Core seminars: Lettering and tools 1

[Note: Every couple of weeks a student leads a seminar on a specific topic. The seminars take the form of reports on one or more items (usually a key text) and the discussion covers a range of related resources. Seminars roughly shadow the progress of issues raised by practical work, and other teaching. (So, this first seminar took place a week after an introductory session on lettercutting, James Mosley’s lectures on inscriptional lettering, and Richard Grasby’s guest lecture.) I’ll be posting the list of items we discuss for each of our core seminars over the coming months, but note that:

  • no item is to be received uncritically — some are on the list precisely because they help illustrate the advance of scholarship, or the changing views in our field; and

  • the list of items is scaled to fit within the time limits of the discussion — the list for each seminar is edited to support the points raised in the session.]  

Core text: Nicolete Gray, A history of lettering: creative experiment and letter identity Phaidon, 1986

  Items on handout bibliography

  •   Michael Harvey, “Inscription and type design: an investigation.” In Type, Vol 2 , no 1. Association Typographique Internationale, 1998

  •   Graily Hewitt, Lettering for students & craftsmen. The Pitman Press, 1976 (first ed. 1930)

  •   James Hutchinson, Letters. Herbert Press, 1983

  •   Frances Spalding, “‘A true statement of real thing’: Nicolete Gray’s promotionof modern art.” In Typography Papers 3, 1998

  •   Jan Tschichold, An Illustrated history of writing and lettering. Zwemmer, 1946 Michael Twyman, “Nicolete Gray: a personal view of her contribution to the study of letterforms.” In Typography Papers 3, 1998  

Items for discussion

  •   Martin Andersch, Symbols, signs, letters: About handwriting, experimenting with alphabets, and the interpretation of texts. Design Press, 1989

  •   Donald M. Anderson, The art of written forms: The theory and practice of calligraphy. Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc, 1969

  •   Peter Bain & Paul Shaw (Eds), Blackletter: Type and national identity. Princeton Architectural Press, 1998

  • Edward Catich, _The origin of the serif: Brush writing and Roman letters. 2nd ed, St Ambrose University, 1991 (first ed. 1968)

  •   Hermann Degering, Lettering: Modes of writing in Western Europe from Antiquity to the Eighteenth century. Ernest Benn Ltd, 1965 (first ed. 1929)

  •   Adrian Frutiger, Schriften des Abendlandes in Holztafeln geschnitten / Bois originaux illustrant l’évolution de l’ écriture en Occident / The development of Western type carved in wood plates. Syndor Press, 1996

  •   Nicolete Gray, Lettering as drawing: the moving line. OUP, 1970

  •   Michael Harvey, Carving letters in stone & wood. The Bodley Head, 1987

Creative lettering: drawing & design. The Bodley Head, 1985

Lettering design: Form & skill in the design & use of letters. There Bodley Head, 1975

Letters into words. William Clowes & Sons Ltd, 1973

  • Jost Hochuli, “Review of The origin of the serif.” In Visible Language, VII 1, 1973

  •   Edward Johnston, Writing & illuminating & lettering. Pitman Publishing, 1906

  •   Albert Kapr, The art of lettering: The history, anatomy, and aesthetics of Roman letterforms. K. G. Saur, 1983

  •   Hans Eduard Meier, Die Schriftenwicklung / The development of script and type / Le développment des charactères. Syntax Press, 1994

  • Stanley Morison, Politics and script: Aspects of authority and freedom in the development of Graeco-Latin script from the sixth-century BC. OUP, 2000 (first ed. 1972)

  •   James Mosley, The nymph and the grot. Friends of the St Bride Library, 1999

  •   Alexander Nesbitt, Lettering: There history and technique of lettering as design. Prentice-Hall, 1950

  •   John Prestianni (Ed.), Calligraphic type design in the digital age: An exhibition in honor of the contributions of Hermann and Gudrun Zapf. Selected type designs and calligraphy by sixteen designers. Gingko Press, 2001

  •   Jan Tschichold, Treasury of alphabets and lettering. Lund Humphries, 1992 (first ed. 1952)