How to Select a Calligraphy Guide Book
I’ve collected numerous calligraphy manuals over the years, searching for tips and tricks to improve my lettering. As an SCA scribe, my book criteria differ from calligraphy books for modern works. Here are my preferences.
|Traditional Calligraphy Guides|
- The book should focus on the nib-lettering technique I want to learn. For most of us in the SCA that is lettering with a broad-nib pen, rather than a pointed nib. I have enough projects to letter without learning a Spencerian script.
- The scripts included should be those we commonly use. While your choices may be different, my option list includes: Roman, Half Uncial, Uncial, Caroline minuscule, Foundation hand, Insular majuscule, Protogothic minuscule, Gothic textura quadrata, Gothic quadrata prescisus, Lombardic capitals, Secretary hand, Secretary capitals, Frakture minuscule, Frakture capitals and Cadels.
- The book should focus on basic, formal lettering strokes rather than stylized art forms.
- The more facsimile reproduced images included the better. If the image is actual size and I have a pen nib that matches it I can practice using my lightbox and tracing over the letters, especially the serifs.
- The pen angle, nib width count, and ductus should be clearly shown for each calligraphy style.
- The more period photographs the better.
- The Art of Calligraphy: a Practical Guide to the Skills and Techniques by David Harris ISBN-13: 978-1564588494
- Medieval Calligraphy: Its History and Technique by Marc Drogin ISBN-13: 978-0486261423