Recently Fairgoods hosted Tickling Béziers Calgary: A Three-Day Type Design Workshop at the Fluevog Museum. The immersive workshop was taught by type designer and lettering artist Neil Summerour. It included exploring hand lettering with brush, marker, pencil, and pen techniques, aAs well as learning how to refine and bring your composition into the digital space.

Throughout the three days, Neil gave various demonstrations, as well as  one-on-one demos when someone needed an extra nudge in the right direction. After warming up we were all hard at work developing our compositions and getting bolder, sometimes too bold, with our swashes and variations.

The group critique on day two was especially interesting. With all of the attendees working hard on their own compositions, it was really valuable to take a step back and appreciate how far we had come from where we started, and how far we all still had to go. There was a lot of variation in of style within our group, not only in lettering but in word choice as well.

At the end of day two everyone had a composition ready to be digitized and developed further on Day Three. On Day Three attendees had the choice to continue working on hand skills or to follow along with Neil’s presentation on proper digitizing techniques. This is where unlearning bad habits and picking up good ones is key in order to accurately depict our letters. The day involved practice in manipulating bézier curves in Adobe Illustrator and, for a few students, an introduction to Glyphs. As we were wrapping up our digital work, Neil gave each attendee a hand lettered piece of their name as a keepsake from the weekend.

For many of the attendees a portion of the workshop was spent unlearning bad habits; everything from holding a pen or pencil inefficiently, poor posture, to terrible digital habits no one knew existed. While we tried to correct our bad behaviours we were also trying to pick up the new skills and tricks as Neil doled them out. Despite the learning curve, the three days were fun and extremely interesting.

Fairgoods would like to extend a special thank you to Typostrophe and Fluevog for their part in making this workshop happen.

Many thanks to you Neil, Calgary cannot wait to have you back!

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 Photos by Grant Hutchinson.