Author Topic: Slant angles of famous work  (Read 4932 times)

Offline Matthew_R

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Slant angles of famous work
« on: March 11, 2015, 02:50:59 PM »
In studying the work of the big names (Madarasz, Zaner, Bloser, etc.), I like to measure things such as the angle of the main slant, the angle of the connective slant, the ratio of x-height to semi-extended and extended letters, and the spacing.

Below are the slant angles of some of their work.  The angles can vary slightly within a piece, so I measure different points and find the average.  If somebody else measured, the angles could be slightly different, but these are pretty accurate.  I hope this will help other beginners understand that the old-timers didn't always use the prescribed slant angles.

Louis Madarasz's 'Washington' piece (including 'Rome perched Nero...')
Main slant: 42 degrees
Connective slant: 17 degrees

Louis Madarasz's 'Study as much as you practice' piece
Main slant: 45 degrees
Connective slant: 20 degrees

Louis Madarasz's practice sheet
Main slant: 42 degrees
Connective slant: 18 degrees

C. P. Zaner's sample certificate from the Zanerian College
Main slant: 48 degrees
Connective slant: 23.5 degrees

E. W. Bloser's Madarasz letter
The copy that I have has low resolution, which makes it hard to measure the main slant of the minimum letters ('m,' 'n,' 'u,' etc.).  So, I measured the main slant of the extended letters.
Main slant of extended letters: 46.5 degrees
Connective slant: 22 degrees

E. W. Bloser's 'Penmanship is a fascinating art...'
Main slant: 40 degrees
Connective slant: 18 degrees

Offline Judy G

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 02:53:50 PM »
Wow!! You did all these?!? Kudos to you!!!
Judy G [joo-dee]
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Offline artcyva

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 03:42:58 PM »
Wow! I will take note of this. Thanks for sharing!  :)
Charm
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Offline Roseann

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 11:31:29 PM »
Thank You!  This is so helpful!
Roseann

The world is so full of a number of things, Im sure we should all be as happy as kings.   R. L. Stevenson

Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 12:19:59 PM »
Question? How did you measure there slant. I have done this before and just tested it again. I took Zaner example certificate and put it in Photoshop. Then I draw a horizontal line straight across. Then I twist that line exactly 52 degrees using the program. His lines are pretty close to 52 degrees. I did not check the rest of your example. Maybe you have better equipment than me to test this. BTW I received a letter from Paul Antonio that he penned without any lines and of course I checked his with a adjustable square and it was 55 degrees. That's what degree he uses.

Offline Matthew_R

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 02:29:03 PM »
Question? How did you measure there slant. I have done this before and just tested it again. I took Zaner example certificate and put it in Photoshop. Then I draw a horizontal line straight across. Then I twist that line exactly 52 degrees using the program. His lines are pretty close to 52 degrees. I did not check the rest of your example. Maybe you have better equipment than me to test this. BTW I received a letter from Paul Antonio that he penned without any lines and of course I checked his with a adjustable square and it was 55 degrees. That's what degree he uses.

That's interesting.  Was Paul Antonio's letter written in copperplate?  I'd be surprised if he wrote Spencerian with a 55-degree slant, but anything's possible.

As I mentioned, different people may get slightly different results when they measure.  That's cool.  Here's how I measure it:

I put it into Photoshop, then place a horizontal guide below one of the baselines or ruled lines.  I rotate the image until that line is parallel with the guide.  That makes the piece level within Photoshop (as long as all of the baselines are parallel).  Then, I zoom in to the point where I can easily measure individual strokes within letters.  I make a rectangular selection and free transform it to rotate it to the angle of the stroke I'm measuring.  I keep that transformation live and move the selection to various points around the image, adjusting the rotation until it closely matches the majority of the strokes I measure.

The Zaner piece I measured was the red-seal certificate that reads, "This Certifies That Artistic Writer, having completed the prescribed course of study and practice in Ornamental Penmanship..."  It's on the IAMPETH site.  Is that the piece you measured?  I just went back a remeasured it a little, and I found a possible reason why two people's measurements could be different.  It looks like Zaner angled some ascenders a bit more than some of the minimum letters in that piece.  In finding an average, I give significant weight to the ascenders, so my measurement would yield a slightly more acute angle than if I weighted it more toward the minimum letters.

