Italic Correspondence Course

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000014620029.jpg

Italic Correspondence Course

325.00

Italic Calligraphy online class with Dao Huy Hoang

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The Italic hand is essential style for not only calligraphers, but any one who loves to try calligraphy and study it further. It is applicable to many everyday jobs requiring a clear touch of the human hand. Even though calligraphers can use a computer to create an Italic alphabet fonts, design layouts, incorporate letters and images, and print them out, the best lettering still originate in a real pen on real paper. Italic and its infinite variations allow us to create more than a good handwriting, yet to the delicate letter art.

To study Italic well, a beginner may start from the historical script - Cancellaresca, or Chancery hand, an early form of Italic as we know today. Some of the characteristics of the Chancery Hand can be seen in the book of cursive written by one of the most famous of the Vatican scribes, Ludovico Arrighi. While Arrighi is a permanent fixture of the history of letters, it is curious fact that his actual writing exists in only a few manuscripts. Arrighi’s Operina, the first writing manual, appeared in the 1522, but his woodcut printing letters gives us rough and pointed shape. A better starting point would be to look at the rounder, more formal hands of Bernardino Cataneo and Francesco Lucas. Their Cancellaresca shows more refined writing system that could work best for handwriting and printing. Cancellaresca flourishes can begin in many direction with any stroke, but sometimes they look too much busy to modern eyes.

Italic was well revised in the 20th century, along calligraphy in general and related book arts. Steel nibs added convenience to calligraphy as graphic designers spread the hand lettered alphabet to posters, signs, logos and book covers. Italic and its flourish style had a new life thanks to the revolution of type design. Hermann Zapf, one of the best in calligraphy and typography world, creates delicate yet simple flourishes that sparkle with life, and never feel as if they are additions to the basic shape. Rather, they flow out of the shapes naturally.

Variations on the basic shapes include weight, roundness/pointedness, and cursivity (forward lean/straightness). There is also the more subtle variations that can be archived by pen manipulation and building up of serifs or stroke endings. Many interesting ligatures can be made, mimicking handwriting and creating a more varied textures. Formal Italic hand has so many possibilities that require much practice and research of art and letter design, a calligrapher should start from a very fresh point - handwriting then fly over to explore other techniques to turn Italic - letter to images or both.