Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Module 4 - Chapter 2 - Lettering Designs

I chose the word 'script' to use for experimentation.

I have often attempted calligraphy without much success, but it was only when I tried writing with a piece of card dipped in ink that I realised that right handed people pull the pen to form letters. I struggle because I'm left handed, and so push the pen across the page. This becomes problematic when trying to achieve the nice gentle 'thicks and thins' as I'm scratching against the surface of the paper! After much deliberation I decided to write my itallic text backwards, from right to left. It was much smoother and the ink flowed more easily.

For these samples I used the back of recycled envelopes to write on.

The first two samples use an edge of card dipped into ink, writing in continuous lines until the ink runs out before re-dipping.

 For the second samples, the edge of the card was dipped in ink, which was then stamped in lines repeatedly to form letter shapes.

 The third sample shows individual lines stamped at angles to form the shapes of the letters.

Snips were cut in the card for the forth sample, then ink was dragged across the page to form the letters.

 The fifth sample shows text written as sample 1, but with bleach squeezed from a pipette along the centres of the text.

The sixth sample uses bleach dribbled from the pipette on a block of black ink.

I found that I needed to use non waterproof ink for these samples. Indian ink did not bleach successfully.

A strip of card was dipped in bleach and then stamped to form letters in a painted block of  black ink.
I love the way the pattern on the back of the envelope can be seen through the bleached out text. The bleach has only slightly affected the printed pattern, turning it a turquoise blue.

A relief surface of plasterers scrim was placed beneath the paper and wax candle was used to write the word. The wax acted as a resist when painting with ink allowing the text to show in a very interesting pattern.

 PVA glue was scraped onto the paper to form the word in the top sample, when dry, it was painted with ink and then decorated with metallic 'rub-on' wax.

The middle sample is PVA dribbled from a bottle. When painted with ink, the ink remains shiny on the glue which gives a lovely contrast effect against the paper.

The bottom sample is PVA dribbled from a bottle. When dry, it was painted with ink and then decorated with metallic 'rub-on' wax.


From the above samples, I form blocks of repeat text to form interesting patterns. Some in lines written close together,

Some staggered, with the word moving forwards to give a diagonal effect.


Some lines were alternately written upside down.






A selection of different styles were written at different angles.


Blocks of text were written at angles to each other.


PVA text was decorated with gold wax 'rub ons'



I tried a rubbing of one of the raised PVA patterns with a  brown graphite block, but was not too impressed.


I then worked into this further using a calligraphy pen and rows of text to form a grid pattern. This looked much more interesting.


A cardboard and ink pattern repeat on the back of an envelope was written over with bleach to give a more decorative effect.


Gold pen was written over black ink.


Small text in black calligraphy pen was written transversely over large text in black ink.


Similarly, gold pen was written over a wax rubbing.


As I wasn't too impressed with the PVA rubbings, so I carved a large rubber stamp.

This gave a much better rubbing.


 as the samples have progressed, I seem to have developed a use of black, gold (manilla/bleach) and cyan colourways. I like this colour scheme. I used the stamp for a rubbing on the ink and bleach envelope enhancing it further.


 Blue calligraphy ink was used as a shadow effect using serrated card.


Inspired by the Illuminated texts of the Book of Kells, I decorated the loops of the 's' and the 'p' with gold, and edged the first letter of each word with red dots.


Doodling further with marker pens, I coloured in the rectangular blocks formed by some of the letters.


I scanned part of this image into the computer and flipped and repeated it to form a pattern.


I hand wrote some text on the computer and played around with it so that each word was linked by a long line. When the lines were flipped and staggered, the words fitted into the gaps formed by the lines. 


The same text was rotated in a circle.


and then repeated in different colours.


The same word was stretched, repeated, and rotated in blocks to form a grid pattern.


Ink on envelope, and PVA text scanned into computer and alternated in lines of text. This was then written over with a white computer font.

I purchased some typographic letterpress wooden printing blocks recently, & thought it would be a good idea to try these out, along with my newly carved rubber stamp.






  1. Wow - how fascinating - some really lovely things there.

  2. Absolutely marvellous your script samples!

  3. Wow!! What a fabulously fertile imagination you have Julia. I love your work and look forward to seeing how it develops.

  4. Amazing!!!!!!!! Very inventive (and thorough, of course).