Intro to Hand Lettering


Mar 12th,

1:00pm — 5:00pm


About The Workshop

Lettering is a highly marketable skill that is quickly becoming essential for artists working in design, advertising, illustration, and other creative fields. The warmth and personality of hand-drawn logos and branding can’t be matched by off-the-shelf retail fonts. In this half-day workshop, participants will be introduced to the fundamentals and advantages of custom lettering. Students will begin by learning the main principles that govern successful lettering. Next, referencing familiar typographic models, participants will utilize simple yet effective techniques to modify letterforms during a hands-on skill-building exercise. With the help of an instructive slide presentation, professional case studies, informative sketching demonstration, and helpful personal critiques, students will gain a practical understanding of how to execute and implement one-of-a-kind hand-lettering. Open to students of all skill levels. Students must be able to pick up a materials kit from the Sam Fox School the week of the workshop.

Cross Disciplinary Connections

Not only does drawing letterforms help to develop essential hand-skills, it reveals the value of craft, patience, and attention to detail. The foundational principles underlying the practice of lettering also apply to other visual disciplines like photography, illustration, and commercial design. Plus, lettering is just plain fun!


Participants in this workshops will learn how to:
• Create distinctive and memorable lettering
• Customize letterforms using simple yet effective methods
• Compose successful attention-getting layouts
• Evaluate lettering to avoid common mistakes
• Boost skill sets with proven tricks and techniques

Resources for Continued Investigation


  • 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 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 letterer at House Industries, and teaches at The Cooper Union. Author of three books, his House Industries Lettering Manual was released August 25, 2020.