Sunday, May 19, 2013

Alphabet design project

Calligraphers have a special affection for making a design from just the 26 letters of the alphabet.  It's familiar; it's short; and everyone knows what it says.  And it offers infinite arrangements.  
Your perpetual challenge with alphabet designs is to make an interesting grid out of the number 26. 

  • I've had fun with 5 x 5 (crowding I and J together).  
  • 4 x 6 is good, too, with the A and Z treated alone as beginning and ending.  
  • 3 x 9 can work, vertically or horizontally, if you let Q stretch to two spaces. 

Or you can experiment by expanding some letters, as in the design here.     
Be forewarned that reversing calligraphy to read white on black will make it seem heavier.  And these Italic letters were pretty heavy to start with.  

The second design simply abbreviates the alphabet to A-Z, with a swash in between to represent the other letters.  
I like the idea that the rest of the letters between A and Z are contained in that little box in the middle of the Z.  Like a zip file.  Incidentally, that stroke is done with a 90° pen angle.  This design is from a poster done for my workshop at Van Lang University in Vietnam.  I added my chop (mfas) stamped in red, and my fingerprint.    


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