Typeface design education from Cooper Union
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Brush Script Lettering
with Ken Barber

It's hard to match the warmth and appeal of highly adaptable brush script lettering. Friendly and flexible, the conversational tone of brush letters make them ideal for a wide range of applications, from advertisements and editorials to packaging and logo design.

During this his two-day info-packed workshop you’ll gain a fundamental understanding of pointed-brush script letterforms. With the help of assorted tools, techniques, and reference models, you’ll learn the basics of the style one stroke at a time, before honing your drawing skills to take a wordmark from concept to completion. Comprehensive slide presentations, live drawing demonstrations, insightful skill-building exercises, and one-on-one personal critiques will provide further guidance as you acquire a practical foundation for writing, drawing, and applying brush script lettering in a variety of design contexts.

In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • the origins of commercial brush script lettering
  • how to construct brush letterforms stroke by stroke
  • techniques for using common writing and drawing tools
  • how to size and space cursive brush letters
  • methods for modifying hand-drawn brush script
  • strategies for composing eye-catching lettering layouts
  • how to effectively implement brush script in your own personal and professional lettering work

You’ll need the following materials for the workshop:

  • No.2 pencils (conventional or mechanical)
  • pencil sharpener, if applicable
  • eraser
  • pad of tracing paper, at least 8.5″ x 11″
  • ruler
  • Sharpie® Fine and Extra Fine markers
  • adhesive tape for posting sketches
  • a copy of House Industries Lettering Manual is not required, but it’s highly recommended

A pair of brush markers will be supplied to participants for a materials fee of $10, payable to the instructor at the beginning of the workshop.

Please note that this workshop focuses on manual exercises using pointed brush markers and conventional analog drawing instruments. Although students will not be using any electronic tablets or software, the principles and practices introduced in this class are applicable to digital environments.

Registration is now closed

Sat, December 9 – Sun, December 10, 2023

Number of sessions: 2

Where: On campus

About Ken Barber

Ken Barber
Ken Barber is a letterer, type designer, author, and instructor. He blames Don Martin comics, Santa Cruz skateboard graphics, and speed metal logos for his obsession with letterforms. For over 25 years, Ken has produced distinctive logos for global brands and created award-winning fonts. His work is part of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. Ken is the type director and studio letterer at House Industries. Author of three books, his award-winning Lettering Manual was released in 2020.