Offline AmyNeub

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 06:06:23 PM »
Your Geometry teachers would be mad at you, if they read this. (Sorry, I taught Math for 4 years) Why not a protractor? Just saying, but then you would either have to use it on your screen, or print it off. I do love Photoshop too.

I know from my own reference. I tried to make an OP Zaner Z and it was not 52 but 48. I tried to write Madarasz script, but it was not 52 but 48. I guess, I am not a historian here, that just like there are all forms for "cursive" that 1800's penman had their own form and slant. To be different and noticeable. I know some people write Spencerian at 60 degrees too.

So to each his own.

Offline AndyT

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 07:44:12 PM »
So to each his own.

This.  For all that the textbooks might specify 52/ 30 or 50/ 25, I'm very confident indeed that professional penmen gave the matter little thought, if any, and rang the changes as they saw fit.  In the OP books if slant is mentioned at all it's to ram home the need for consistency achieved by practice.  Zaner was relaxed on the subject, by the way, suggesting "an angle of about 50 degrees (or any similar angle you may adopt for your penmanship)".

I really don't think this is something to get hung up on: if it looks right, it's right.

Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 01:13:11 AM »
Question? How did you measure there slant. I have done this before and just tested it again. I took Zaner example certificate and put it in Photoshop. Then I draw a horizontal line straight across. Then I twist that line exactly 52 degrees using the program. His lines are pretty close to 52 degrees. I did not check the rest of your example. Maybe you have better equipment than me to test this. BTW I received a letter from Paul Antonio that he penned without any lines and of course I checked his with a adjustable square and it was 55 degrees. That's what degree he uses.

That's interesting.  Was Paul Antonio's letter written in copperplate?  I'd be surprised if he wrote Spencerian with a 55-degree slant, but anything's possible.

As I mentioned, different people may get slightly different results when they measure.  That's cool.  Here's how I measure it:

I put it into Photoshop, then place a horizontal guide below one of the baselines or ruled lines.  I rotate the image until that line is parallel with the guide.  That makes the piece level within Photoshop (as long as all of the baselines are parallel).  Then, I zoom in to the point where I can easily measure individual strokes within letters.  I make a rectangular selection and free transform it to rotate it to the angle of the stroke I'm measuring.  I keep that transformation live and move the selection to various points around the image, adjusting the rotation until it closely matches the majority of the strokes I measure.

The Zaner piece I measured was the red-seal certificate that reads, "This Certifies That Artistic Writer, having completed the prescribed course of study and practice in Ornamental Penmanship..."  It's on the IAMPETH site.  Is that the piece you measured?  I just went back a remeasured it a little, and I found a possible reason why two people's measurements could be different.  It looks like Zaner angled some ascenders a bit more than some of the minimum letters in that piece.  In finding an average, I give significant weight to the ascenders, so my measurement would yield a slightly more acute angle than if I weighted it more toward the minimum letters.

Funny, you know what I measured was Zaner' Copperplate certificate not his Spencerian one. HeHe. Also the Paul Antonio letter was in Copperplate as well. He wrote a small piece in Spencerian but did not bother with that. So my bad.  ;)   

Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 01:20:11 AM »
Your Geometry teachers would be mad at you, if they read this. (Sorry, I taught Math for 4 years) Why not a protractor? Just saying, but then you would either have to use it on your screen, or print it off. I do love Photoshop too.

I know from my own reference. I tried to make an OP Zaner Z and it was not 52 but 48. I tried to write Madarasz script, but it was not 52 but 48. I guess, I am not a historian here, that just like there are all forms for "cursive" that 1800's penman had their own form and slant. To be different and noticeable. I know some people write Spencerian at 60 degrees too.

So to each his own.
I would tell my teacher that although that is a very good option and it was checked that way. However we have better technology in computers that would give me an exact measurement. Remember I am a computer aided drafter and land surveyor and know my measurements. Then And I would expect them to say my Goodness Brad you are the smartest boy in the class! 8). Pinch Pinch wake up it's time for work. But I was having the greatest dream Mom

Offline wfung

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Re: Slant angles of famous work
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2015, 01:22:38 PM »
thanks for sharing!