Hand Lettering: Originally Published in 1912

Jun 6, 2012 by

HAND LETTERING is a wonderful little book on (you guessed it) Hand Lettering first  published in 1912.  Here’s a little snippet for you: “The correct letter-spacing is the most difficult prohlem the student must confront, so I hope you will closely study the following rules. The simplest way to govern the letter spacing is to place your letters in your line so that the hlank or open space between each separate letter is near the same size in area as illustrated by the dotted lined portions XYZ in figure five. Use your top and bottom guide lines for C’S and govern the area with your eye. The blank space between LA is the largest natural blank space possible. In this case you can decrease the area by cut- ting the horizontal bar of the L a little shorter than its natural size or decrease this area by one of the three other methods shown in figure six. As a rule the round letters such as CGOQ should be spaced a little closer than normal. Full space letters as BDEHKHAINRUSXZ should be spaced the normal distance apart while open letters as AFJLPTVWY should be spaced very closely together. Train your eye so you can govern the area of the blank spaces between letters, as mechanical means cannot be successfully applied for this purpose. The correct amount of space each letter should consume in the line can be governed by using BCDGKPRSTXZ as normal and add i-io to OQVY, add 1-5 to A, add 2-5 to AIW and subtract io from EFN. The normal form of block letters is square, but they can be condensed and elongated without affecting the style or appearance. Condensing or shortening the width of the letter should not exceed one space wide by three spaces high. Elongating or lengthening the width should not exceed two spaces wide by one space high. In condensing you can make letters LEFJNT a little narrower than other letters without affecting the appearance. Block letters are divided into two families, named Gothic and Roman. The Gothic letters have the same thickness of bars or body while Roman letters have alternatelv thick and thin bars. An important rule in Roman letters is that all bars of the downward stroke or extending from the upper left hand to the lower right hand are heaviest while the opposite bars are thin as in figure seven. In order to overcome optical illusions you can make the horizontal bars in Gothic letters about i-io less in thickness than the vertical bars, otherwise the horizontal bars will appear a little the thickest. Round letters should run a little over the guide lines, or they will have a smaller appearance than the rest of the line. ”  Enjoy and Keep Reading! (and Writing!)

 

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