Tutorials > Copperplate Tutorial by SMK

Copperplate Challenge

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Salman Khattak:
Practitioners of Copperplate and Engrosser's Script know that the spacing in these scripts is fairly 'automatic' i.e. things fall in place rather nicely when the exit hairlines are drawn correctly and meet the following letter at about halfway up the x-height. It is interesting to ponder exactly why that is so.

It turns out (no pun intended) that the bottom turns of the straight letters (i, t, l) etc are actually similar to the rounded letters (o, c, e). When drawn correctly, i.e. like the bottom right side of an 'o', exit strokes will be at the correct angle (i.e. match the slant) when they meet the following letter. What is even better is that the join won't be jarring even if the hairline meets the following letter a little bit below the halfway point - this typically results in an abrupt 'impalement' of the hairline into the following letter if the hairline is drawn a bit too shallow.

Here is an exercise I give the students. The following image shows the bottom halves of 3 words 'ice', 'lit' and 'tie' - can you tell which one is which?

(you can see the full image here)

The challenge is to write these three words and show only the bottom halves to see if the words are recognizable. I will be looking forward to your participation.

Been working with your tutorials for about 2 weeks now and thought I would give this a try.

The hidden one and the open one.

Salman Khattak:

Thank you for participating in the challenge Prasad  :) I hope it encourages others to join in too.

- Salman

I don't know about Copperplate but it seems to work nicely with Italics.

Salman Khattak:

--- Quote from: InkyFingers on October 25, 2016, 07:58:35 PM ---I don't know about Copperplate but it seems to work nicely with Italics.

--- End quote ---

... but it shouldn't.

In Italic the bottoms of the letters 'c', 'e', 'o' are more rounded than the straight strokes of the 'i', 't', 'l' etc. The letters 'a' and 'g' do have similar strokes as the straight ones. Even in gothicized pointed italic like you have written, the bottom curve of the 'c' and 'e' should move to the right a bit more to keep the letters from 'falling forward' - this would (and should) make them different than the bottom part of the straight letters.

The point of this exercise for Copperplate is to learn natural spacing and make uniform joins. The same would not apply to Italic or Batarde or even Textualis Quadrata.

I hope this makes sense :-)

- Salman


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