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Introduction to Hand Lettering with Patrick Knowles

Online workshop across 3 evenings in June

Mon 7 June - Mon 21 June


Monday 7th June: 7 – 9pm
Monday 14th June: 7 – 9pm
Monday 21st June: 7 – 9pm

Please note, participants will need to source their own materials
(see materials list below)

Hand lettering has shot to the forefront as a form of artistic expression in recent years. This series of workshops is an introduction to some of the main skills you’ll need to get going with this wonderfully expressive art form. Patrick is an experienced teacher and has worked with the museum for many years.

Patrick Knowles has over twenty five years commercial experience as a lettering artist, book cover designer and illustrator, working in a wide variety of media including the traditional to digital, photo-real 3D modelling and photography. His clients include Penguin, HarperCollins, Orion Group, Little Brown Group, Random House, Hachette Childrens, Puffin, Quercus, and a number of independent publishers.

Clients outside of book publishing include Specsavers, Tate+Lyle, Chivas Whisky and a variety of magazine publishers. Other work includes calligraphy for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and for the Christening of their son Prince George, and running lettering and calligraphy courses, including a series at Wandsworth prison.

Course breakdown:


Session 1: Understanding letters and how to use them

– Looking at lots of different letterforms – type, hand-drawn, calligraphic etc.

– Seeing how they’re constructed, what sort of ‘voice’ they have on the page, how they work together with other forms

– Having a go at drawing some and seeing how you can play around with them

– Things to do at home before next session


Session 2: Hand Skills with lettering

– Looking at different ways to create letters with brushes, square-bibbed pens and other tools

– Handling a brush for brush lettering

– Handling a conventional square-bibbed pen for pen calligraphy

– Making letters from other things from potato prints to collage

– Things to do at home before next session


Session 3: Design and layout – towards creating a finished piece

– Basic principles of laying out a short quote or saying

– Learning about using letterforms to create emphasis and emotion

– Quick ways to get some ideas down onto paper

– Planning to create a more finished piece


Patrick will be available to contact in between workshops if you need support. You will be emailed PDFs resources before the start of each workshop.


Materials required

• Square-nibbed calligraphy pens – separate nibs and holders – something like this is perfect: https://bit.ly/3mZVFND

• Brush or brush pens like Tombow, we recommend these, the finest width brush: https://bit.ly/3slFkna

• Paper, also hot-pressed water colour paper for more finished work (Fabriano is great) https://tinyurl.com/5xwv9ns9

• Soft pencils – 3B upwards, liner pens, felt-tips, watercolours and brushes, anything you have to hand really!


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