Thursday, September 19, 2013

222 Celtic line

I've been thinking about what it is that makes Celtic letters Celtic.*   Here is a version, Celtic Line, that omits the traditional variation between thick and thin.  It still has eighth-century Irish flavor, but updated and simplified.  To keep it Celtic, I've emphasized the triangular serif and used some of the quirkiest letterforms.  

*In the Celtic chapter of Learn Calligraphy I dissect Celtic style into ten main characteristics, which I gave names that start with C to make them easier to remember

  1. comfort at all sizes
  2. choice of weights
  3. changeable pen angle
  4. compound serifs
  5. chunky extenders
  6. commoncase font
  7. cute proportions
  8. coils that continue
  9. coils that stretch
  10. contained spaces 


  1. This is gorgeous. I remember waaaay back in, oh, gosh, 1986?, when I first attempted Celtic Uncial hand. I found it fascinating, especially the "d". My father wrote a poem for St. Patrick's day and I lettered it, and we sent it out to a number of family and friends that year. This alphabet today sings to me and I can't wait to play with it.

    I am also so very excited to report that my copy of LEARN WORLD CALLIGRAPHY arrived in the mail today. I have a bachelor's degree in Russian and am particularly excited to try the Cyrillic alphabets. I haven't seen much on Cyrillic calligraphy in English (by that I mean instruction books) and this is neat to have it laid out by a teacher I love. Thank you so much!

  2. I hope Learn World Calligraphy has led you into some new designs. I only scratched the surface. The "virtual" or hybrid alphabets were the most interesting discovery.

  3. I am thoroughly enjoying it. I love the African alphabets; I hadn't been aware of them before. Do you think you'll do a sequel or another book exploring virtual or hybrid alphabets?

    I also bought LEARN CALLIGRAPHY. I have LEARNING CALLIGRAPHY from 77, and mistakenly thought it was the same book. I am loving it. You mention in the introduction that this is the book you wish you'd had when you started out, and I can totally see why. I've been learning a bunch about stuff I already thought I knew. The links between Celtic and Runes, for example, are fun to explore through that, and then read the WORLD CALLIGRAPHY for more on the Runes themselves.