Letterform Archive – From forms to alphabets: Sketching and investigating experimental letterforms


From forms to alphabets: Sketching and investigating experimental letterforms

From forms to alphabets: Sketching and investigating experimental letterforms
with Sun Helen Isdahl Kalvenes, Maria Doreuli

Type West Public Workshop
Workshop at Letterform Archive
Sat–Sun, Feb 9–10, 2019
10:00am–5:00pm PT

In this two day analog workshop we will be working hands on to investigate how to come up with original ideas, shapes, and letterforms. Spend the weekend exploring various sketching techniques, experimenting with tools, and doing fast sketching exercises.

Learn about how the different letter parts can be reused, repurposed and modified. We will investigate the various components that make up a letterform by looking at and decomposing the alphabet. Leave your computers at home, and lets get our hands dirty, by crafting, looking at and analyzing all kinds of letterforms. Your results will be personal and unique, and as a bonus we assure you some happy accidents will occur.

No previous experience needed.

Required Materials
  • White tracing paper
  • Large sheets of black & white paper
  • Black sharpies
  • White out
  • Ink and plastic cups
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors & X-acto knife
  • Glue & tape
About Sun Helen Isdahl Kalvenes

Sun Helen Isdahl Kalvenes is a type and graphic designer from Stavanger, Norway. She enjoys working with all kinds of type related projects, small and large, from custom typefaces to individual logotypes and type treatments. She holds a BA degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts school of Design in Copenhagen, and a MA from TypeMedia at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. She is currently living in Oakland, California with her husband and son.

About Maria Doreuli

Maria Doreuli was born and raised in Moscow. The interest in fine arts and graphic arts lead her to Moscow State University of Printing where besides the academical art classes she gained an interest in typography and type design. Under the guidance of Alexander Tarbeev during 2006-2010 she designed her graduation project William (published at Typotheque in 2016). Laking an opportunity to collaborate with experienced type designers in Moscow Maria kept working as a graphic designer during 2009-2012 combining it with occasional type-related projects in her free time. In 2012 after a second attempt she was accepted to Type and Media course in the Hague where she focused on the ways to integrate sketching in type design process. This resulted in her graduation project Chimera. Since then Maria believes in the power of emotion and working with passion. She founded an independent studio Contrast Foundry in 2014 which became international in 2018 when Maria moved to the US. Craving for new challenges and not willing to limit herself in a local type scene Maria relocated to San Francisco and is now working with her colleagues in Moscow across the ocean. Maria's work was awarded by many prestigious awards including Type Directors Club, ADC, Letter.2, Morisawa among others.

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