Sharpen Your Typographic Eye with Martina Flor

Martina Flor's free Letter Hunters course will sharpen your typographic eye and improve your lettering.

Sharpen Your Typographic Eye with Martina Flor
Images from Martina Flor's gallery of inspiration to support learners on her free online Letter Hunters training.

Martina Flor has recently added a free online course to her existing programmes, inviting you to "sharpen your typographic eye" by becoming a "Letter Hunter". Here she shares the story of how the course came about, and what you can get out of it.

Martina Flor with some of her tools of the trade: two eyes and a camera.

Letter Hunters: Train Your Typographic Eye and Find Letter Inspiration Around You

As a lettering artist, I often have to answer the question: what’s your secret weapon or tool to draw letters?

Many think that it is about a particular skill in my hands. Or that my brain is wired in a specific way that allows me to just sit and draw good-looking letters.

My answer is always the same: my observation skills. This superpower is the one thing that makes a difference in the work I do. It’s what allows me to identify the flaws and improve my work, as well as absorb inspiration from my surroundings and the things I’m exposed to.

I’ve been studying, making, and teaching lettering for over ten years, and something I love about typography is how you can find it everywhere. And by everywhere I don’t mean Google, Pinterest, or your Instagram feed. I mean everywhere around you.

There’s so much out there that we miss seeing.

I learned this early in my career thanks to one of my former design teachers. I remember that during our first lesson she skipped the scheduled lecture, told us to put on our coats, and took us on a type-walk around the city.

We walked down the same streets that I walked down every day, only this time she made me notice the beautiful pieces of typography that could be found by just paying attention.

In addition, she invited us to understand and to question some of the underlying design decisions behind those pieces. She encourages us to ask, “what would I do differently?”.

This changed the way I perceive the world and made me more aware of my surroundings. I discovered that inspiration can be found everywhere, but mostly, that by noticing the typography around me and being critical of it, I could get better at my own work.

I learned that training my observation skills was crucial for my development as a lettering artist and that what I call my 'Typographic Eye' was actually a potential superpower that would enable me to spot flaws in my lettering and come up with solutions.

This one thing had a major impact on my skills and success as a commercial lettering artist, and had proven to be effective for my students too.

That is why I created Letter Hunters, a free online mini course to help designers, illustrators and lettering artists develop their typographic eye and take inspiration from their surroundings.

In the course, you'll learn some basic guidelines to help analyse and understand the relationship between the shapes and the features of a certain typographic unit. You'll then be fully equipped to go letter hunting yourself, wherever you are!

Thanks to the students that have already joined the course, we've built a library of inspiration with pieces of lettering from all over the world.

Your typographic eye is something that can be trained everywhere you go, and you can use your commute, holidays, and even your walks to the supermarket to sharpen this precious skill. You just need to know where to look.

Every time you step outside the door is an opportunity to learn something new… Are you ready to start letter hunting?

Martina Flor is an Argentinian lettering artist, author and educator based in Berlin. She has written The Golden Secrets of Lettering and The Big Leap, and runs a number of training programmes, including Letter Hunters.
Click/tap the picture to sign up to Martina Flor's free Letter Hunters online mini-course.