Ken Barber, a type designer and letterer at House Industries, rarely makes it to the midwest for his seminars, so I was pumped to head one state over to finally meet some social media pals like the great Bob Ewing and attend my first lettering workshop.
Ken and the Element Three folks really blew me away with this workshop. The day began with a script lettering presentation from Ken, who really knows how to carry a crowd. We focused on formal script in the morning having a chance to try our hand at properly duplicating many of the intricacies involved with building proper roundhand letterforms.
The second half of the day was dedicated to informal lettering, and putting our newfound knowledge to paper once again after Ken illustrated a variety of techniques used for pumping more character into a formal script typeface. We were instructed to choose one of the typefaces in our packet as a guide and letter a word of our choosing.
Ken spent the remainder of the afternoon giving us one on one feedback specific to our piece before we concluded and voted on the works that best executed the lessons of the day.
Having been taught by and studying from masters like the late Doyald Young, Ken stresses the importance of the historical development of letterforms which is beyond evident in his work, and makes him an indispensable resource to us as lovers of letters. Indeed there are many talented letterers out there sharing their gifts, but a select few exude the same "je ne sais quoi" that is prevalent in a Ken Barber piece.
If you ever have the opportunity to participate in a [fuse] Sessions workshop, you must! Grabbing Ken for their first session was a sign of very big things to come. I learned a lot, I made some hugely talented, creative friends, ate like a king, and left feeling like i made off like a bandit with some cool Type & Lettering swag and a comfy tee.