Planting the Seeds for Creating a Script Typeface Design

Planting the Seeds for Creating a Script Typeface Design
with Richard Lipton

Offered by Type@Cooper West
Workshop at Letterform Archive
Sat–Sun, Nov 11–12, 2017
10:00am–5:00pm PDT

What exactly are scripts? They can defy categorization. Generally developed by seventeenth century commercial scribes as a result of naturally writing more quickly to accommodate the growing fast-paced business of the day and to promote their own talent with a pen, these practical flowing styles of writing have many historic branches that begin with the advent of the Carolingian miniscule. Scripts can be defined as a form of handwriting, often cursive in nature, having generally continuous strokes that connect some or all letters. We will explore some of the more clearly documented historical origins of both formal and informal script styles and gain some insight of their transition into modern type designs. We will also investigate calligraphic and drawn approaches to this style in its many variations using a variety of tools and exercises in addition to gaining a working knowledge of the dynamics of spacing and joining script characters. We will also focus on the practical aspects of what is needed in order to create a digital script typeface.

Required Materials
  • Basic calligraphy supplies you already have including assorted dip pens, fountain pens, black ink (e.g. Higgins Eternal), various sized black markers, copperplate pens (optional if you’re comfortable using these) If you are bringing ink and paper, make sure there is no bleeding
  • 11x17 Canson Graph & Layout paper, or a white layout paper; quality Tracing Paper
  • Medium and hard Pencils and/or Mechanical Pencils
  • I like (black) Sakura Pigma Sensei pens for letter sketching, 4, 5 and 6 mm
  • A black Brush Pen if you like them
  • Eraser / Kneaded Rubber Eraser
  • A straightedge (if not using graph paper)
  • Optional: a laptop running whatever vector editing software you have; Adobe Illustrator, Glyphs or RoboFont

A workshop offered by Type@Cooper West, a collaboration between Letterform Archive and The Cooper Union Continuing Education Department, and held in the Monotype Classroom at Letterform Archive.

About Richard Lipton
Richard Lipton

While studying art and design in college, a chance exposure to a dramatic calligraphic piece ignited his passion for letterforms. After transitioning from a career as an independent designer, letterer, and calligrapher, followed by an eight-year stint at Bitstream, Lipton joined Font Bureau; in 2016, he established Lipton Letter Design, one of Type Network’s original foundry partners. Lipton is also on the faculty at RISD, where he teaches type design and has taught calligraphy. His diverse output is characterized by an innate elegance derived from the calligrapher’s hand. He is the designer of many scripts, including Bickham, Sloop, Tangier, Avalon, Savanna and Delaney.