I had the opportunity to attend Letter Together, a lettering/type workshop organized by two amazing folks: one being Jessica (of the Hische fame) and the other being Erik (of Friends of Type). I knew this was going to be a good experience but it turned out to be way more awesome than I had imagined. Jessica is one of the most helpful person I know of in the industry. I know this first hand when I had gotten in touch with her over a personal lettering project. The fact that she answered all my stupid question without having known me or met me ever before was a gesture that I will always remember. And Erik is just the sweetest teacher you will ever meet. Together they took our group of 13 (2 letters each would make all alphabets) into a crash course on elementary type design.
We started off with amazing donuts and coffee that Jessica had brewed, quickly moving into sketching alphabets followed with a round of a really toned down critique. I say toned down but in no way was this ineffective. They kept dropping pearls of wisdom (I know a cliché but this was so true for them) as they talked about typography and lettering.
In the second half of the day we were all given 2 alphabets each that we had to draw on paper. We were later to draw them in Illustrator. Erik taught us a few tricks in Illustrator which really will make my life in Illustrator a hell lot easier. Both of them showed us their process and needless to say that was a revelation of the amount of hard work that they put into their work. By the end when we had got all our alphabets printed and critiqued we had well exceeded the original timings of the workshop. Despite that none of us really wanted to leave.
In hindsight this was one of the most amazing experience I have ever had learning from someone else. The act of really opening up your mind and your process, especially for something you are not great at, is very humbling. Add to that a pair of mentors who kept praising us to keep us motivated. The whole energy was so positive that it was refreshing. I really wish we have an advanced version and that I can attend it. For anyone who is interested in type design and lettering, if you get a chance please do attend it.
You can see more pictures from the day on Flickr.