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Welcome to the May 2015 Newsletter from 

Are you interested in learning more about the world’s longest running society for calligraphers, illuminators, and lettering artists?

The SSI was founded in 1921 in the UK by early students of Edward Johnston with the aim of advancing the crafts of writing and illumination. Today it is the international focus for professional calligraphers and enthusiastic amateurs, drawing its membership from the United Kingdom, Ireland, continental Europe, the USA and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and the Far East.

Membership to the Society of Scribes and Illuminators is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, regardless of ability, that is interested in calligraphy, lettering, illumination, letter cutting and, in fact, any of the lettering arts!

To learn more about how you could benefit from joining The Society of Scribes and Illuminators, go to and click on the link on the side-bar that is labelled Soc. of Scribes & Illuminators. This will take you to my SSI page where you can learn about:

·       The different SSI membership levels

·       Publications and newsletters you could receive

·       The SSI’s Advanced Training Scheme

·       The exhibitions you may be invited to exhibit at, and learn from the experience of an SSI Fellow who will provide written critique on your work.

·       And many other benefits

If you want it enough – this could be your first step towards becoming an SSI Fellow!

SSI Fellows from outside the UK include notable calligraphers such as:- Tanja Bolenz, Canada; Yukiko Fukaya, Japan; Stan Knight, USA; Richard Middleton New Zealand; Karen O’Neill Newman, USA; Sheila Waters, USA and Dave Wood Australia. There is a full list of SSI Fellows on the SSI website, under the Fellows drop-down menu.

Other notable members of interest include: Katharina Pieper, Germany; Werner Schneider, Germany; Paul Shaw, USA; Izumi Shiratani, Japan and Bas Vlam, Norway.

Normal access is via the link on the task bar on as described above, but for your convenience, you can click here and link directly to my page dedicated to Society of Scribes and Illuminators Membership and access to some amazing SSI Publications as well as take out your first year of membership.


New from Vivien Lunniss - Complete Guide to Calligraphy

This is a really well written and well-illustrated book and ideal for beginners and others that are keen to learn a new hand or two. The description for each script begins with some relevant history and the instructions for each letter, including nib-width height and pen angle, are colour-coded to clearly show the order of the strokes. The book has relevant examples of the scripts in use.

In addition, this book contains links to free online tutorials, in which the author and other contributors guide you through writing specially selected letters from each script. Simply scan the QR code with your smartphone or type the URL.address into your web browser to link to the relevant web page.

There are historical contributions from other great calligraphers like Jilly Hazeldine, Mary Noble, Veiko Kespersaks, and Brian Colin. There is a ‘gallery’ of pieces scattered through the book with contributions from Gaynor Goffe, Anne Jamieson, Michael Orriss, Rosella Garavaglia, Sue Gunn, Jan Pickett, Luca Barcellona, Birgit Nass, Anna Pinto, Barbara Alldred, Kirsten Burke, Yukiko Fukaya, Jilly Hazeldine, Janice McClelland, Anja Lehtinen, John Stevens, Susie Leiper, Tony Curtis, Sue Goldstone and Sasan Nasernia.


Click here for more information


New from The Lettering & Commemorative Arts Trust – “His Hands Magic” The Life and work of Michael Renton

This stunning book was created to accompany the new exhibition of Michael Renton’s work that was curated by Harriet Frazer, John Nash and Simon Langsdale and published by the Lettering and Commemorative Arts Trust.


It provides a unique history of Michael’s life by different friends and colleagues that help to give a ‘rounder’ understanding of Michael and his work.


The book starts with 6 essays that are written by colleagues and friends of Michael and also extracts from the address by the reverend Canon Keith Walker at Michael funeral. The remainder of the book contains a catalogue of Michael’s extensive range of work categorised including Wood Engraving, Art, Illustration, Printing, Lettercarvering, Calligraphy, Signwriting, Bookplates and many others.

I have not yet discovered who named the book or the exhibition – but I agree – Michael really was able to perform MAGIC with those hands of his!!


Top selling books / DVDs for April 2015:

1.      The Eternal Letter edited by Paul Shaw

2.      Complete Guide to Calligraphy by Vivien Lunniss

3.      Character Traites by Jean Larcher

4.      The Origin of the Serif (Hardback) by Father Edward Catich (you will find a link to the paperback edition from this page to)

5.      Illumination – Tools, Materials, Techniques, Projects a DVD by Patricia Lovett.

6.      Historical Scripts - from Classical Times to the Renaissance by Stan Knight. See also Historical Types also by Stan Knight


My next Newsletter is planned for June 2015 and I am anticipating that I will be able to provide you with some great news related to the reprint an amazing exhibition catalogue – The Painted Letters of Adolf Bernd. This exhibition was curated by Manny Ling and Peter Thornton in 2006. The Catalogue is a beautiful little book and I am pleased that the co-authors have agreed to reprint it.

To learn more about this book, you can follow this link to the page I have on my web-site but please be aware that the price on the website was valid for the 1st edition, but the price of this new edition has not been decided at this time.

However, if you are interested in owning a copy your may order here. No Charges will be made to your card at this time and if you change your mind when the price is announced, your order can be cancelled. In any case, no charges will be made to your card before your book is in stock and ready from shipment.

That’s all for now!

Happy Lettering and best regards, Charlie

22 may 15 @ 8:17 am gmt

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The Painted Letters of Adolf Bernd
Click on the picture above to learn more about this special book.

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Calligraphity are proud to be members of the following organizations:
The Society of Scribes and Illuminators
The Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society
The Edward Johnston Foundation
The Society for Italic Handwriting

Calligraphity are proud supporters of the following organisations:
The Copperplate Special Interest Group (UK)
The Spencerian Study Group (UK)
Pen Poeple (UK)
Alpha Studio (Japan)
The Triangle Calligraphers' Guild (NC USA) 

for information on any of the above please send an e-mail to