This course is an intensive exploration of the world of hand lettering and calligraphy, where we will explore various styles and media, allowing you to experiment with a vast array of possibilities and find your own personal style or area you would like to explore: from traditional techniques and lettering styles, to new ideas and creative possibilities.
For a detailed overview of the course you may download the full course syllabus here.
What will you Learn after this course?
This course will give you the hands on practical experience you need to hone your craft through a series of workshops and lettering tasks.
We will also discuss theory, ideology, technique and process through lectures exposing yourself to a broad spectrum of subjects to help find your style/area of specialization as a hand letterer. All your work will be guided and critiqued by a professional lettering designer.
Meet the Tutor
I’m a multidisciplinary designer who finds fulfillment in creation, constantly striving to produce something meaningful. I’m also a do-it-yourselfer through & through, and whatever I create I attempt to focus on the nuance of something simple made with care & from scratch.
I got my Bachelor of Arts (First-Class Honours) in Graphic Design & Interactive Media at the MCAST Institute of Art and Design, where I specialised and wrote my thesis on the value and possibilities of print media and tactile design. This also lead to my studies in Bookbinding, paper craft and Leather working.
I spent 4.5 years at Anchovy. Studios PLC as Design Director where I specialised in Branding & typography, creating much of the typography from scratch. My role also involved Art Direction, where I was responsible for teaching & guiding over 20 aspiring designers from various countries, many of whom also joined my team as professional designers after their 3-6 month internships.
This past year I have ventured off on my own projects both commissioned and self-initiated, where above all I have been expanding into material design, hand lettering, packaging and co-starting a lifestyle product design studio.
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Lesson 1: Fundamentals & A Local Mindset
Calligraphy & hand lettering is a wider subject than many realize, from eastern to western renditions and through thousands of years of development, there are more than a lifetime-worth of subjects to explore. Therefore, we will outline what to expect from the course, and go through some noteworthy points to keep in mind as well as what tools we will need and use throughout the course.
We will also take a look at our local history in lettering, setting ourselves up for a fun workshop to get straight into hand lettering right away.
Lessons 2 & 3: ‘Tberfil’ Workshop
Throughout this course you will learn to build your lettering properly and discover all the nuances of lettering, but to get started we will work on an easy and fun exercise which will take us right away through the whole process, from sketching to planning & guidelines, to flourishes and colour. We will also learn how to build-up muscle memory on paper and then execute on the final piece
Lesson 4: Eastern Confidence
This is a study in brushstroke technique, where we will be inspired by Eastern lettering styles, learning how to use the brush properly and performing some simple brush exercises during the explanations
Lessons 5 & 6: Brush Workshop
Here we will further explore the gestures involved in brush lettering, making variations in weight contrast, different ink or paint viscosity, colour mixing all through the repetition of one letter or form. We will also prepare for the following workshop which involves the creation of a DIY lettering tool.
In the second session we will then use the tool you created to create bold one word pieces, building up your confidence and assessing what to look for to improve from one iteration to the next to create your own DIY cards
Lesson 7: Western structure
This is a study in the use of pens, which may be less familiar and more rigid in their use for most, so we will familiarize ourselves with some key points by practicing the fundamental techniques and learning how to use these tools properly and build up confidence through a series of gestures: waves, scribbles, flourishes, straight lines and geometric shapes
We will also see how to vary the pressure & keep your pen in the right position to create contrast and how these techniques and the tool itself determine the structure of the type.
Lessons 8 & 9: Pen Workshop
In this pen workshop we will study some simple classical styles of calligraphy, namely foundational hand, roman & italic. We will learn how to draw each letter in steps and using Nib widths vs height, as well as comparing and contrasting the same letters in different styles to better understand their anatomy. This will also give us the chance to start familiarizing ourselves with broader lettering concepts which will follow.
Lesson 10: Essentials for single letter Structure
This is where we do away with specific tools and focus more on the structure of the type, where you may continue in whichever style and medium you would like to develop, with the goal of creating your own style of lettering. We will study and apply further anatomy such as the main construction lines, and start developing lettering without any references.
Lessons 11 & 12: Essentials for joining letters into words
This is where we will start to understand the relationships between the letters in words, and how each letter affects another. This has implications on balance and Legibility, where we will discuss how to consider positive & negative space, kerning, distinguishing letters and weight.
We will also discuss the differences of designing for display purposes vs paragraph text, as well as how to structure our Hierarchy and Composition.
Finally we will run through Ligatures and joining letters – from full joint to semi joint and how to make design decisions according to the feel or project. We will also discuss what to look for in improving our iterations to create better looking words
Lessons 13 & 14: Types of Finishing
Here we will take a look at how to add finishing touches to your lettering such as: Flourishes , shadows, highlights, 3d effects and interior decoration through lines, dots & motifs. We will also run through a few practice techniques to gain confidence, and keep in mind some key points for successful finishing, and finally create a one word art piece to demonstrate certain principals in a project.
We will take a few minutes in the second lesson to Plan for the drop cap workshop to gather all the tools and references necessary to have a productive final session.
Lesson 15: Dropcap Workshop
This is where we will combine all of our knowledge in one final workshop by creating our own drop-cap design: from planning, to development to execution – this is where you can put all of the course knowledge to practice
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“Art Classes Malta is a very good and professional school in Malta. I loved the courses of Painting and Classical Realism. The tutors were amazing and the level and depth of these courses is unparalleled locally. I have enrolled for another course in Interior Design.. looking forward for this new experience as well!”Eman BusuttilAfter attending the Beginner Art programme and Classical Realism course
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