Exciting New Initiative – Copperplate Club!

To continue to nurture those who share our affinities is intrinsic to our thinking and way of being. With this in mind, the School’s New Copperplate Club is our latest exciting initiative, which is made all the more exciting because it is solely owned and driven by our Students. It stems from our original mission to develop a community of hands on makers who are passionate about much more than hanging out and drinking beer! This is a sincere community of dedicated people who aspire to actively creating Lettercraft excellence (and having fun).


The School’s soul mission: To bring design learning right back to the basics by re-prioritising that which mainstream design education has sadly lost (the building of tacit embodied knowledge by using your hands) has rightly gained unprecedented momentum in 2015, with 300% increase of enrolments across both our program and short courses. Without doubt the school has tapped a deeply seated need.  Resulting in the School outgrowing its original home studio space, and moving into its beautiful new Brunswick Maker’s space called The Lettercraft Lab. Of course this means that the School has developed and continues to build an ever burgeoning community of skilled letterers, so it’s now time to take things up a notch and announce the birth of our new “Copperplate Club”.

What is the Copperplate Club?

OSNS is more than a shop or a business,  we care deeply about quality learning and what that learning means. We don’t want to abandon those who learn their skill at Old School New School. It is not about coming here and doing a one day masterclass, never to return. Because it is after the class when you are practising that you will find that gaps in your knowledge emerge, and we don’t want you to feel that true skill is beyond you.  For people who are really keen (and I know that feeling too well) our new, free copperplate club in our stunning new Brunswick Lettercraft Lab is a super friendly welcoming space, where all you need to do is turn up once a month with your work, and ask questions to get the further guidance you need to empower yourself, to build your skill and feel proud of your achievement. This is because we truly want you to become the best that you can be. We are friendly, inclusive and welcoming. This is a super place not only to build your skills, but also to hang out with inspiring clever people who are super keen. Each monthly meetup will be well structured with exercises to help you develop your skill. You won’t just sit there feeling lost.


Why We Want You to Become Excellent 

Unfortunately, as the trend for hand lettering grows, the general public and too many members of our design profession are celebrating anything that is hand lettered, believing much of it to be good. The reality is that alot of it is actually pretty ordinary. The reason so many do believe the ordinary to be good is because most of us are digital natives. Digital natives honestly haven’t learned to understand the difference, and practice fast Typography (which is grabbing a font off the menu on the computer). On the other hand, the very few who have taken the effort to step away from the computer, and using their hands to create titles, logos, and lettering are so rare !  Through drawing type by hand, these precious few have true understanding of how quality letterforms are constructed. They are discerning and fussy ! and rightly so !  Hence the march of mediocre hand lettering that follows safe formulas grows and grows. We envisage that members of our Copperplate Club Community will evangelise the understanding of what makes good hand lettering, and typography !


Why a Copperplate Club? and not a Brush Script Club? or General Lettering Club? 

With it’s  focus on core skill, and it’s own dedicated space this Lettering Club is very special. Copperplate is a key foundation skill to have under your belt. In the golden days of hand lettering in the first half of the 20th Century, Script (as Copperplate was then named ) was the foundation skill commercial letterers learned before they went on to learn brush script. This is because Copperplate (unlike the flat nib) relies on very fine finger control of pressure and release for stroke width, whereas , the nib itself creates the stroke widths in flat pen calligraphy. Copperplate is definitely trickier as you cannot rely on the nib. When you learn copperplate, you learn a sweeping push and lift of pressure rythm with the pen that the brush script lettering style also uses. That is to say you learn to actually lift the pen at certain stages of word execution. This becomes embedded as your “muscle memory”, and which gives brush script newbies a huge advantage and saves them much frustration.  The other reason for Copperplate is that it is essentially a classic and enduring letterform that withstands the ups and downs of trends.

How to Join the Copperplate Club? 

It’s simple to join. Just complete our one day copperplate masterclass. Upon completion, you will receive an email invitation to join the Club’s Group page on Facebook. This page will keep those of you who want to build your skill up to speed with what is going on. Additionally, all masterclass participants have the option to attend (for free) one more two hour remedial after they have complted their one day class, to consolidate their learning  and get them on the right track.

Promotional Opportunities For You 

This is also a promotional opportunity to have your best work showcased to OSNS’s highly esteemed audience of instagram followers. Social media is about quality not quantity, and OSNS is followed by the best. The world’s leading Type experts and Letterers follow our Instagram. Such as the New York Type Directors Club, The Herb Luballin Centre in New York, Monotype, Eye Magazine – just to name a few , and we are keen to showcase your work. We are also keen to develop professional opportunities for our best Calligraphers as demand for fine work grows and grows for custom lettering !

Exhibitions and Projects 

OSNS is all about interesting and fun projects, and if you want to, you can expect the opportunity to collaborate with our best talent on some exciting new creative projects and exhibitions, laden with meaning and significance, that will help you to raise your profile, but more importantly,  also build your skill and learn at the same time !

What You will Need to Bring 

Bring your equipment, nibs, ink and latest project work, no matter what the level you are working on. This could be complete beginners who have just started, or calligraphers who have been with OSNS from when the School started. If you wish you can work on your project, or you can join in the skill building exercises that  will be suggested by club leaders on the night. We encourage you to share your knowledge with the group too, with ideas and offers to run the club are definitely encouraged. This is your club ! There will be a limited supply of Niko G Nibs, inks and paper to buy also if you need them.



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