Found Lettering: How to Discover Inspiration Anywhere

Found Lettering: How to Discover Inspiration Anywhere with Ken Barber

Found Lettering: How to Discover Inspiration Anywhere with Ken Barber

Cost: $485.00

Saturday & Sunday, April 4 & 5, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Lettering artists can devise new styles and broaden creative skills, simply by observing examples found in their everyday surroundings —from neon signs and car emblems, to album covers and book jackets. This simple yet effective technique for generating new work is achieved by expanding on clues found in existing letterforms. Examining patterns in familiar specimens, participants will learn how to identify and decode the basic systems underlying all well-made lettering. Students will then adapt those elements to their hand-drawn logos and wordmarks. Not only does this approach provide a method for retracing the decision-making of other artists, but it gives letterers a fresh perspective on their own work.

Detailed presentations, instructional drawing demonstrations, skill-building exercises, and one-on-one discussions will further assist workshop attendees as they gain a practical understanding for producing inspired lettering in a variety of design settings.

Required Materials

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

Please note that the material in this workshop was included in the instructor’s four-day class, Lettering Tricks and Techniques, conducted at The Cooper Union in June, 2019.

Registration for this workshop will open on January 8th. 

Course Code: TFD63

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.