Spencerian Lettering

Spencerian Lettering Class New York

Spencerian Lettering

Registration Status: Check Availability

Session Dates: December 02, 2017 - December 03, 2017

Cost: $440.00

Not to be confused with the handwriting of the 1800s, Spencerian Lettering is a unique style of hand-drawn script innovated during the latter half of the 20th century. Its lively forms, embellished strokes and distinctive styling make Spencerian Lettering especially well-suited for posters, labels, book jackets, editorial work and advertisements. In this workshop students will learn how to create and implement Spencerian Lettering for various design applications.

By means of a series of introductory skill-building exercises, students will acquire the basics for drawing upper- and lowercase letterforms, along with the flourishing methods that are particular to the style. In addition to typical Spencerian models, slide presentations and drawing demonstrations will also cover the extravagant Italian Hand, a related style that features voluptuous stroke-endings, unusual contrast and exceptionally lavish forms. Further instruction and examples will illustrate how Spencerian and related styles can be utilized in modern design settings.

Meets: Saturday, Sunday 10:00 am. -05:00 pm.

Required Materials

  • No. 2 pencils (conventional or mechanical)
  • pencil sharpener (if applicable)
  • erasers (conventional and kneaded)
  • pad of tracing paper (9″×12″ pad is recommended)
  • pad of quadrille 4×4 grid/graph paper (9″×12″ pad, 4 squares per inch is recommended)
  • 12 inch ruler
  • Sharpie® Fine and Extra Fine markers
  • white-out correction fluid pen
  • adhesive tape (for posting sketches)

Please note that much of the content of this workshop was introduced during my 2016 four-day summer class, Advanced Techniques In Script Lettering.

This workshop will focus on conventional drawing techniques intended to underscore the principles of Spencerian Lettering. Although workshop participants will not be using vector drawing software, a brief presentation on digitization will be given.


Students MUST enroll 5 business days prior to the course start date, The final day to register is Oct. 5th., students enrolling after this date will pay a $15 late fee.

Course Code: $149965

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.