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Engrossing Certificate Design

With Mike Kecseg

Starting date : 6 January 2024

Fees : HK$ 1,170 or US$ 150

Workshop Description

Engrossing is an unfamiliar term to most of today’s calligraphers. However, from about the mid 1800’s through the mid 1900’s engrossing studios flourished throughout the U.S. employing hundreds of calligraphers or engrossers. Mike was lucky to have worked in an engrossing studio just before they all began to disappear. Mike continues to work today as an engrosser through his own engrossing business.


In this workshop, students will go through the entire process of designing and producing a certificate in a traditional engrossing style from layout to completion. Mike will be sharing many of his ideas, tips and tricks that he learned as an engrosser for over 40 years. With each step in the process, he will also provide detailed instruction along with samples of work to serve as visual help and inspiration. 

Lesson 1 – Layout and Design 

The first step in certificate design is laying out the certificate. Students will be making decisions on how to break down the provided copy into components based on their importance. Mike will go through each component and talk about the best lettering styles and sizes of lettering to use on each one. Mike will also talk about where and how to add illumination and decoration to the certificate and how to best work with clients.  

Lesson 2 – Lettering 

Discussing and demonstrating the most used lettering styles when designing an engrossed certificate. The styles will include Roundhand, Engrosser’s Text, Engrosser’s Script, Old English, rapid and retouched, Versals and Boxed Versals.  

Lesson 3 – Illumination and Decoration 

Illumination and decoration can be added to some or all the components of an engrossed certificate. It can be as simple as adding color to some of the text or as complex as adding a highly decorated border. Mike will discuss the best elements of illumination to add based on the client’s taste and budget. Adding gold using modern alternatives to traditional raised gilding will be shown and discussed. 

Lesson 4 – Putting it all Together 

Students will put all the elements that they've learned to the test and produce a certificate from start to finish.  

Workshop Schedule

Lesson 1

Saturday, 6 January, 2024

22:30 pm - 00:30 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Lesson 2

Saturday, 13 January, 2024

22:30 pm - 00:30 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Lesson 3

Saturday, 20 January, 2024

22:30 pm - 00:30 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Lesson 4

Sunday, 28 January, 2024

00:00 am - 02:00 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Note to Students

  • This is a live online workshop via Zoom (please make sure you have a Zoom account to access the workshop)

  • All live lessons will be recorded and available for 90 days following the final lesson.

  • All recordings expires on Saturday, 27 April, 2024 at 12:00 pm Hong Kong Standard Time.

  • Student can submit homework to the discussion board for Mike to critique.

  • Workshop handouts (if any), zoom links and recordings are available on the workshop page one week (or as soon as practicable) before the first lesson.

  • All workshop dates and times are according to the Hong Kong Standard Time.

Recommended Workshop Supplies

  • Click here for the supplies list recommended for this workshop.

Workshop Boarding Page (Only for Enrolled Students)

  • If you have not logged in, click here to access the instructions on how to access your workshop.

  • If you have already logged in, click here to access your workshop boarding page directly.

Refund Policy

  • All sales are final and fees paid for the online workshop are non-refundable.

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