Type@Cooper - Lettering Intensive: The Modern Letter

Lettering Intensive: The Modern Letter


with Ken Barber




Sat., Oct. 15 – Sun., Oct. 16, 2016
10:00AM – 5:00PM
location: On campus

From the elegance of copperplate engraving to the punch of robust Fat Face fonts, the Modern letter continues to be extremely useful in contemporary advertising and design. Its vertical stress, uniform proportions, and simple serif structure make the style particularly easy to modify and thus remarkably adaptable to all sorts of visual communication. In this workshop students will learn how to customize hand-drawn Modern letterforms and exploit their inherent versatility for different uses.

Beginning with an introduction to the genre’s distinct characteristics, participants will gain a foundational understanding of how these qualities can be manipulated to produce an extensive array of results. Skill-building exercises will focus on the development of both precision and expression in creating unique wordmarks for a variety of applications. Slide presentations will illustrate the numerous varieties, descendants and by-products of the Modern genre, while drawing demonstrations will aid students as they bring logos and lettering from the conceptual stage to completion.


    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 course will focus on drawing techniques intended to reinforce ideas foundational to the Modern letter. Although workshop participants will not be using vector drawing software, a brief presentation covering the basics of digitization will be given.

Registration will open September 7


Register online…


Instructor: Ken Barber

Lettering Intensive: The Modern Letter
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