- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: Watson-Guptill; 1 edition (February 20, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0767907329
- ISBN-13: 978-0767907323
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 307 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learn Calligraphy: The Complete Book of Lettering and Design 1st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
In an age of myriad computer fonts and instant communication, your handwriting style is increasingly a very personal creation. In this book, Margaret Shepherd, America's premier calligrapher, shows you that calligraphy is not simply a craft you can learn, but an elegant art form that you can make your own.
Calligraphy remains perennially popular, often adorning wedding invitations, diplomas, and commercial signs. Whether it is Roman, Gothic, Celtic, Bookhand, or Italic style, calligraphy conveys class and elegance. Margaret Shepherd makes this ancient art form accessible in a completely hand-lettered technical guide that will:
* Provide context for calligraphy as an art, exploring the rich tradition of hand-lettering and mapping the evolution of the most popular styles.
* Give detailed technical advice on choosing pens, paper, and inks, setting up your workspace, mastering various pen angles, along with step-by-step illustrations to guide you as you practice.
* Explain which alphabets are appropriate for different forms of writing. For example, the Roman alphabet works well for short, unpunctuated passages, while the Italic alphabet is more suited to informal everyday communication.
* Encourage you to personalize your lettering by using variant strokes and interpreting how you would like the words to look on the page.
* Inspire you with carefully chosen illustrations and examples, which bring letters to life.
In Margaret Shepherd's own words, "Calligraphy trains not only your eye and hand, but your mind as well." Learn Calligraphy is the authoritative primer for this age-old craft, and will help develop a new appreciation for lettering as you discover yourcreative personality.
About the Author
Margaret Shepherd is a noted calligrapher and author, with an impressive roster of high-profile clients. She has published thirteen instruction books for calligraphers of all levels. All her books, including the bestselling Learning Calligraphy, are done in hand-lettered text. She has researched, taught, written, and freelanced extensively, and has exhibited her work in many museum and gallery exhibitions. She lives in Boston.
Top customer reviews
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The first thing I like about it is that it is HAND LETTERED! I was kind of stunned to find this out. The entire text is written in calligraphy by hand. This is not a type set. That, in an of itself, makes the book worth looking at. I can’t imagine the work it took to write the entire book by hand.
Additionally, the book is good at teaching you to write calligraphy, which is exceedingly helpful in a book called “Learn Calligraphy.” I disagree slightly with the author’s choice to begin with the Roman font, however. I learned “Chancery Italic” and “Gothic” some years ago (okay, 30 years ago). The Roman alphabet is simple in structure. But, nib angle is an issue. The Z is very difficult, as is the S. And many letters require you to change nib angle from 20 degrees to 45 degrees. But, on the other hand, her explanations and exercises teach you this. I just would have liked to start with an alphabet that was a little simpler in technique and more practical. Roman is, I think, really only good for titles. So, it’s hard to start using it for fun.
That’s a very small issue, though. Mostly, I am very impressed with her great instructions and advice. Even though I don’t prefer it, I’m going to follow her instructions and go through the book little by little, doing the exercises, and learning the letters and strokes as she presents them. The book is designed to be a full course in calligraphy over time. You can’t digest the book all at once or quickly. It isn’t meant to be done that way. It’s meant to teach you the movements and habits that make calligraphy possible.
Another strength of the book is the variety of fonts. She covers Roman, Celtic, Gothic, Bookhand, and Italic. Each alphabet has variations. In Roman, she covers the basic letter construction and then shows you five variations with serifs. It’s not huge, but I would argue that each style of serif does change the character and feel of the letters. She covers spacing the letters, as well, which can be difficult with some letters because the Roman alphabet has varying widths. She also shows a few examples of projects done with the Roman hand so you can see how it could be applied to your own artwork. Finally, she shows the “narrow” or Rustica version and “wide” or Quadrata forms of the Roman alphabet. So, if you’re counting, you have eight versions of the Roman alphabet: sans serif, five different serifs, Rustica, and Quadrata! Besides that, she also covers various flourishes and adornments for the alphabets. Oh yeah, you fancy now!
Shepherd also includes some history on each alphabet and the book is arranged chronologically. So, by studying it page by page, you are also studying the history of letters. It helps to know some of the why the letters were formed the way they were.
Finally, there are practice sheets included. However, you should make copies or use them as guidelines to put lines on your own paper. Or, for convenience, you can go to her website and print out pages on which to practice, which is kind of her. In all, this is great purchase for the calligraphy learner.