Saint Louis
Ken Barber Lecture & Hand-Lettering Workshops

Written by
AIGA Saint Louis
February 11, 2014

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to become proficient in hand lettering! Join us March 7th at UMSL Grand Center for Ken’s starting lecture.


March 7, 7:00 pm
UMSL Grand Center, 3651 Olive Street St Louis, MO 63108


March 8-9, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
UMSL Fine Arts Building, 7701 Florissant Road St. Louis, MO 63121
Register: Student Member / Professional Member (non-student)
The University of Missouri — St. Louis AIGA Student Group and AIGA St. Louis are proud to invite Ken Barber, a type designer and letterer at House Industries, to UMSL for a Friday night lecture and weekend workshops. Ken will seek to educate the St. Louis community on the art of hand-lettering. The weekend will start with a general public lecture at UMSL Grand Center, 7:00 pm on Friday night followed by (2) one day hand-lettering workshops from 9:00am until 4:00pm in the UMSL Fine Arts Building. Saturday’s theme will consist of basic hand-lettering while Sunday’s theme will focus on more advanced script lettering. These workshops will provide participants with a basic overview of hand-lettering while referencing an assortment of letter styles and various techniques. An informative slide presentation, instructional demonstration and useful skill-building exercises will provide practical foundation for increased typographic and drawing skills.

Ken said, “Everything I’ve ever learned about lettering and type was from someone who was generous enough to share their knowledge in a book, classroom, lecture or workshop. I suppose I feel that teaching is my attempt to repay that debt”.



House Industries

During his formative years, Ken honed his drawing skills copying Don Martin comics from the pages of his older brother’s Mad magazine collection. After appearing on local television to discuss a winning design entry for his high school art show, Ken gained the confidence to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. In college, he befriended Allen Mercer and started freelancing for Brand Design. Based on some of the lettering he did for various school projects, Ken designed a few embarrassingly low royalty- earning fonts for House Industries before seeking his fortune as a graphic design personality in New York, where he languished away at several studios creating everything from employee benefits brochures to AAA baseball team mascots. His friends at House Industries rescued him from impending mediocrity by hiring him as a full-time employee in 1996. Since then, Ken has managed to get his greasy little hands into everything from illustration to lettering. A number of his typefaces have even garnered him a few fancy awards from the Type Directors Club. In his spare time he conducts lettering workshops and corrupts the minds of students at Maryland Institute, College of Art.

Type at Cooper

In addition to House Industries, Ken teaches several workshops in New York at Cooper Type. These workshops include Freehand Lettering, Script Lettering, Brush Lettering, Hand-Lettered Logos and Drawn Letters.

Type and Lettering

A design resource, maintained by Ken Barber. Initially created for his students at Maryland Institute, College of Art and attendees of the workshops he often conducts, the site offers a behind-the-scenes peek at various type design and lettering projects, information on lettering materials, book recommendations and a whole bunch more.

About the UMSL AIGA Student Group and AIGA St. Louis

The American Institute of Graphic Arts, AIGA, is the professional association for design. The organization is committed to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. The UMSL AIGA Student Group coordinates lectures and workshops to promote these core values for its students and the St. Louis design community.

AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.

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