been recognized by Latin American Typography Biennial in 2016 and 2018.

• Gen's website



Venue