On Thursday, February 11, we gathered at Shopify to create Valentines. Folks were able to pre-purchase one of three types of supply kits – Letraset, Brush Pen or Lino printing – or bring their own tools. Over the course of 2 hours, the creativity flowed in shades of pink & red, and amazing cards were created. Check out all the photos below!
We are excited to announce the details for our next brush pen workshop.
Back by popular demand, the event will be held
Saturday, March 12, 2016 and Sunday, March 13, 2016 from 10am - 5pm at Shopify (80 Spadina Avenue, 4th floor). The workshops will run 10am - 1pm, break for lunch (not provided), and resume from 2pm - 5pm.
The day will be hosted by local letterers (and Ligatures co-founders) Kyle Gallant & Christopher Rouleau. Kyle is a multi-faceted designer, skilled in calligraphy, expressive lettering, and even graffiti. He is a self-described “compulsive doodler” and passionate about all things type. Christopher is a freelance graphic designer & letterer, with a love for alphabets, antique lettering guides and old hand-lettered signs. He is comfortable working in a variety of media, including pen, chalk, acrylic, ink… the list goes on. Christopher also co-instructed a Ligatures lino printing workshop in the spring. Check out more of their recent work on Instagram:
Kyle & Christopher recently hosted a special workshop at Uppercase Magazine in Calgary, sponsored by GDC Alberta South Chapter. Check out the recaps here and here. They have pooled together their skills, knowledge and resources to put together a 6-hour tutorial on the fundamentals of brush lettering. All skill levels welcome!
The cost of this full-day workshop is $125. This price includes a workbook, handouts, and the supplies you will need for the workshop, all of which you get to take home at the end of the day. Included in your kit:
- 5 types of brush pens
- 2 pads of paper (tracing & layout)
- the official Ligatures workbook and handouts
- access to any additional tools you might need (pencils, rulers, tape, grid paper) as well as some experimental lettering tools & books from our personal collections.
Our previous workshop sold out in 2 days, so please sign up early. Space is limited.
We look forward to bringing your talents together, sharing knowledge with one another, and creating some new brush pen work!
Thank you to Shopify for sponsoring this event.
After a busy holiday season, the Ligatures team organized a fun Type on Tap meetup and greet at O'Grady's. As with all new beginnings, resolutions were discussed and encouraged. It was a wonderful opportunity for the team to get feedback about what events people are looking for and create an exciting, typography-filled 2016. As always, we encourage suggestions for future events. Feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letraset Kit - $10 - Access to our entire Letraset collection - 6 cards + envelopes
Lettering Kit - $15 - 2 Tombow dual brush pens - 6 cards + envelopes - Access to our entire Letraset collection
Lino Printing Kit - $20 - 1 4x6 block - 1 Speedball handle - 2 carving nibs - 6 cards + envelopes - Access to ink and rollers
Sign up here!
Last Wednesday, we held our first 'Happy Ball-idays" ornament decorating event. We filled Shopify with the smell of warm apple cider, the sound of holiday tunes – and lots of sparkles – as we gathered to create unique typographic bulbs for gifts (and for ourselves). We were super impressed with the talent and creativity that folks brought to the table. Check out the results below!
We have lots of amazing things planned for 2016, so please stay tuned to our website, social media and blog for updates.
Ligatures wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday, and all the best in 2016.
Our "Brush Lettering" kit has everything you need to get started with brush pen lettering.
- 16-page "Brush Lettering" Official booklet
- 5 of our favourite, most versatile brush pens (Faber-Castell Pitt, Pentel, Sharpie, Staedtler Duo & Tombow)
- our "cap height" guides (1", 1 1/4", 1 1/2", 1 3/4")
- a variety of alphabets created with each pen
- our overlay booklet for the uppercase casual alphabet
Currently only shipping within Canada. For friends in Toronto, stop by one of our monthly meetings to save on shipping fees. RSVP here.
For personal use only. Please do not reproduce or distribute. Thanks!
