Introduction to the book
The art of calligraphy has survived and is flourishing despite significant changes in its status. During and after the days of the Roman Empire, the developments in communication were mainly alterations in style and methods of writing to facilitate speed of production and economy of materials. In Europe, the fifteenth century heralded the invention of printing and mechanical reproduction methods, which have continued into the twentieth century, to the evolution of the computer and desktop publishing. These major developments and their attendant technologies have contributed valuable additions to methods of communication, and some are admirably explored by contemporary calligraphers.
In discovering the visual delights of calligraphy the perceived barrier of having no "artistic talent" disappears. This may occur through working with the raw materials of language (letterforms). The familiarity engendered through handwriting and the printed page presents a less daunting prospect than picking up a pencil to draw. There is no less attention to detail required in crafting beautiful letterforms than in drawing: both insist on precise observation and industry. Studying the individual letters of a style or hand and their relationship to each other, will reveal repeated shapes and lines.
These specific features form the basis of a transcribing language.
Learning calligraphy encompasses more than the production of beautiful letters. The manipulation of the tools is only one part: manipulation of the marks they make is an integral component. Splendid presentations depend on more than technical expertise, the letters demand good layout and design. These are further enriched by the breadth of an individual's experience. The calligrapher as artist makes statements and shares perceptions, celebrating the opportunity to use both words and images.
The creation of a reference collection of ephemera, photographs and notes will broaden understanding and personal awareness of the art. To explore and experiment with new ideas and applications will bring its own rewards and the joy of creating calligraphic artforms. Do not be frightened by conformity and do not be limited by convention!
- Comprehensive step-by-step visual analysis of all major calligraphic techniques, from Foundational hand and Uncials to Gothic, Italic and Copperplate.
- Inspirational gallery of work by leading calligraphers demonstrates how, when and what style of calligraphy best suits a given subject
- Basic design principles explained, together with coverage of equipment and materials
- An indispensable source book for all aspiring calligraphers of whatever level of expertise
1st edition 2002, Pb, 190pp, full colour throughout, 22.5 x 22.5