Type@Cooper - Psychedelic Calligraphy—Written & Cut

Psychedelic Calligraphy—Written & Cut


with Carl Rohrs




Sat., Feb. 11 – Sun., Feb. 12, 2017
10:00AM – 5:00PM
location: The Monotype Classroom at Letterform Archive

Since the birth of the particularly free-wheeling art form known as psychedelia was created 50 years ago, let's take this opportunity to celebrate by letting that freedom, color, flowing detail, and exuberance inspire our calligraphy.

Its inspiration has ALWAYS been a factor in my artwork, no matter how classic or traditional the form may have appeared, and I believe that it will enhance the kind of work you do as well, whatever the style. We're not looking to turn your manuscript into a rave poster — but wouldn't you like your letters to have a more dynamic interaction with each other and aren't you longing for the letters themselves to have richer details and be more surprising? The new letters we'll be writing with pen and brush will be created with very specific modern techniques and loose inspiration from dozens of unexpected sources, both of which will help you in a fresher attack at creating your own new letters or transforming traditional ones.

It's not just writing. The color possibilities and unlimited pattern combinations has inspired ever-more adventurous cut-paper and cut-fabric work in the last several years. How can pattern upon contrasting pattern be used in increasing numbers while still remaining distinct from each other yet still create a cohesive whole? That's another challenge we'll to meet and beat in our jam-packed day, while learning the simple techniques of paper-cutting that offer unlimited potential.

The ulterior motive of the class is that, by exercising our skills to create something out at the fringes of normal calligraphy, everything we do will have rich ramifications when you bring it back to your classic ways of working, whether during the class or in the years to come. It's really not so much about a particular style of working, it's about putting a new focus on detail and finding a new freedom in your own work, whatever that is now and whatever it will become.


    Required Materials

  • large folded brass pen, 5/16” or 3/8” Horizon or similar plus any other pens you already have
  • flat brush, 1/2” W&N 995, plus any other brushes you already have
  • non-waterproof ink
  • a tube or two of gouache
  • large paper with a bit of texture
  • graphic white out (Pro–White) &/or light or bright colors of gouache and colored paper, if you wish to write in reverse
  • Canson Ingres or other laid surface charcoal suggested (construction paper not recommended)
  • pencil &/or colored pencils (Prismacolors are the best)
  • ruler
  • Exacto knife & blades and cutting mat
  • Assorted papers &/or fabrics and collage material (printed photos & illustrations, engravings, etc.)
  • Optional: A Pentel Color Brush plus any other brushes you want to try or already have – W/N Series 7 or similar, Asian, Lebenzon, etc.
  • Optional: Ruling pens
  • Optional: Exacto knife & blades and cutting mat.
  • Optional: Assorted papers &/or fabrics and collage material (printed photos & illustrations, engravings, etc.)



Instructor: Carl Rohrs

Psychedelic Calligraphy—Written & Cut
Carl Rohrs has been a commercial lettering artist and sign painter in Santa Cruz, CA since 1977. Teacher of Lettering & Typography and Graphic Design at Cabrillo College since ‘84, and U.C. Santa Cruz Extension. Teacher of modern calligraphy — and occasionally sign-painting and gilding — at workshops and conferences since ‘86 all over the US and Europe, as well as Japan, Australia and South Africa. Studied with Father Edward Catich, Hermann Zapf, Karlgeorg Hoefer among many others. Team teaching partners have included Julian Waters, Georgia Deaver, Susan Skarsgard and sign legend Mark Oatis. Former and current editor of Alphabet, the Journal of the Friends of Calligraphy.



Venue