Our "Brush Lettering" workbook is the 16-page companion to our popular Brush Pen workshops. In the PDF, you will find:
- an overview of brush pen samples.
- a list of our favourite five brush pens.
- a review of stroke construction.
- a breakdown of constructing uppercase, lower case, and numerals.-a list of online resources, inspiration, and our favourite books on the topic.
Upon checkout, the PDF booklet will be promptly emailed to you.For personal use only.
Please do not reproduce or distribute. Thanks!
Our "Better Béziers" workbook is a four-page PDF, with a complete list of Illustrator shortcuts, and a step-by-step process for both building béziers as well as tackling auto-trace. It also includes a short list of online resources, and our favourite books on the topic.
Upon checkout, the PDF booklet will be promptly emailed to you.
For personal use only. Please do not reproduce or distribute. Thanks!
On Saturday, November 28, we held out first "Better Béziers" digitizing lettering workshop. The event was sponsored by hackerYou, who generously offered their space for the event. For this four-hour workshop, we reviewed our favourite tools and shortcuts for approaching digital lettering projects, and provided thorough demonstrations of point-by-point bézier construction, as well as how to make the most out of auto-trace. The latter half of the workshop was dedicated to one-on-one time with each participant, helping solve problems, apply their skills and create a finished piece. The best part was a group show & tell at the end of the day to showcase the amazing talents in the room.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for this workshop, and much thanks to Eva & Eunice at hackerYou for your support. If you'd like to participate in the next Better Béziers workshop, join the wait list on our Workshops page.
The days are getting shorter and the weather is beginning to nip at our noses. Our thoughts are starting to turn to loved ones near & far. In an age of instant digital connections, nothing says "I love you" more than a hand-written correspondence. While you're dreaming of a white Christmas and designing all the cards you'll have to write, feast your eyes on these lettering and calligraphy examples from Christmas of yesteryear.
We are excited to announce the details for our next workshop.
By popular demand, we are excited to hose our first ‘Better Béziers: Digitizing Lettering Workshop’. The event will be held Saturday, November 28 from 12pm-4pm at hackerYou (483 Queen St W, Toronto, 3rd floor).
The day will be hosted by local letterers (and Ligatures co-founders) Kyle Gallant & Christopher Rouleau. Kyle is a multi-faceted designer, skilled in calligraphy, expressive lettering, and even graffiti. He is a self-described “compulsive doodler” and passionate about all things type. Christopher is a freelance graphic designer & letterer, with a love for alphabets, antique lettering guides and old hand-lettered signs. He is comfortable working in a variety of media, including pen, chalk, acrylic, ink… the list goes on.
Check out more of their recent work on Instagram:
After the popularity of Kyle & Christopher’s brush pen workshops in Toronto and Calgary, they have pooled together their skills, knowledge and resources to put together a 4-hour tutorial on the fundamentals of digital lettering to take your work from the page to the screen – and beyond.
Pre-requisites: - Ligatures brush pen workshop (suggested) - basic working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator
Requirements: - laptop - Adobe CS (CS5 or higher) - a Dropbox account (for file sharing) - scanned lettering work(s) you would like to digitize
Cost: The cost of this full-day workshop is $80 ($60 with valid student ID, presented on workshop day). This price includes digital exercises, handouts, course instruction, as well as access to personal books and resources. Space fills up quickly, so please sign up today.
Course plan: This 4-hour workshop will help budding letterers convert their lettering and calligraphy work into versatile vector files, perfect for all print and web uses. Half of the workshop will be dedicated to reviewing the digital toolkit (including the beloved pen tool), an overview of building beziers, and tips on making the most of Illustrator’s auto-trace, with plenty of demos and exercises. The latter half of the workshop will be allocated for one-on-one time with the instructors to ask questions and perfect your work. Participants will leave the workshop with at least one completed vector file, and the skills to continue their digital lettering journey.
