First Dimension Drawing for Typographers



4 June 2015


11 June 2015
2 available places


Old School New School

It is sad that many come to our Lettercraft Lab to learn to draw letters, yet struggle with the fundamentals of how draw a precise shape or line. Sadly these  people have never been given the basics ! So fixated is our stupid schooling system with drilling down Cos, Sine and Cosine while it completely dismisses the multi faceted value that the skill of drawing by hand brings. Meanwhile we wonder whydepression rates are soaring, why we shop till we drop, and why we sit around making ourselves obese.

Drawing is better than yoga. It makes you happy. Drawing connects you with who you really are in ways that Yoga never can, and it really doesn't take much to learn to draw if someone just shows you how. Drawing is the most primitive and meaningful form of creativity, based on a sensory experience, that enables us to feel, see and contemplate. Those who are regular drawers, whether that be graphic designers, motion designers, artists and illustrators, herald the effictiveness and simple joy of translating thoughts to paper. On a personal level, I believe that my own skill as a drawer has enabled me to weather many an emotional storm. And of course drawing by hand makes us better hand letterers, calligraphers, and typographers. 

It's time to shut your laptop lid, turn off the wi-fi and sharpen your pencils! Old School New School's Drawing Course is for everyone. In a risk free learning environment, it will empower digital natives to practice as designers, typographers and ideas people, to give  control of visual depiction and ideas and heightening our ability to SEE (I mean to really see). If you feel that you missed out on the special drawing specific to Typography and Graphic Design during your uni coursework this empowering course is for you. 

Why LEARN to draw?

Everything starts with drawing, and it is the first dimension of typographic design. We firmly believe that drawing imparts the knowledge that will provide the foundation and understanding to enable you to be a more confident creative hand letterer, typographer and designer. For the thinking designer, drawing helps to build a conceptual foundation that guides every project you do, compared to your colleagues who won’t even pick up a pencil. The underlying principles gained through the practice of drawing extend beyond the medium itself, but relate to the process and outcomes of all visual work and one's observation of the world we live in. Ultimately, you are learning to truly SEE.

Knowing and understanding how to draw is vital because it is an act of invention. Drawing or writing using pencil and paper is a grounding exercise, allowing for clearer, freer expression and creativity, and a deeper conceptual understanding of the task at hand, or the perception of a space or problem. This is highly valuable in an era of appropriation when 80% of the work we see is copied, thanks to the visual overload of the internet.

Drawing is a sensory experience that enables us to feel and see. Those who are regular drawers, whether that be graphic designers, motion designers, artists and illustrators, herald the effictiveness and simple joy of getting into the zone of "flow" and translating thoughts to paper. It feels so good ! It empowers you ! 

Drawings by students of the Bauhaus, an excerpt from Johannes Itten's Design and Form.

Drawing and typography

If you believe that the role of drawing in design practice needs elevation from its diminished status, this course is for you. It is more than simply reconnecting your eyes and hands, it will actually redress the analogue expertise that so many of us lack.

Drawing also builds a designer’s skill in analysing the form and structure of everything he or she sees. Drawing abstract structures sharpens a typographer/designer’s perception of compositional relationships and structure. Drawing images that are non-pictorial builds a typographer’s conceptual and interpretive skills and impacts confidence positively. Drawing strengthens a typographer’s eye and hand.

Type and letterforms are abstract line drawings, and therefore typography and drawing should not exist without one another. Drawing typefaces and letter based word marks train the eye and hand, offering unique opportunities for fresh experimentation, which is not afforded digitally, and doesn’t need to be defined by a predetermined computer output.

Finally, as typographers, we are the makers of meaning. Typographic choices afford meaning to every message conveyed. As typographers we are essentially storytellers, and type is our weapon of choice. Creatively finessed type will provoke, disturb, entertain and inspire. In our hyperconnected digital world of interruption, drawing always was and always will connect us to what it is to be human, to our history (the old) and our future (the new).

"I can't draw..." 

... When in fact, you can. Old School New School's drawing short course is created specifically for non-drawers and drawers alike. Drawing is simply mark making, and as these marks accumulate, they give form to a subject or idea. Even more simply, drawing is about learning to see. The key is analysis and understanding. It's about translating the details of something you see in front of you, or something in your mind, to a page. For visual communicators, the basic fundamentals are the same; conveying a meaning or idea through visual representation made with lines or shapes. The aims of the drawer are parallel to those of the typographer. For both to be successful, it is about control – controlling line weight, angles, spacing. Both languages relate. Confidence in drawing is confidence in designing, seeing and thinking, and the key to a successful drawing and to a successful piece of design or typography, is consistency across the fundamental elements and design principles.

How these sessions work

Over TWO Thursday night sessions, you have the opportunity to actively build your drawing practice and gain confidence with your drawing via a series of specially devised skill building exercises which will ultimately enable you to better convey ideas and depicting type. Students will establish a solid grounding of observational drawing with their choice of media. A small practice task will be introduced to encourage drawing in between sessions. You will receive alot of demonstrations and one on one practical help. 

We will cover the following essential design principles
Alignment, rythm, rotation, grid, proportion, structure, vertical diagonal horizontal curved, shape, height, width, mark, line, mass, direction,  movement, texture, gesture, rhthym, positive/negative, depth, 

Number of Sessions 

Two Thursday night sessions of 3 hours, plus 3–4 hours of homework.

Who is it for?

Those who: 

  • are looking to reconnect with the sensory world of working by hand and want to experience the rewarding benefits.
  • missed out on drawing during their formal design education.
  • want to have fun.
  • are from other design disciplines who are interested in drawing and typography, or who simply want to understand how drawing can open up your creative possibilties. 
  • are practising graphic designers and typographers who want a better understanding of fundamental typographic principles to apply to their professional practice and help them to be better designers. 

You will gain:

A broader visual vocabulary derived from new ways of thinking about and approaching type and letterform.

Improved typographic knowledge and skill to apply to all aspects of design, such as: corporate identity, word marks, publication, infographics, posters, packaging.

Confidence as a designer.

Improved conceptual thinking.

Improved skill as storyteller. 

Skills in editing and refining 

Confidence to draw by hand ! 

Some beautiful hand made drawings

Happiness and inner peace 



Please bring your choice of preferred materials:

– paper

– pencils of various weights

– charcoal

– markers

– erasers

– tissues



Two Thursdays 7-10 pm


$160 covers BOTH Thursday night sessions.

Thursday June 4, 7-10pm

Thursday June 11, 7-10pm

Participants must bring their own materials. Including Cartridge paper, an array of soft and medium lead pencils, erasers and charcoal