calligraphy History of Lettering lettering typography

Arnold Bank, calligrapher

[If you did not read the first article please go here]

This picture appeared in a journal called Art Education (March 1985), written by Anne Gregory.

The article has some biographical information about Bank – that he was Emeritus Professor of Design at Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, US; that he worked as Art Director for Time Magazine from 1941-1947; and he lectured at the Royal Society of Arts, England in 1955.

In his day he was highly influential, the article states, and taught many students.

One paragraph stands out for me. “When he became interested in something like paleography, he wrote to EA Lowe of Princeton. This contact resulted in many pleasant weekends with this Oxford scholar in the company of Stanley Morison and Marvin Newman. ‘We used to go see God every weekend!’ recalls Bank. He also wrote to Alfred Fairbank who was the author of A Handwriting Manual. Their correspondence on Renaissance paleography and italic handwriting is now in portfolios in the Cambridge University Library in England and is available for researchers on these subjects.”

More information about Arnold Bank cheerfully received…

alphabet calligraphy Elements of Lettering History of Lettering lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework typography

Arnold Bank, The Craft of Lettering, Penrose Annual, 1955

The image that follows is taken from the Penrose Annual of 1955. I chose it because it is good lettering’. It is titled: ‘The beginning and the end of the letter’s repertoire” and was printed offset by The Kynoch Press. (I shall have more on Arnold Bank, from an article printed in Art Education, March 1985, including a photo, very soon.)

A quick Google search gave this information on Banks:

Arnold Bank Collection of Calligraphy and Letter Arts

“Calligraphy is the autographics of alphabetics. . . . Calligraphy is simply the art of writing,
or of sketching and drawing transferred to the use of letter design, on the beautiful blank
of a fine sheet of paper. . . . Now in doing it, it has to be clear and it has to be beautiful.”
Arnold Bank (1908-1986)

Arnold Bank, Carnegie Mellon University professor in the Design Department from 1960-1984, was a calligrapher of international stature. His career spanned the fields of education, publishing, advertising, printing, and architectural lettering. Bank, as a Senior Fulbright Fellow, taught at the Royal College of Art in London from 1954-1957, and was art director in the Time magazine promotion department from 1941-1947.

In 1985 the University Libraries acquired Arnold Bank’s professional papers. The collection is rich in drawings for his major works and commissions, historical samples of calligraphy, teaching tools and lectures, correspondence, and samples of work from his students and colleagues, world-wide. A finding aid to the collection is available.

The work of Arnold Bank includes the lettering for the inscription on the memorial to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. at Rockefeller Center, the editorial lettering for the serialization of The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway in Life magazine, and the masthead used for more than forty years by the weekly journal Printing News.