We look forward to bringing your talents together, sharing knowledge with one another, and creating some new brush pen work work! Thank you to hackerYou for sponsoring this event.
The Project Passion exhibition series showcases the self-initiated work of graphic designers. The next show, to be juried by Erik Brandt (Minneapolis), Mary Kate McDevitt (Philadelphia), and Jeremy Mickel (Los Angeles), will feature typographic pursuits. Letters, numbers, and symbols—the building blocks that make up our visual language system—are finite and yet infinite in their application. So within this creative space of both limitations and immeasurable possibilities, how are designers pushing their own creative use of letterforms and function? Without the constraints of clients' needs, where are their typographic explorations leading? These are the questions that form this year's Project Passion discourse that we, in turn, will project back out to the design community. Designers from all over the US and beyond are welcome to submit their self-initiated, type-based work for consideration in this exhibition.
Submit your work before November 15 here.
Time flies when you're having fun! This past Thursday, Ligatures had it's second anniversary party at O'Grady's. We can't believe how quickly time has passed since our first event in 2013 and how much we've done between now and then. At the same time, we can! It takes a fair amount of organization and preparation to put on events each month, but as a team, we don't regret a single moment. Our second anniversary is a culmination of many late nights, long emails, and team meetings, filled with laughter, friendship, discovery - and fun!
Thanks to Ali of Light & Paper for collaborating with us on the cake topper!
We've accomplished a lot in the past two years, but we've learned even more. We're grateful for every single person that has attended one of our events. Whether you've attended once or you've been to every event, thank you! We couldn't have achieved any of this were it not for the wonderful design community in Toronto (and beyond!) It is the passion for lettering and typography from our friends and supporters that Ligatures is able to thrive and create an environment for creativity, collaboration and ideas.
We're excited to celebrate two years, and we're ecstatic for the next two, three – or ten! Cheers to celebrating more Ligatures landmarks with all of you.
This year was the second year that we hosted our typography show, Swash & Serif, officially making it annual! The first Swash & Serif was held in November of 2014 at Black Cat Artspace on Dundas West and was a huge success. This year, we returned there to celebrate another fantastic round of artists and designers and the great work they shared with us, and like last year, we had a packed house on opening night!
We had a great number of submissions again this year, and saw a lot of awesome newcomers. Some of this work was so great, we couldn't believe we had never heard of these people! The creativity and level of skill that everybody in the show had was just stunning. Just like last year, of course, we received the majority of submissions at the last minute. Typical. (Hint: start working on your 2016 submissions now!)
A lot of people thought outside the box in creating imaginative lettering and typography work. We had pieces ranging from the huge and heavy to very tiny, incredibly detailed pieces. Wood burning and laser cutting, screen printing, painting and original hand lettering were all well-represented, and the show also included embroidered work and hand made jewelry. We also included prices for each piece on the artist cards for the first time, to try and help designers sell their work; last year there was a lot of interest from visitors and we wanted to help start a conversation about making a purchase by having all the information up front. Last year, we had our first submission from outside of Ontario, but this year marked our first international entry: a piece from sign painter Scott Boms in California! Swash & Serif was born in Toronto but we're excited to see and share work from all over the world.
With the success of year two, we're already looking ahead at 2016 and thinking about how we can keep Swash & Serif exciting for regulars and newcomers alike in year three. More info will be posted online as we make plans, so keep an eye out. We're excited to make Swash & Serif an annual event for the Toronto design community and can't wait to see what everybody comes up with next year!
Thank you to all the people who participated in our show, we couldn't have done this without you.
Last Wednesday, we held a double screening of Ryan Couldrey's short film, "Ink", as well as the 2009 film "Typeface". Shopify was filled with excited Toronto creatives, ready for their dose of calligraphy, wood type & popcorn. The event was a huge success, and we can't wait to host another screening in the near future.
A huge thank you to our friends at Wonder Pens, who provided some amazing giveaways for two lucky participants. Thanks, everyone!