Mike Gold, Instructor



Even though Mike breaks rules, he knows that, as Picasso has said, that you have to learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist. He also believes that in order to be a good calligrapher or lettering artist you need to know layout and design principles. Ross George, who originated the Speedball Textbook, says “even good lettering, correctly spaced, is ineffective if poorly arranged.” That is why composition is part of every workshop Mike teaches. Whether you plan out your creations or work spontaneously, knowing the how’s and why’s of design and layout will make you a better artist.


This class was designed for lettering artists and calligraphers, so letters will be a primary focus. It’s also designed for all levels and all types of lettering artists, whether you do traditional or non-traditional art, readable or abstract art, pointed or broad edge pen, brush, drawn or digital lettering.

These are just a few of the things that will be covered in the course




  • the elements and principals of design
  • how to design a layout
  • types of compositions
  • special layout concerns for lettering artists
  • treating letters as line, shape and form
  • asymmetrical and centered layouts
  • literal and abstract designs
  • shapes, color and texture
  • creating broadsides
  • breaking the rules
  • planned verses spontaneous approaches
  • thumbnails to finished design

Mike Gold

Mike has worked as a commercial lettering designer for more than 35 years, mostly at American Greetings, the world's second largest greeting card producer. But his real passion is exploring the corridors of calligraphy that have been less traveled, the path where words and letters are design elements with which to play with line, shape and form, where creating a visual statement is more important than writing a readable text.



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This class runs 4 sessions with individualized attention and correction to each student’s work. There are pre-recorded lessons each session, as well as 3 bonus live Zoom sessions with Mike.




Students will also receive downloadable handouts with over 100 pages, chock full of images and instruction.


The class comes with an extra 6 months of viewing time.


Closed Captioning will not be available for this class. 


The Details

Classes will run for 4 weeks: October 5, 12, 19, & 26 2022. There will also be three bonus live Zoom sessions with Mike on October 9, 23, and November 3.

New lessons (instructional videos and handouts) are posted each week, but you do NOT need to be online at that time. All the videos can be watched at whatever time is convenient for you and as many times as you like. The videos will remain up for an additional six months after the last class in case make-up time is needed for viewing! There is homework suggested for this class, but not mandatory. Individual critique is offered to each student's homework submitted in the forum. The Classroom Forum provides a wonderful place to ask questions, share with your classmates, and learn from the critique on each other’s work as well.



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