Friday, August 21, 2009

The Calligraphy Lesson : Part Three, Monoline & Drawn Letters

 Calligraphy by Victoria Hoke Lane,  Pigma Micron 05 pen
Invitation by Picture Perfect, design by Tina Blanck;  Photography by Lauryl Lane

This fun template invitation (the gown is actually suspended on the form) begged for the monoline handwriting script used. Monoline refers to the fact that this style has no thicks or thins. It remains the same weight throughout the letters. Technically, monoline letters can be made in any style (for example, monoline Romans, monoline uncials, etc.). But I use monoline to refer to this particular handwriting script which I use for many ephemeral applications.
[The Royal Doulton figures of Jack and Jill were a grade school gift from my paternal grandmother, a marvelous oil painter and significant influence in my early years.]

Self-promotional Postcard: Lettering by Victoria Hoke Lane,  Illustration by Keith Criss

By way of clarifying the difference between pen-made and drawn letters, I present this last example. These letterforms - which have elements of both italic and script - have been drawn. Pen-made letters have various characteristics that result from the tool that is used (be it pointed, broad-edged, flexible or stiff...or even a brush or marker). Drawn letters are precisely that...drawn. I see the letters in my mind and begin to draw them much as one would initiate a portrait from memory. I can also look at antique examples and draw inspiration from them as I rework the original forms.

In either case, the design usually goes through a number of tracings until it is refined to the designer's satisfaction. At that point, the outlines are inked and then filled in. Today this process is often accomplished wholly on the computer. I prefer to work by hand and then translate my design to vectoring. I feel that this preserves more of the intimacy of hand-lettering. This is a time-consuming process, but can result in wonderful titles, logos, etc.

Thank you, dear Readers, for bearing with me to the completion of these lessons. I venture to say you have gleaned a new understanding of several aspects of calligraphy, and I thus commend you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.