Type@Cooper - Spencerian Lettering

Spencerian Lettering


with Ken Barber




Sat., Dec. 02 – Sun., Dec. 03, 2017
10:00AM – 5:00PM
tuition: $ 440

location: On campus

Not to be confused with the handwriting of the 1800s, Spencerian Lettering is a unique style of hand-drawn script innovated during the latter half of the 20th century. Its lively forms, embellished strokes and distinctive styling make Spencerian Lettering especially well-suited for posters, labels, book jackets, editorial work and advertisements. In this workshop students will learn how to create and implement Spencerian Lettering for various design applications.

By means of a series of introductory skill-building exercises, students will acquire the basics for drawing upper- and lowercase letterforms, along with the flourishing methods that are particular to the style. In addition to typical Spencerian models, slide presentations and drawing demonstrations will also cover the extravagant Italian Hand, a related style that features voluptuous stroke-endings, unusual contrast and exceptionally lavish forms. Further instruction and examples will illustrate how Spencerian and related styles can be utilized in modern design settings.


    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 much of the content of this workshop was introduced during my 2016 four-day summer class, Advanced Techniques In Script Lettering.

This workshop will focus on conventional drawing techniques intended to underscore the principles of Spencerian Lettering. Although workshop participants will not be using vector drawing software, a brief presentation on digitization will be given.

Registration begins in September for fall workshops.
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Save the date: Sat., Dec. 02, 10:00AM


Instructor: Ken Barber

Spencerian 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