9 June 2016

Typography Workshop

Alphabet is code: typography workshop with Nicole Arnett Phillips, Auckland

Saturday 2nd July, 10.00am–4.00pm


ACG Yoobee School of Design
Level 4, 3 City Rd, Auckland


Alphabet is code.
Typography can and should perform both directly and indirectly. In this hands-on masterclass we begin with examining the origins and evolution of visual language to explore the different ways text conveys meaning. Designing letterforms is a discipline of limitation rather than creative freedom, but the bounds of familiarity are the perfect restraints to begin creative exploration, experimentation and expression.


As a group we will discuss what sound looks like and explore mechanisms to visually express the tone, inflection and emotion of spoken language.Through a series of guided sequential drawings, participants learn a number of techniques to construct and deconstruct conventional, abstract and expressive glyphs, letterforms and characters (in a variety of genres — serif, sans, slab and script). Attendees will undertake 15 pencil sketch exercises to warm up (as they get an understanding of the concepts and drawing techniques), before creating their own piece of hand-generated typography that conveys meaning both figuratively and literally.


Learning Outcomes:


  • Exploring the origins, anatomy and vernacular of typography.
  • Understanding recognition, legibility, archetypal forms and the visuallogic of typography.
  • Using varied techniques for creating typography by hand.
  • Gaining insight to the maths (geometry) and magic (common optical illusions/adjustments) used in typography.
  • Participants will also deepen their understanding of typographic tone, what sound looks like and the relationship between visual and verbal language.


Participants will need:

  • 3 x A4 sheets of trace
  • 20 x A4 sheets of drawing paper (white)
  • 1 HB pencil
  • 1 blue coloured pencil
  • 1 ruler, an eraser and a sharpener are always handy too.


We will supply printed notes/tools/tips/tricks/cheat-sheets


19 x A4 printed pages

About the facilitator:


My Name is Nicole Arnett Phillips. I am a homesick Aucklander! I have a design consulting business Nico!eap and also write, teach, publish, and curiously explore my profession as Typograph.Her.


I am an accomplished designer with 16 years experience in delivering creative, legible designs for the publishing, built environment and fashion industries.


A self-confessed nerd, I am particularly fond of the science and geometry behind letterforms, as well as the formulas that promote legibility. I get really excited by negative space in typography, and love to experiment with deconstruct/abstract typographic form.


I celebrate and relish design methodology and process in all my creative work.


As a a printmaker, I use letterpress to test ideas, experiment, play and continue my own learning.


I am a published author on the fields of typography and design, and have been recognised with a number of local and international publishing, art and design awards.


I divide my working week between design consultancy (client/commission) and self-generated publishing, typographic and printmaking adventures.




$365 Professional / $325 Design Assembly Friend (Not a Design Assembly Friend? Click here for details)
$199 Design Assembly Student Friend (Not a Design Assembly Student Friend? It’s free to sign up. Click here for details)


Tickets available via Eventbrite.
Book Auckland.
Book Hamilton. (Wintec students should purchase tickets through the Wintec office via email).


(15 people maximum Akl, 20 people Hamilton. This workshop requires a minimum of 8 people to run.)
Book early to secure your spot.



Terms and Conditions:
No refund within 24 hours of the workshop date.
50% deposit refund within 8 days of the workshop date.
Tickets are transferable to other people not to other DA workshops.