Historical Calligraphy CollectionHistorical lettering styles for book titling, ad campaigns and more
Historical Calligraphy Collection
I learned calligraphy from many wonderful masters who taught me how to dip my pen in ink and make a blob into a letter. I also learned to cut quills. Today I blend old knowledge with new to create title designs and campaign lettering that has an authentic historical character. I no longer bake my feathers in hot sand (do you know how many feathers you can go through before you get one perfectly cured?) but for historical calligraphy I use my pens in much the same way as the scribes of old.
Some of the projects in this collection show the evolution of a title concept, the explorations that lead to unique and unexpected work. Historical calligraphy is used for the fantasy genre in books and film but also as titling for documentaries. I have had some surprising commissions for advertising design, including a racy campaign for Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas. Only one of the headlines, the third sample above, was not x-rated – who knew Blackletter, the traditional choice for church psalters – was sexy?? Historical styles can also be wonderful used in parody, as in this project I did as ghostwriter for Jon Stewart’s book Earth. Here the character writes of his home room romance in the hand of a besotted schoolboy:
Definitely a note written in this way can glamorize the past and ‘maketh memory a fairyland.’ Consider historical styles of calligraphy the next time you want to say something different about time, tradition, or modern lyfe.