Color & Composition

Sign Class Color and Composition with John Downer in NYC

Color and Composition

Registration Status: This course is no longer being offered

Session Dates: April 14, 2018 - April 15, 2018

Cost: $440.00

Sign painting has long been practiced by professionals who understand the importance of arranging prioritized copy effectively and assigning color values expertly. This workshop will cover several of the most accepted approaches to laying out lettering and making it work chromatically. Among the topics covered will be color theory, basic color combinations, and terminology.

Also taught, will be the fundamental considerations for arranging compositional elements for dynamic effect.

Students will be urged to explore various aspects of elementary sign design and color value selection for the sake of utilizing high, medium, and low contrast, as ways of elegantly expressing a clear graphic message.

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

Required Materials

  • Soft lead pencil
  • Black ballpoint pen
  • Black fine point Sharpie
  • Metal ruler
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto knife (#11 blade)
  • Apron (optional)
  • $30 materials fee will cover tempera paint, card stock, colored paper, 1/4" brush and a color wheel

Students will be urged to explore various aspects of elementary sign design and color value selection for the sake of utilizing high, medium, and low contrast, as ways of elegantly expressing a clear graphic message.


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

Instructor(s): John Downer

  • 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.