Runic Alphabets

 Registration is closed for this event
$ 185.00

December 9th, 2019 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Ann Miller
  • Workshop Type: Arts
  • Workshop Status: Closed
  • Workshop Start: December 9th, 2019 9:30 AM
  • Workshop End: December 9th, 2019 5:30 PM
  • Sessions: 1

There is a fascination and a need for unusual hand lettered alphabets in role-playing game alphabets, symbols for branding, tattoo design, and inspired scripts looking back to ancient times. This one-day workshop presents a unique opportunity to work in depth with the Anglo-Saxon Futhark alphabet, using a classic method for letter and font design.

Class begins with a grid method for designing a set of related symbols and continue to experiment with the possibilities of arrangement and development exploring style, spacing, and the visual forces and structural tensions that happen within the page. It’s serious fun. The magic is in the method and a series of simple exercises will lead to surprising and satisfying results.

There are two main directions to pursue: 1) focus on the signs and work toward a mixture of desired effects, drawing and redrawing and developing details from pencil to ink, and/or 2) focus on composition and work toward a more abstract, expressive and painterly use of signs, using drawing and painting tools, mixed media and layering to create an experiential work.

Sheets will be prepared for applying layers of color, symbols and text. There will be exercises in gestural writing to build design flexibility and make a range of examples. Students will use watercolor, sumi, white acrylic, white china marker, matte medium and other forms of resist using broad and pointed pens and brushes, folded pens, and other tools. 

This workshop will get your head and hand moving.

Materials to Bring: Drawing paper – 14 x 17” pad or large cut sheets; non-waterproof black ink (sumi) or what you have on hand; watercolor brushes, range of sizes; any watercolor pan set or 1-2 favorite tube colors; any dry media for color such as: colored pencils such as Caran d’Ache, Cretacolor, Stabilo CarbOthello, pan Pastels (a few favorite colors), colored chalk, Prismacolor,charcoal, vine or compressed. Broad-edged and/or monoline nibs in a variety of sizes (such as Brause or Speedball); wash brush for watercolor; black acrylic gouache or ink; white nylon style eraser; mixing brushes; palette; small water jar; rags or lint-free towels; notebook.

Recommended: A sheet of Arches 140# Hot Press watercolor or printing papers such as Rives BFK, Arches Text Wove; good for wet media and strong enough for layering. The 14 x 17” Aquabee Deluxe pad works well.

Optional: ruling pen or folded pen (if you already have one); Golden Fluid Matte Medium if you have it.

Optional and available at SFCB for student use during workshop: pencil, scissors, ruler or straight-edge, utility knife.

Workshop Fee (includes $20 materials fee): $185.00

Date & Time: Monday, December 9, 2019 :: 9:30am-5:30pm

Location: 375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Note: Please read over the SFCB Registration Policies before signing up for a class


About the Instructor | Ann Miller

Ann Miller, AB, AM Stanford University, studied painting and lithography with artists Richard Diebenkorn and Nathan Oliveira and has taught art and art history classes at Stanford, University of Santa Clara, San Mateo Community College district, and in local guilds and arts venues. In 1979 she founded M2 Design for calligraphy and design. In 2002 she authored two courses in calligraphy and letterform at Academy of Art University and is currently writing a new course covering logo, font, and lettering for illustrators.

Her calligraphy has been published in Letter Arts Review and Bound & Lettered, and Alphabet, and her book titles for Protean Press can be found in the Harrison Collection at San Francisco Main Library. Her art is in public and private collections and has been widely exhibited. She created of a series of large calligraphy murals for the City of Belmont's new public library and a 12-foot long family tree scroll for actress Brooke Shields for the NBC television series “Who do you think you are?” Visit Ann at

Past Student Reviews:

“Ann was organized. She made sure covered certain topics but allowed us time to explore. She brought extra supplies and tools to help us learn more.”

“Ann shared lots of resources! There were so many, it would have been helpful to have a handout to share on Google Drive rather than taking notes.”

“Ann was well organized and had many interesting methods to show us. A packet given to us for a reference later was much appreciated.”

$ 185.00
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-5133
United States