Hamilton at Home Workshop: Ryan Molloy - Explorations and Experiments with Wood Type

Saturday, June 26 and July 10 10:00am – 12:00pm CDT

In this virtual workshop let’s explore and attempt to push the boundaries of wood type together. The design of letterforms and typographic ornament has long been tied to the tools used for their creation. During the mid-nineteenth century, the rise of commercial design, the invention of the pantograph and die-stamping methods, encouraged type designers, such as William Page, to design novel exaggerated and embellished fonts.

Today digital fabrication equipment has become relatively ubiquitous. Using tools like laser cutters and cnc routers we have an opportunity to explore new and novel forms. From exploring chromatic type to playing with the shape of the block in this two-day workshop we’ll discuss a number of ways we can use a CNC router to experiment with the creation of wood type. We’ll discuss key terminology for using a CNC router, how to plan your design for execution, prepare a file for machining, and useful tips for designing, prototyping, and fabricating wood type.

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to create their own wood type creations, whatever can be created out of two 3”x10” end-grain maple blocks, which will be fabricated upon the completion of the workshop and mailed to participants.

Date & Time:
This is a two-day, virtual workshop.
Saturday, June 26 and July 10, 2021, 10:00am – 12:00pm CDT

Online via Zoom

Workshop Cost:
$150 Total (includes cost for domestic shipping of wood type pieces; extra cost for international shipping of materials)

Materials List/Tools:
Students should have Adobe Illustrator, or similar, vector creation software capable of generating an .ai or .eps file. Students will be asked to share creations and ideas on the second day of the workshop, students should be prepared to share their screen, use of computer or large tablet is recommended.

Experience Level:
Students should be familiar with and have access to Adobe Illustrator or similar vector creation software.

What You’ll Need:
We recommend joining on a laptop, large tablet, or desktop computer with a microphone. You will receive step-by-step instructions for downloading Zoom.


Ryan Molloy is a freelance designer, artist, and professor of graphic design at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Prior to teaching at Eastern he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin where he also received his MFA in Design. He is an educator and inter-disciplinary designer having practiced in fields of architecture and graphic design. His creative work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and his work using custom wood type has been featured in the Hamilton New Impressions exhibitions. He is currently participating in the 2021 Type West postgraduate certificate program in type design.

Fill out my online form.

Virtual Workshop

« Back to the Calendar