IN THIS BOOK we have looked at letters that range
from the spontaneous attempts of beginners to
examples inscribed and drawn by top professionals. As
the project grew, the contributors (at all levels) not
only donated their work but took part in the
discussions that helped to determine the final shape of
what I consider to be very much 'our' book.
Some unexpected points emerged in these
discussions. It is obvious that beginners can profit from
studying superb lettering - but maybe they can learn
just as much, though in a different way, from the work
of someone nearer their own standard; they can relate
to the problems still being solved and develop their
own critical faculties at the same time.
Some of the expert letterers, on the other hand,
were interested in the beginners' responses to the
somewhat unconventional exercises in the first section.
Even beginners can produce some original letters that
could hold their own with professional work (though
they might not be consistently good).
We have tried to keep a balance between
preserving spontaneity and stressing the discipline
needed to pursue a successful career in lettering,
whatever the chosen medium. One message that comes
over very clearly is that however perfect or original
your lettering may be it can be spoiled by poor
We have enjoyed sharing our methods and our
feelings about our work, and showing both
lightheartedly and seriously how lettering can be
reproduced and repeated in so many ways for so many
uses. We only hope it will extend both your
imagination and your skills.
Four of the artists featured in
this book are shown at work.
Above: Lida Lopes Cardozo,
David Kindersley. Below:
Gunnlauger, S E Briem, Martin