How To Layout A Scroll
Scroll creation is like cooking. You begin the creative process knowing for whom you want to cook and when you want to serve it. You collect the essential ingredients you want to use, calligraphy, paint, and support. Using medieval sources, you add a pinch of intuition, a dash of inspiration, stir them together hoping for a tasty result. The best scroll art harmonizes flavors to create an effective dish, sometimes with spices of surprise or humor.
The backbone ingredient of cooking an SCA scroll is the layout. A thorough layout plan saves preparing the dish by ruling, and lettering, only to realize you have insufficient space for illumination and standard framing. With a thorough layout, you know the space the text and illumination will occupy and even plan wiggle-room. You may also change ingredients to enhance the scroll’s visual impact.
Scroll size, format, level of sophistication in calligraphy and illumination, and style are left to the scribe. There is no hierarchy of scroll sizes or calligraphy and illumination sophistication required by the award’s level. I try to include real gold and vellum when provided to me for peerage scrolls. I use pergamenata and gold gouache for lower level awards. Those are my options. I would change them if I were tapped to do a scroll for a close friend.
|Layout of a simple scroll|
A simple page layout, like the one to the right, is a basic recipe for lettering a couple of lines, a current certificate or calligraphy art. But scrolls are different than modern certificates. They use layout and design differently than today’s graphic art. An SCA scroll’s purpose is to emulate a medieval manuscript or legal page. Many graphic art “rules” don’t apply. Scroll layout is based on page design found in medieval manuscripts.
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