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Eternal Capitals

  • Time Sun See Coworking Space 55 Trần Nhật Duật Hồ Chí Minh Vietnam (map)

Date: October 5-7, 2018

Time: 9 AM - 5 PM, one hour lunch break and short break in middle afternoon

Location: Time Sun See Coworking Space, 55 Tran Nhat Duat, Tan Dinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

2,000 years ago, Roman sign writers used square-edge brush to write large inscriptions on buildings across the empire. There are many examples that still exist: Roman Patheon, Trajan’s Column, the Arch of Titus and countless archeological stone, metal and wood objects. The Greek invented eleven letters from Egyptian hieroglyphics, then they were taken to Rome and changed to Roman alphabet we know today. Many letters were modified and some others were added to the alphabet since then.

The Roman alphabet spread surrounding the Mediterranean Sea with the expansion of the Empire, and soon became popular in Europe. The pen has changed thoroughly along human history, from the brushes and reed pens to quill pens in Middle Age, and metal nib pens in Modern Age. The square-edge shape writing tools defined how we developed many different styles based on the structure of Roman letters. Thus studying Roman improves performance in any other calligraphic hands.

Roman letters were also widely used in inspiration for early serif typefaces. Capitals were greatly respected by letter artisans of the Renaissance such as Geoffroy Tony and Felice Feliciano. Twentieth century witnessed the revival of calligraphy, Roman letters then were refined to more than just handwriting, which now represents the typographic influence on lettering using hand tools. Edward Johnston, Eric Gil and Hermann Zapf, who are both type designer and calligrapher, introduced and developed different views of calligraphy study, specially focused on the principles of Roman letters applicable to lettering in general.

There are many approaches to learn Roman letters. In this workshop we will explore the possibilities of the metal nibs and other uncommon tools. We will start from technical hand: pen angle, geometrical letterform, serifs and space then manipulate the pen to see how it changes the visual feeling: variations, rhythm, texture,...


Please bring your own tools to the class, essential materials:

  1. Straight holders
  2. Broad edge nib (Speedball C2, C3 & C5; or Brause 3mm, 2.5mm & 1.5 mm; or Mitchell 01, 02 & 04)
  3. Brush to load ink
  4. Flat brush, folded pen (optional)
  5. Dark ink (Higgins, Walnut, or Inkstick)
  6. Big size paper (70-100 cm)
  7. Straight & angle ruler, pencil, eraser
  8. Colors (gouache, watercolor, pencil, etc.)
  9. Varied paper: draft paper, watercolor paper, white & dark color paper


3,100,000 VND
(3 day class & class notes)

Transaction to bank account:
Dao Huy Hoang
Vietcombank Chua Lang

If you are not living in Vietnam, please make payment through
Total fee is 180 USD (included 5% transaction fee)


Later Event: October 15
Singapore Annual Workshop