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design + layout mastery

Create professional designs
to attract quality clients.

Making beautiful letters is one thing, arranging them in ways that are visually stunning and communicate clearly is another thing all together.

This six week program, with Liane Barker of Brush & Pen Design Studio, will provide you with the tricks and secrets to creating great designs to attract quality clients.

Whether you’re lettering on an iPad, with pen and paper, or working towards large scale murals, having a solid understanding of the fundamentals of layout and design is vital for creating high quality art.

And Liane is the woman to learn from!

Liane has nearly 40 years experience as a sign writer, working on projects across the globe, keeping up with the latest technological advances in the trade as well as retaining her traditional skills and craft.

She has worked with both corporate and private clients, while also running workshops to keep the craft of signwriting alive.

What we’ll cover

Lessons will be released weekly on Mondays beginning 18th May.

Videos and pdf downloads will be accessed via a member’s only section of this website, and you will have ongoing access to each module once it’s been released.


What is Design and Layout and why is it important?

Introduction to the principals of design and layout.

Design?is a visual plan. Having a clear understanding of the function of design assists in the creation of a layout.

Layout?is the organisation of a visual plan using the rules or principals of design such as proportion, positive and negative space, rhythm, emphasis, balance and unity as well as a clear understanding of the relationship between letter styles to create a pleasing and informative layout.


The Difference in Layout Formats : Formal & Informal Layouts and why/where to use them.

We will look at the difference between a formal layout (symmetrical) which leads the eye from one point to the next in a direct manner and an informal layout (asymmetrical) which offers movement, interest and flow to a layout as well as the format of a design.


Principles of Layout : Creating a layout that is visually appealing

Using the principles of layout, we will create a basic composition using simple shapes to demonstrate how to grab a reader?s attention and cleverly lead their eye through a design. We will look at how the use of these principles can create a design that is simple, effective and avoids overcrowding.


Organising Information : Hierarchy or Primary, Secondary and Tertiary rule.

Choosing one formal layout and one informal layout technique, we will create a couple of thumbnail sketches to ?mock-up? a design. We will look at how to use the ?Principles of Hierarchy? to organise copy into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary information (also known as who, what, where, when, why and in the case of an advert, how much) to ensure easy navigation and the message being received by the viewer.


Line value and how to vary for impact and legibility.

Using the principles of hierarchy (lesson 4), the principles of layout (lesson 3) and a formal layout (lesson 2), we will create a simple advert. Using only one letter style and its varying weights (thin, medium and thick downstrokes) as well as one script letter style to create a pleasing and effective advert. Keeping legibility in mind, we will look at how the overuse of ornate fonts or too many fonts can inhibit a design and lose its intended message.


Bringing it all together!

Combining the principles of layout and hierarchy we will create an advertising poster using an informal layout that will communicate an upcoming event and be easily recognised and understood by the viewer.

Who is this course for?

This is an intermediate class for those who have mastered letterforms and are ready to focus on layout and design.

This course will not cover the creation of specific styles of lettering.

The content will be taught using pencil and paper, if you’re an iPad letterer, you are more than welcome to complete the lessons on your iPad, however no added iPad specific support will be given.

About Liane

Liane is a Brisbane-based signwriter who is a specialist in Gold Leaf Signage and Traditional Hand painted signs. (Which also means she’s a specialist at making letters look beautiful, and communicate clearly, no matter the space she’s been given to work with.)

Having worked as a signwriter since 1980, first in her Father’s business and then starting her own, Liane has over 40 years experience producing hand painted signage on road side hoardings, large walls, vehicle signage, glass gilding and business shop fronts.

Her art has been included in international exhibitions, and she has taught workshops and classes both in Australia and while travelling internationally.

Liane is passionate about keeping the craft of signwriting alive, and passing on her knowledge and experience to others.

You can see more of Liane’s incredible work on Instagram here.

Ready to join?

Earlybird pricing is available until midnight Sunday 10th May.

One Upfront Payment


(Regular price USD$197)

4 x Weekly Payments


(Regular price 4 x USD$52)

Got Questions?

When does this course start?

Content will be released weekly on Mondays for six weeks beginning 18th May 2020.

What supplies do I need?
How do I access the content?
Videos and worksheets will be uploaded to a member’s only section of this website. Worksheets and other guides will be downloadable to your device, videos can only be viewed while logged into the website and are not available for downloading.
How long do I have access to the content?

Forever and ever, amen. Ok, maybe that?s exaggerating, but for as long as I inhabit this corner of the internet. If at any point this course is retired, three months notice will be given for you to download any remaining resources that you’ve not yet accessed.