In these computerized times it is easy to buy a graphics or DTP program, pick out a font and letter your own stationery, posters, flyers etc. But of course you have a limitation regarding size, and now we are all used to the printed word it is surely the handwritten one that has more impact. In short, calligraphy is an art form rising above mere business or greetings stationery and makes everything personal. It is fun too which helps, more so than pressing a button or two, relaxing and, many people think, difficult to learn and expensive. This book shows you how to do it in remarkably few lessons and shows that it is no pricier than taking up a painting hobby, with which it has much in common. There are seventeen lessons in all, after the first pages have familiarized you with the materials you need and shown you how to hold the pen etc. These aren't ranked in order of difficulty but in historical order, starting with Roman Capitals and finishing with the modern Flourished Spencerian. Learn how to group the letters into "family groups" of shapes, construction, warm-up exercises, how to form them, the order of strokes, spacing and numbers. Breaking it all down like this takes much of the mystery out of getting it all right and neat, and I wished I had had a book like this when I started learning calligraphy. Each chapter also has "homework" where you get to practice to make perfect. There is a short section on illumination, a couple of projects and a short piece on punctuation. Calligraphy is a huge topic and this only scratches the surface but more than enough to get somebody started on simple projects and to whet their appetite for the next stage. A useful and practical primer for everybody who wants to learn calligraphy.-Myshelf.com I think the first impression you get of this is from the title, which evokes (from me, at any rate) the comment, "Well, that sounds like a good idea". Like everything else that promises to teach you a subject in a day, a week, or whatever, it's almost certainly a tall order, if only because it doesn't allow for all the practice you have to do in between. Nevertheless, something that breaks a subject up into bite-size chunks is always going to encourage those who like the idea but are put off by what they perceive as the size of the task, and that can't be a bad thing. Once inside, the book turns out to be a fairly conventional calligraphy manual. There's the usual introduction to pens, paper, basic letterforms and script families. The 24 lessons are then divided between different hands, with minuscules and majuscules and exercises on letter and word spacing, composition and design, with a brief look at illumination. The book concludes with a series of projects that will give you ideas on what you can use calligraphy for, as well as put what you've previously learnt into practice. It's all nicely done and well illustrated. Yes, it's not ground-breaking, but that's not really what you want. The layout of calligraphy manuals was settled a long time ago and the author has the good sense not to mess with a tried and tested formula. At GBP12.99, it's good value for something this thorough.-Artbookreview.net Handwriting skills used to be taught in schools but the focus on content and not the actual writing itself seems to have brought about a decline in writing skills. Add to that the frequent use of computers and printers in schools and handwriting is swift becoming a thing of the past. Veiko has produced a book for those keen to improve their writing skills and its very easy to follow. The beginning covers what materials one needs to work on this technique, how to set up and create a proper working environment and Veiko takes us through different types of papers, pens and nibs and pencils. Use of inks and paints are also covered with a section on grinding ones own ink from ink sticks and stones - something I'd love to try. The letters themselves are de-constructed into simple skeleton forms that make it easy to see how to relate one letter to another. I hadn't realised there was so much detail in the construction of a letter - I think its something we take for granted and don't look at the roots of the form. I'd heard of the terms serif, ascender and descender, but there is so much more to learn about the construction. Once that is grasped though the rest should follow and Vieko has included a very clear diagram of the anatomy of a letter form showing all the terms used. The lessons cover seventeen different alphabets from the first western one of Roman Capitals to the most recent Flourished Spencerian. Each are covered in detail from the construction of that alphabet to the spacing essential for that structure to the unique form that makes each special. Each letter is clearly shown stroke by stroke, from where to start, what direction to write and what angle stroke to use. I've always had a fascination for those Biblical Illuminated letters and there's a section covering illumination from traditional Gothic type to modern linear style letters. This section shows how to design and intial and how to fit it into the text used. Having completed the lessons there are some beautiful projects to help you advance your calligraphic skills. I can imagine the satisfaction of moving up from having the scrawl most of us use for handwriting into being able to complete one of these beautiful projects. Calligraphy isn't just about handwriting but adds a beauty in many art forms whether as text included in a painting or a beautifully composed and written poem. This book would enhance any artists library of reference books. -JeannieZelos.com
About the Author
Veiko Kespersaks is a leading Scandinavian calligraphy specialist and lettering designer based in London. He has both BA and MA calligraphy qualifications from Roehampton University in London, where he studied between 2000 and 2006. He has gained an international reputation as one of the most skilled lettering artists and teachers currently working in the field. His clients include Universal Studios, BBC, ITV, and BAA as well as many international corporations.