A few weeks ago I spent a sunny Saturday taking a hand-lettering workshop with Berlin-based letterer Martina Flor of goodtype.co. It was held in a fab artists’ supply shop called Jackson’s which is about a ten minute walk from my home here in Stoke Newington. The class, generally aimed at creative types, was all about creating and sketching our own lettering piece while getting advice from Martina on how to improve our process.
First, Martina talked us through some of her work, including for commissions for clients including Etsy, Esquire, Penguin books and Harrods, as well as self-initiated pieces for exhibitions.
She then explained her process for creating a new type piece and gave us a demo. Basically she starts with a loose composition sketch and lays tracing paper over the top, adding more details and making revisions where needed.
While we had a go, Martina walked around giving tips and advice.
It was a bit difficult for me to separate lettering from calligraphy. Martina explained that while calligraphy can be useful in learning about pressure, line weights and character consistency, hand-lettering is a much more free process so you shouldn’t feel bound by any ‘rules’. However it’s still important to ensure there’s a rhythm through the piece and shared characteristics between the letters so they create a cohesive whole.
I did about a million versions, ran out of time, and my piece is still not finished! I came away with a better understanding of how to improve my process, composition and letter-making though. Next time I would like to push myself and try something completely different away from the calligraphic style.
Disclosure: I received a discount on my ticket from Martina.