Last week I went home to Bulgaria to run a lettering workshop at a conference I helped to organise called Typofest. Back home the Cyrillic alphabet signifies independence and is very important to people, but I was amazed by the media attention we received. Over the course of one week I was interviewed by the Bulgarian equivalent of Time Out and invited to appear on national radio and TV. It was quite nerve wracking but really exciting and all the coverage meant the workshop I was running with Maria Doreuli was a sell out. Here I am in Programata and live on air!
Lettering is a specific combination of letterforms crafted for a single use and purpose. It has become an integral part of contemporary visual communication: from book covers, posters and banners to t-shirts and logos. It is different to calligraphy and type design, and requires a particular set of skills. Lettering can be used to add a really personal touch to a design, and a distinctive style which cannot be achieved with ordinary digital typography.
We ran the workshop over 3 days providing an overview of lettering, with a focus on drawing techniques. The students came from a range of backgrounds and all went through a set of practical exercises to help them understand basic principles: construction of letterforms and their different parameters (weights, widths, contrast…), composition, spacing, style and detailing.
We gave demonstrations to help participants learn about various tools, techniques and models. And examples of how these skills can be used by designers in their normal practice.
Throughout the workshop we used a series of group and individual critiques to take the participants from the first sketch through to their final pieces. The students worked really hard and the work produced was brilliant. Watch this space for more lettering workshops in the UK!
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