Type@Cooper - Integrating Letter & Image: Drawing on Early Influences

Integrating Letter & Image: Drawing on Early Influences


with Michael Doret




Sat., Nov. 21 – Sun., Nov. 22, 2015
10:00AM – 5:00PM
location: Letterform Archive Reading Room

Letterforms and imagery may be thought of as two sides of the same coin. It will be the purpose of this two-day workshop to demonstrate how the rules governing letter and image can be bent, how they can enhance one another, and how they can be fused to create new hybrid forms. Participants will be asked to challenge conventional thinking about the distinctions between letter and image and explore ways to blur the lines between the two.

Additionally participants will be asked to filter their problem solving through the prism of their own personal influences. Designers begin to develop their aesthetic sensibilities from what they are exposed to when they’re young. For Michael it was the banners, the colorful signage and cacophony of Coney Island, and the bright lights and billboards of Times Square that would inform his work as an adult. For others it will be quite different—and very personal. But whether or not one is consciously aware of them, everyone has those early influences that work silently behind the scenes, shaping one’s aesthetic.

Participants will select and execute one of several letterform/imagery projects, and receive constructive feedback at various stages during the workshop. This work may take the form of a finished drawing or can be brought into the digital realm.

This workshop is limited to 12 students.


    Required materials

  • pencil
  • eraser
  • sharpener
  • ruler
  • 9" x 12" vellum or tracing paper
  • drafting tape


Optionally, if you’d like to work digitally, bring a laptop with Adobe Illustrator installed in addition to the list above.





Instructor: Michael Doret

Integrating Letter & Image: Drawing on Early Influences
Michael Doret grew up in Brooklyn, New York near the tattered remains of the wonderful old collection of amusement parks known as Coney Island. Inspiration for his work came from those early years near the banners, signage and brilliant colors of his Brooklyn neighborhood, and from frequently visiting Times Square where his father worked for MGM among the bright lights, billboards, and general cacophony of the "Great White Way". Similar inspiration came later from such diverse sources as matchbook covers, enamel signs, packaging, and the numerous and varied artifacts of the mid-century America of his childhood.

After graduating from Cooper Union, and after several years at different staff positions, Michael set up a design studio in New York. He has, for many years, specialized in letterform art, and an integrated approach to the disciplines of lettering, illustration and graphic design. He currently runs a studio out of his home in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. 

For many years he concentrated almost exclusively on logo and lettering projects, but recently Michael expanded the base of his work to include font design.

Michael’s original fonts and font families are available through his type foundry Alphabet Soup.

• Alphabet Soup



Venue