Categories
Elements of Lettering

Elements of lettering – 5

The R. One of the most beautiful of the capitals. The slate carving illustrated here was done by Tom Perkins, one of the finest letter carvers of his generation. I went to a residential  course he was running when I was first learning the craft and somehow ended up with this treasure.

 

 

Categories
Elements of Lettering

Elements of lettering – 3

Here we start with the O – the most basic of the capitals, and probably the hardest both to draw and carve. Symmetry is the key here – although there are many other ways to draw an O, some of which will be recorded in future blogs. Anyhow, to get started with the classic Trajan O please refer to the illustration. (Click to enlarge).

Categories
Elements of Lettering

Elements of Lettering – 1

Here are some thoughts on how to approach hand lettering, taken from a guide I produced  for my students. This is the first page in a series, which will demonstrate basic techniques. Please subscribe to the feed to be alerted to updates on the site.

ELEMENTS OF LETTERING

Contemporary stone lettering is generally based on, and adapted from, a script used by the Romans and known as Trajan.

It is believed this letterform was first painted on to the surface of the stone with a brush. Image taken from The ORigin of the Serif by Edward CatichThe same craftsman, or another, would then have carved the painted inscription with a mallet and chisel.

Today, letter carvers first draw the inscription on paper and only after having resolved problems with letter shape and spacing will then transfer the design to stone.

It is important to be able to draw a letter with pencil on paper at full size to understand the dynamics and proportions of each letter.

Note – the line illustration is taken from The Origin of the Serif, by Edward Catich, 2nd edition, 1991. This is the primary source for those wanting to know more about the traditional Roman letter form.

The other illustration is my own.