Type@Cooper - Think Big Think Small

Think Big Think Small


with John Downer




Sat., Oct. 15 – Sun., Oct. 16, 2016
10:00AM – 5:00PM
location: The Monotype Classroom at Letterform Archive

Setting out to design a text typeface is not a trivial undertaking, and it doesn't always go as planned. Often, what was meant to be a text face ultimately performs better as a display face. John will teach ways to stay on track with a design project, and will identify primary objectives to keep in mind at the outset. His methods focus on the importance of early testing, as well as establishing a tight range of optimal reading sizes to clearly differentiate text faces from display faces.

Individuals with any level of experience are welcome to enroll. Lessons offered in this workshop are essential to understanding universal principles of letter design.


    Required Materials

  • letter size paper
  • reducing glass
  • pencil
  • eraser
  • black ballpoint pen
  • white correction fluid




Instructor: John Downer

Think Big Think Small
Mr. Downer has been a journeyman sign painter since 1973, a freelance typeface designer since 1983, and a crusader for designers’ rights his entire adult life in the lettering game. He has written about type and type history for various publications, and he is widely known as a perceptive type critic. His typefaces have been published by Bitstream, Font Bureau, Emigre, House Industries, and Design Lab. Stylistically, his designs refer to various eras of history and means of letterform production: 19th- and 20th-century American sign painting and show card writing; 19th- and 20th-century American chromolithography and wood type; 18th-century European book types; 15th- and 16th-century Chancery cursive writing styles; 15th- and 16th-century Venetian printing; and 2nd-century Imperial Roman epigraphy.



Venue