Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Pen Lettering In The Old Times


Speedball
introduced us to calligraphy, or pen lettering, in our youth. It taught us Gothic, Roman, Old English, Text, Manuscript, together with pens and India ink. And gave us interminable pride in our improved penmanship and classy letter writing.

Today, the company is still at it, marketing the same products that we had learned to love and treasure.

From the personal ancient archive comes this basic lettering book that came with the pens and a supply of India ink, published in the 40’s.


And with the advent of computer technology, pen lettering has been relegated to the dustbin of things discarded or not taught extensively.

Even in our little hometown, movie and business ads are now done mostly in computer-made tarp billboards. Almost gone are the days of hand-painted signs with images.

Holdouts can still be seen around the city practicing their dying art in small, cramped and dilapidated quarters.

Their lights are dimming and pretty soon they will be extinguished.

And my favorite, Old English, will really look older.