Categories
alphabet lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework stone Typographic ephemera

Alphabet – when it’s needed

I have never carved an alphabet from A-Z. The pandemic and lockdown made me re-assess many things, including this omission. I have used this exercise to inform some short instructional videos for those starting out, and for those who have been following [also here] here’s the completed piece. It is far from ‘perfect’ but life is not about ‘perfection’ – it is about doing. [By the way, the slate was split from a single fragment, hence the mirror-like quality – look at base pattern.]

An alphabet in slate
60cm x c15cm – recycled slate from the UK

 

Categories
Elements of Lettering lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework stone Thoughts on lettering

In honour of a decade: number 6

Continuing these flashbacks on 10 years of this blog, I present a post from 2013 about Roman letter carvers. 

Here’s an example of my recent letter carving.

A to N on salvaged slate
These capitals are 40mm high and carved into reclaimed and cleaved slate.
Categories
alphabet lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework stone

Alphabet carving: the beginning

This is the start of an exercise in carving an alphabet in salvaged slate. You’ll notice that I’m carving the letters [c40mm] upside down – this is because the straight edge of the slate happens to be at the top of the letters as I sketched them. [There are two panels to the complete alphabet.] This makes it easier to hold the slate [which is fairly thin – about 10mm] firm on the ‘easel’ or banker, which I also made. If you would like details of how to make your own banker please let me know. Subscribe for further instalments. [Note also the ‘printer’s hat’ I’m wearing – this is an optional extra! Details on demand.]

Banker with slate
Homemade banker with slate and tools.
Categories
lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework sculpture

Sounds of stonecarving

Listen to the sounds of chisel against sandstone as I work the stone to the shape I require.

https://stoneletters.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/sounding-carving.mp3

This is the piece I am working on

Work in progress
Sandstone sculpture unfinished

And completed:

Sculpture in limestone

Or try this video too

Categories
eric gill lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework Thoughts on lettering

Fiona MacCarthy vale

I was saddened to hear the news of FM’s passing,  not that I met her face-to-face.

Eric Gill and Fiona MacCarthy
Paperback version of Eric Gill by Fiona MacCarthy

I bought a copy of the Gill biography when it was issued in paperback in 1990. [The hardback came out a year earlier and was reprinted three times.]

However, I can record a connection with FM, through correspondence in May 1990, which are included within the biography just pulled from my library shelves.

She was living at The Round Building, Sheffield and I had sent a letter to her publishers, Faber&Faber in London about some project I was then conceiving. [I do not have my letter sent.]  I never took up her advice – though I may have written to Michael Richey, as she gave his address. I will report back.

Letter from Fiona MacCarthy
Letters received, typewritten, from Fiona MacCarthy in response to my letter.
Categories
Brand design Humour lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework stone Thoughts on lettering

Corsets and Mourning

What’s the link? Well, on the side of this magnificent building in central Sydney, Australia [built 1908] are adverts for both items: corsets and mourning [costume I presume]. A wonderful incidence of unintended humour. Or was it intended? We may never know. I invite comment on the lettering style, as well as matching stories.

Corsets and Mourning
On the side of the former Mark Foy’s Emporium, Sydney, Australia.
Categories
lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework Thoughts on lettering typography

Monotype Pitt: help required in tracing: help found and update

In The Monotype Recorder vol 36, no. 3 [December 1937], the Fortieth Birthday Number is a report on the Fifty Books of 1936: the type faces used.

Monotype Recorder 1937
The Monotype Recorder

Reading through the list I came across reference to Monotype Pitt (private). The text speaks of ‘the Pitt 8vo Bible of the Cambridge University Press, which was designed with special reference to the requirements of schools’.

While I am aware of the tradition of CUP for its Pitt Bible series, as well as the Pitt Building, in the town, I have never come across a type face so named. Can anyone throw light on this?

Monotype Pitt
Monotype Pitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following Marvin’s answer to my question I am pleased to show this page from my copy of the Monotype Type Faces, dated [bottom left] 9-63:

Times Roman semi bold 421
Times Series 421

 

Categories
Elements of Lettering lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework printing Typographic ephemera

Something Rampant for the weekend

Looking through my collection of typography today I came across these images, included in Portfolio Three by The Rampant Lions Press, Cambridge, England, dated 1982. I have written about Will and Sebastian Carter many times throughout the life of this blog so please hit the search key to find out more, or send me an email. Enjoy your weekend. (This was a regular feature of the blog – the last entry can be found here.)

Franklin typeface
Franklin typeface
Rampant Lions Press prospectus
Rampant Lions Press prospectus

 

Categories
Elements of Lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework Thoughts on lettering typography

Fit to be styled a typographer

So wrote Simon-Pierre Fournier (1764) in his Manuel Typographique, a phrase deeply admired by Vincent Steer who I have briefly mentioned previously in the pages of this blog (see here). Steer Steer pic was by training a compositor and as Moran writes in ‘Fit to be styled a Typographer’: A history of the Society of Typographic Designers, 1928 – 1978 sought to be ‘acknowledged as a typographer’.

Let Steer put it his own way (from Printing Design and Layout: The manual for printers, typographers and all designers and users of printing and advertising): ‘A layout which is intended for submission to the customer must, in the first place, be carefully executed. While there is no need for meticulously finished lettering, it should convey a very near impression of the final result in type.’ And he gives this as an example.

Vincent Steer

Vincent Steer_0001

This is an art long lost.

Steer was a founding member and past president of The Society of Typographic Designers, now the ISTD.

Categories
lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework Thoughts on lettering typography

Something bookish for the weekend

Bradbury Thompson (1911 – 1995) did much for graphic, book and postage stamp design during the 20th century. I came across him recently when I purchased from a second-hand bookshop his 1988 The Art of Graphic Design, from which the accompanying illustrations are taken. Homage to the Book 2He was intimately involved with the Westvaco Corporation, a US-based paper manufacturer, and this led to many fruitful collaborations, including Homage to the Book. Homage to the Book

In the introduction to The Art he concludes:

‘This volume can provide only a time-lapse camera glimpse of an involvement with the graphic arts. Yet it is hoped that the retrospective may inspire thoughts about possible rewards with typography as a tool, a toy, and a teacher in the graphic design of this computer age’.

Homage to the Book_0001