Freehand Lettering

Freehand Lettering with Ken Barber

Freehand Lettering

Registration Status: This course is no longer being offered

Session Dates: May 05, 2018 - May 06, 2018

Cost: $440.00

The use of freely written letterforms is a sure-fire way to add charm and appeal to logotypes and wordmarks. The friendly tone and alluring rhythm of casual scripts—such as handwriting, signatures, and the like—add a personal touch to any variety of visual communication.

This workshop will provide an introduction to freehand lettering, with an emphasis on its use in branding, advertising, and editorial design. Practical skill-building drawing exercises —highlighting assorted writing tools and techniques— will guide participants as they transform pen-written studies into hand-lettered wordmarks.

Workshop presentations, demonstrations and materials will examine the fundamentals that contribute to the successful creation of hand-made letterforms. Individual one-on-one critiques will provide further guidance as students acquire a practical foundation for producing and implementing freehand lettering in various design contexts.

Meets Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Required Materials

  • No.2 pencils (conventional or mechanical)
  • pencil sharpener, if applicable
  • eraser
  • pad of tracing paper, at least 8.5" x 11"
  • 12" ruler
  • Sharpie® Fine and Extra Fine marker
  • adhesive tape for posting sketches
  • Additional items will be supplied for an extra materials fee of $10, payable to the instructor at the beginning of the workshop.

Please note that although participants may choose to focus on the manual exercises introduced during this workshop, comprehensive vector-drawing instruction will be covered. With that in mind, students are encouraged to bring a laptop with a licensed copy of Adobe Illustrator installed.


The final day to register is Feb. 2nd., students enrolling after this date will pay a $15 late fee.

Course Code: 157309

Instructor(s): Ken Barber

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.