Friday, June 17, 2005

Cutting Letters

Its always good to see a job finished. All of the JF bookplates are trimmed and set in their case. I will try to post a pic tomorrow. Immediately, I reach for a new job - another bookplate - as I still have a pile of work to finish before California and I need a break before cracking on with V&A. . This is smaller and shouldn't be too much touble. I always start with the most difficult part of the design and, with bookplates, this means starting with the lettering.

Lettering is one of my weak areas. I do love letters, whether cut in stone, caligraphy or cast as metal type. I am making steady progress with the practice of cutting letters but I have a long way to go before I will be satisfied - if I ever am. I am trying to develop five or six styles of lettering that I can offer on my bookplates. I have chosen one of these for the new project. It is based on the lettering on an Eric Gill bookplate from 1920 and I love it for its simplicity and gravitas. I think that it will suit the personality of the person who will receive the finished bookplate as a present. It is rather like a "Roman" typeface.

I like to think that my lettering improves with every bookplate but the reality is more like "taking two steps forwards and one step back". However, the general movement is forwards. I keep thinking about finding some tuition to improve my lettercutting but when? I can't see it happening before next year - perhaps a resolution for 2006?

1 comment:

yochanan said...

hello andy letters are more difficult because there is much less leeway for error. I think practice on cutting letters helps you in every other part of block cutting.

After cutting a number of fonts in wood going back to cutting a reg. block seems so much easier.

I am not always sure if I should thank the W.E.N. for going to the Hamilton wood type mus. (just kidding)

john center