Author Topic: Calligraphy & Lettering Design  (Read 2024 times)

Offline Brad franklin

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Calligraphy & Lettering Design
« on: October 12, 2014, 11:43:56 PM »
I picked up a cute little book called Calligraphy & Lettering Design by Arthur Newhall published in 1989. It shows a couple of different hands and how to execute them. One of the chapters is on Spencerian Script. I was kinda surprised because none of my books mentions this script just Copperplate. I will enclose of few pictures of the exemplar. To me it looks like Copperplate, what do you guys think?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 01:17:02 AM by Erica McPhee »

Offline Heebs

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Re: Calligraphy & Letting Design
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 01:05:50 AM »
You've never heard of Spencerian Script or just what this variation might be? This certainly doesn't look like Spencerian and from the small text in the picture, they seem to refer to it as Copperplate/Roundhand as well. Sounds like they might just mislabeled it.

Offline tintenfuchs

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Re: Calligraphy & Letting Design
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 02:33:16 AM »
Whaaat? Does the text say "Spencerian Script, also known as Copperplate"? Uh-oh. Whoever wrote this clearly didn't check his facts.
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Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Calligraphy & Letting Design
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 02:49:44 AM »
You've never heard of Spencerian Script or just what this variation might be? This certainly doesn't look like Spencerian and from the small text in the picture, they seem to refer to it as Copperplate/Roundhand as well. Sounds like they might just mislabeled it.

Yes heebs I have heard of spencerian. This book just labeled it as spencerian script. And I did not think that was right. I just wanted to run it by others.

Offline Roseann

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Re: Calligraphy & Letting Design
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 04:23:42 AM »
Hi Brad,
Yes, I agree with you.  It does look like Copperplate. 
There is a heavily shaded Spencerian, but this is clearly Copperplate.
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Offline AndyT

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Re: Calligraphy & Letting Design
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2014, 05:26:57 AM »
That's copperplate to me: none of the Spencerian fundamentals as understood by calligraphers are there.

However, I'm indebted to Cecilia for explaining to me that "Spencerian" means something rather different in terms of typography, by means of sending me this link.  So:

Quote
What is Spencerian?
Itís a misnomer as itís not the same as Spencerian penmanship, a 19th century pointed pen commercial writing style promulgated by Platt Rogers Spencer and his heirs and colleagues. But Spencerian as coined by Tom Carnase and used by Di Spigna et al is a drawn script style based not upon Platt Rogers Spencerís work, but on a range of pointed pen styles, especially Roundhand, the 18th century English version practiced by Charles Snell, George Shelley, Joseph Champion and John Bland that was immortalized by writing master and engraver George Bickham in The Universal Penman (1741).

Because itís drawn instead of written, Spencerian is characterized by an extreme contrast of thick and thin strokes. Di Spigna insists that its thins need to be as thin as possibleótrue hairlines.

I think Messrs Carnase and Di Spigna have a bit of a cheek to appropriate PR Spencer's good name in this way and muddy the waters so comprehensively - but that's the way it is.

The giveaways for Spencerian lowercase script are intermittent tapered shades, a low angle of connective slant, a semi-angular execution with tight turns and shallow curves, and that characteristic pointed oval forming the bowl of a, d, g and q - none of which are present in the first example above.  It's less well defined with capitals, but the capital stem with a low asymmetrical shade is something you'd expect to see in written Spencerian majuscules, as opposed to the "line of universal beauty" which puts in several appearances in the second example.

The book looks nicely presented, Brad - have you found it useful?

Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Calligraphy & Letting Design
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 09:11:56 AM »
I can get some design ideas out of it. But nothing really on the Calligraphy. More so the typography stuff in the back. I only paid $1.97 for it at a goodwill store so it will be just for the collection really. Most calligraphy books are fun to look at and not really to learn from anymore. Mostly I already have the fundamentals and strokes down. Now just on me to get them right on paper. But for a beginner it would be a nice little book with large letters.

Offline Heebs

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Re: Calligraphy & Letting Design
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2014, 09:59:36 AM »
Great point Andy, Tony DiSpigna has always been one of my favorite lettering artists but the references to his work as Spencerian have always thrown me off.

Offline schin

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Re: Calligraphy & Letting Design
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2014, 12:53:31 PM »
Hehehe.. someone should leave this book on Mike Sull's doorstep, ring his bell then run off!
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Offline Blotbot

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Re: Calligraphy & Letting Design
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2014, 03:06:56 PM »
Hehehe.. someone should leave this book on Mike Sull's doorstep, ring his bell then run off!

Trick or treat!