The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy
By: Abbey Sy
Publication: June 12th 2018 by Quarry Books
Genre: Non-fiction, Arts, Craft
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--Written by best-selling author and hand letterer Abbey Sy, The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy covers the basics and beyond for creative lettering techniques.
The book begins with an overview of tools and materials, both traditional (pointed pen and fountain pen) and modern (including brush markers and chalk), then presents a visual glossary of letterforms, highlights the unique characteristics of the featured alphabets, and demonstrates how to draw letterforms to foster an understanding of how they’re created. The core chapters explore traditional, modern, and special effects lettering using a variety of mark-making tools, with in-depth how-to on adding flourishes and other special details, plus creative projects. There’s also an introduction to modifying and creating letterforms digitally, as well as practice sheets for the featured alphabets. So whether you’ve never tried lettering before or you’d like to develop your skills and consider all your creative options, The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy will guide and inspire you on your lettering journey.
This is the second hand lettering book that I've reviewed here on my blog. The other was Lettering with Purpose.
The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy had short chapters and sections dedicated to more than just hand lettering. There were sections on the history and different types of calligraphy, fonts and font types, and even a section for digital lettering. The history bits were actually interesting to me where history isn't always my favorite subject.
I particularly think the section about digital lettering will be helpful in the future. Although I love the look of hand created art, I'm also quite a perfectionist. Digital renderings allow you to take art you've hand drawn and perfect it. Unfortunately this requires Adobe Illustrator which is quite expensive. This is likely not something you'd want to pay for a hobby alone, but if you were hoping to sell your art pieces then it might be worth the investment. Personally, I'm not quite there yet.
I didn't have some of the tools needed in order to actually practice some of the calligraphy styles, but that's okay with me for now. I can see myself investing in them in the future. For now, I'm practicing brush lettering. The book highly suggests that you use practice and drills to acquire muscle memory, but I didn't feel like this was emphasized quite enough. When I first got interested in hand lettering, I jumped right in trying to create hand lettered quotes or pieces of art, but I just didn't have the fundamentals down. I'm still very much learning, but I've taken to doing drills every day and I can actually feel the difference in the muscle memory that I'm creating even if my drawings aren't anything I'd want to share yet. All of this to say that once I feel a bit more accomplished in the style I'm working on now, I'd like to branch out to some of the other styles and fonts featured in this book.
Even though I said drills weren't emphasized, approximately 40 pages of this book are actually practice sheets. In my opinion, that is quite a lot of practice sheets included. This is a pro in my opinion for those looking to purchase this book. For me, they weren't as helpful as they could be because my review copy was an Adobe Digital Editions version with the function to print turned off. Sure, I can mimic the drills as best as possible simply by looking at my computer screen and trying to copy on my own paper, but a bit of the purpose and functionality of the practice sheets is lost in doing so. I will say that even with 40 practice sheets, that's basically one sheet per style...this isn't a book that has pages upon pages for you to practice one style. The book just covers so many styles and fonts that each style taking up one-two pages is this long.
In the section for hand lettering (or brush lettering), I didn't find any real new information for me. But that's okay. This book covered so many other styles and fonts that I found plenty new (to me) information in the other chapters. The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy gets 4 Stars. Have you read The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy? What did you think? Let me know!