About 20 years ago, I discovered a very old book that belonged to my late grandpa. Its yellow pages were written in Latin and it was missing the cover. When I picked it up, a couple of pages actually crumble down and felt apart. Thinking about a good Christmas present for mom, I decided to fix it.
I got book binding books from the library and I was able to rebound this old book in red velvet cloth and I used an old soldering iron to “brand” the cover with a capital “R” that I copied from the inside of the book. I was eight and I didn’t knew anything about calligraphy nor illumination, but, I was fascinated by it –If you’re wondering about the book, it doesn’t lay completely flat…
I was intrigued by the beautiful drop caps set in –what I know now– textura quadrata. I spend a lot of time trying to copy the writing style. But, it was very frustrating without a quill or fountain pen. Years later while in high school, I purchased a calligraphy kit and I began my “ informal training.” I practice a lot and developed my own style. I’m aware, I’m not following the “rules” and that calligraphy is supposed to be a certain way following a certain hands and styles, but, that won’t prevent me from enjoying it nor limit my exploration.
Calligraphy has enable me to be more aware of the individual letter’s structures. I pay more attention to terminals, strokes, counters, bowls, serifs, etc. While I’m not really good at it, I encourage everybody to give it a try. Specially graphic and type designers. Sadly, calligraphy is regarded as a dying art whose only place is on wedding invitations. I still admire textura quadrata, blackletter, and any Gothic variation thereof. Although nowadays, you can only find it on booze labels, tattoos, graffiti and decorating the name of some bands.
So, what do you think? Please leave comments, suggestions, questions and ideas on the comment box below. Thanks for visiting. AG1LAB