As the new school year has started—pour moi—and fall has started to sprinkle in, there is something in the air that calls for learning a new skill, right? I’m currently two weeks into an independent lettering study here at SCAD and I thought that I’d share four books that have already become integral to learning this new skill—along with mounds of calligraphy youtube videos. Seriously, they’re like lettering porn, if you’re into that sort of thing:
ONE—The History and Technique of Lettering by Alexander Nesbit. This is the ultimate guide to finding your foundation in lettering practice. It starts from the very beginnings of writing, and travels through the history introducing you to the tools and techniques of the past. It also has a great practice section in the back that you can follow along to teach yourself this new skill.
TWO—Scripts by Steven Heller and Louise Fili. You already know about my love for Louise. This book is an unbelievable source for inspiration when it comes to script typography. It goes through the history of this intricate discipline and provides you with pages upon pages of beautiful type to oogle at. This is like, my favorite thing to do before I go to bed.
THREE—Logo, Font and Lettering Bible by Leslie Cabarga. While I’m not through this book just yet, it was recommended to me by Miss B. over at the Besotted Blog. She says it’s pretty dry, but it’s great for teaching the basics. This book will cover everything from the history of lettering to the actual creation of logos and marks. It will give you the rules, and show you how to break them. It’s for the letterer who wants to learn about practical application of their new-found skill set.
FOUR—The Stroke: Theory of Writing by Gerrit Noordzij. Fun name, huh? This book is intended for the typeface designer and will teach you about the interesting connections between lettering and typeface design.