Learning Index >> Calligraphy: an education in letter form

Historical context
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Argetsinger, Mark. Thinking in Script. A letter of thanks from Edward Johnston to Paul Standard, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester 1997. Beautifully produced letterpress book from the Stinehauer Press with duotone plates of Johnston's original letter. The letter was written in gratitude for the subscription raised to ease Johnston's financial worries when illness made it impossible for him to work towards the end of his life. The letter contains a summary of his teaching and a sample of his formal penmanship.

Benson, John & Carey, Graham. The Elements of Lettering, John Stevens, Rhode Island 1940, McGraw Hill, New York 1950. Exceptionally clear instruction book with a unique synthesis of viewpoints. Carey's other writing make it apparent that the book's structure is the result of applying Aristotelian categories of thought to the task of describing how to make letters.

Clayton, Ewan. "Hans Joachim Burgert" in Das kalligraphische Werk und die Pressendruke von Hans Joachim Burgert Werkverzeichnis, Editions Kosgull 1991. Survey of this artist's work and philosophy. He sees calligraphy as an art of the line, shows a very different tradition of calligraphy than that represented in the CSC collections.

Gullick, Michael. Words of Risk. The Art of Thomas Ingmire, Calligraphy Review Editions 1989. An survey of Ingmire's early work, a painterly approach to calligraphic composition.

Johnston, Edward. ed. Child, Heather. Formal Penmanship and other papers, Lund Humphries, London 1971. This posthumously published work contains Johnston's considered thinking on formal penmanship. It is the definitive statement of his lifetime's work and carries the insights of his first book, Writing and Illuminating and Lettering to a new pitch of clarity, detail and depth.

Johnston, Edward. ed. Child, Heather. Lessons in Formal Writing, Lund Humphries, London 1986. Includes some of Johnston's early calligraphy, many tributes to Johnston. An essay on Lethaby by Priscilla Johnston, transcripts of lectures and teaching diagrams.

Johnston, Priscilla. Edward Johnston, Faber, London 1959, Barrie & Jenkins, London 1976. Remarkable portrait of her father by one of Johnston's daughters. Very readable, a must for anyone whom wants an insight into the man and his times.

Harvey, Michael. Creative Lettering, Drawing & Design. Bodley Head, London 1985. Good introduction to drawing, as opposed to writing, letterforms.

Knight, Stan. Historical Scripts: a handbook for calligraphers, A & C Black , London 1984, second edition Oak Knoll Press, Delaware 1998. Set new standards for the reproduction of writing in historical manuscripts and inscriptions. Thirty-one sample manuscripts selected with a letter-maker's eye, annotated and illustrated in three ways: with the script enlarged, actual size, and in a full page view. Accurate and concise historical introduction. Eight inscriptions also illustrated. Second edition enlarged and with even better photographs.

Neuenschwander, Brody, "Calligraphy: lost to modernity?" in Looking at the Same Moon, Museum van het Boak 2000. Brief but wide ranging essay setting western calligraphy in the context of art in the twentieth century, Cy Twombly, Pollock, Kline, Tobey, Alechinsky, Marden and Text Art.

Neuenschwander, Brody. Letterwork, Creative Letterforms in Graphic Design. Phaidon, London 1993. An unusually broad cross-section of work from the early nineties bridging between calligraphic and typographic design. A well structured text with the choicest insights coming in the full captions to the many colour illustrations.

Neugebauer, Friederich. The Mystic Art of Written Forms, Neugebauer Press 1980. Illustrated handbook by an Austrian letterer trained in the tradition of Rudolf Von Larisch in Vienna, wide variety of work illustrated.

Perkins, Tom. "Calligraphy as a basis for Letter Design" in Child, H. ed. The Calligrapher's Handbook, A&C Black, London 1985.



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