Type@Cooper - Classical Roman Letterforms: Form, Rhythm & Movement

Classical Roman Letterforms: Form, Rhythm & Movement


with John Stevens




Thu., Jan. 07 – Sun., Jan. 10, 2016
10:00AM – 5:00PM
location: The Monotype Classroom at Letterform Archive

In this 4 day course students are instructed in various letter styles that exemplify the elements of form, rhythm & movement; building skills, developing technique and raising awareness to the highest standards in letter arts. Whether you draw letters or write them, learning to use the brush and broad edged pen can add qualities and features that add legitimacy to your forms, potentially taking you in new directions.

Letters are form, rhythm & movement. To make them with a brush or a pen, one must develop techniques with these concepts in mind. Understanding what is constant and what is variable requires a deep exploration of structure, observation of details and mindful practice.

Refined letterforms come from acquiring and developing technique. With the classical Roman letterform in mind, John will teach letter anatomy, pen technique and brush dynamics to help participants develop their own deep understanding of form.

Rhythm is the binding agent between letterforms. Its in the DNA of letters, expressed through the permutations of repeated form and also by their careful spacing in words and texts.

Variety and liveliness in letters come from movement – that human element that distinguishes the hand of one person from the hand of another. Beyond formal precise technique, loose exercises that maintain the quality of form and the understanding of rhythm will be introduced.

In 4 days a lot can be covered, and small projects can be undertaken. Working from exercises to ‘finished’ projects will be a goal of this workshop.


    Required Materials

  • Raphael Kaerell 8796 Brush, size 6 or 7 or 8
  • #4 Cotman W&N Series 222
  • Pentel Pointed Brush
  • 3.8 mm Pilot Parallel Pen (with the green cap)
  • Boris Layout Pad 50 Sheets
  • pencil




Instructor: John Stevens

Classical Roman Letterforms: Form, Rhythm & Movement
John Stevens is one of the most gifted and original letter artists on the international scene, renowned for his skill as a calligrapher, letter artist, and designer. Starting as a sign painter in New York, his insatiable inquiry into letters and their design led him into calligraphy and lettering as image, working with various pens, brushes, and later computer. By his mid-twenties, he had many nationally known clients in publishing, packaging, advertising, television, and film. 

John's work has graced book jackets, magazines, newspapers, libraries, museums, and churches. As an in-demand teacher, he has been invited to teach at many national and international letter-arts conferences throughout the United States,   Europe, and Asia to teach his art. 

John's calligraphic artworks are included in the collections of the San Francisco Public Library; Berlin’s Akademie der Künste; and La Casa del Libro (San Juan, Puerto Rico), as well as in many private collections. 

People can easily find his works in dozens of books and publications from Asia, Australia, Europe, and the U. S. A. More recently, his book Scribe: Artist of the Written Word was published in 2013 to critical acclaim. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.

John Stevens Design



Venue