Type@Cooper - Freehand Lettering

Freehand Lettering


with Ken Barber




Sat., Nov. 01 – Sun., Nov. 02, 2014
10:00AM – 5:00PM
The use of freely written letterforms is a sure-fire way to add charm and appeal to logotypes and wordmarks. The friendly tone and alluring rhythm of casual scripts—such as handwriting, signatures, and the like—add a personal touch to any variety of visual communication.

This workshop will provide an introduction to freehand lettering, with an emphasis on its use in branding, advertising, and editorial design. Practical skill-building drawing exercises —highlighting assorted writing tools and techniques— will guide participants as they transform pen-written studies into hand-lettered wordmarks.

Workshop presentations, demonstrations and materials will examine the fundamentals that contribute to the successful creation of hand-made letterforms. Individual one-on-one critiques will provide further guidance as students acquire a practical foundation for producing and implementing freehand lettering in various design contexts.

The following materials are required for the workshop:
  • No.2 pencils (conventional or mechanical)
  • pencil sharpener, if applicable
  • eraser
  • pad of tracing paper, at least 8.5″ x 11″
  • 12 inch ruler
  • Sharpie® Fine and Extra Fine marker
  • adhesive tape for posting sketches


Additional items will be supplied for an extra materials fee of $10, payable to the instructor at the beginning of the workshop.

Please note that this workshop will focus on manual exercises intended to underscore ideas fundamental to freehand lettering. Although workshop participants are not required to do vector drawing, 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.

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Lecturer: Ken Barber

Freehand 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