Thinking With Your Hands

Thinking With Your Hands
with Cyrus Highsmith

Type West Public Workshop
Online Workshop
Sat–Sun, Dec 5–6, 2020
10:00am–5:00pm PT

Learn a messy, hands-on, computer-free way of making letters with world–renowned type designer Cyrus Highsmith.

Letters can be drawn in so many different ways. Cyrus Highsmith’s approach is based heavily on the importance of white space and sensitivity to shapes. It’s a method he applies to type design as well as image making of all kinds. For Highsmith, it’s a way of seeing the world. This workshop will be a messy, hands-on, and computer-free exploration of drawing, making, and thinking about letters.

Each day will be a series of demos and conversations with lots of time in between to work independently. We will experiment and play with different ways of drawing and thinking about letters. Techniques may include stencils, low-tech printing, collage, and painting. Participants should be ready for new experiences, experimentation, play, and failure. The results will be shared in an online gallery.

Required Materials
  • 6oz/177ml of sumi ink (or any black ink)
  • Wide dish for ink you can dip into
  • Flat watercolor brush (.5” or approx 1cm)
  • Wooden chopsticks (for drawing with)
  • Sponge or foam you can cut up
  • Scraps of cardboard
  • White paper (approx letter/A4 size or bigger, copier paper, or bond paper)
  • Xacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum can to cut up
  • Craft sticks
  • Masking tape
  • Rubber erasers
  • Glue stick
  • Optional Materials
    • 4mm round/bullet tip paint marker (empty)
    • Sheet of acetate or plexiglass or glass (approximately letter/A4 size)
    • Brayer
    • Newspaper to protect your table
About Cyrus Highsmith
Cyrus Highsmith

Cyrus Highsmith is a letter drawer and graphic artist. His type foundry, Occupant Fonts, offers dozens of his original typefaces. He teaches type design at Rhode Island School of Design. He wrote and illustrated the acclaimed primer Inside Paragraphs: Typographic Fundamentals. In 2015, he received the Gerrit Noordzij Prize for extraordinary contributions to the fields of type design, typography, and type education. In 2017, he became Creative Director for Latin Type Development at Morisawa USA.

See more events