Right before the launch of Lettering Library, I made a visit to the incredibly expansive Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection at the Weinberg Memorial Library at Scranton University. Mr. Michael Knies handled my appointment in their special collections department and brought out box after box after box of incredible original material from master penmen of ages past. There were books, letters of correspondence, large original drawings, engraved plates, and much more to be seen there.
I have a bit of a personal obsession with the work of Daniel T. Ames, so to see such a wealth of original documents with his handiwork was marvelous. Here’s a look at some of the masterful work Ames executed for a variety of documents and publications including work for his own books and trade cards. I should make mention that it’s hard to tell the scale of the work here, but each piece is well over 2′ wide which I’d imagine is a fair deal larger than many lettering artists of today work at, myself included. Without further ado, here are some shots from my little expedition to Scranton, Pennsylvania.
If you’re from the eastern or central Pennsylvania area (or beyond if you don’t mind a road trip) get in touch with Michael Knies at Scranton University to set up your own appointment to check out the killer content there. continue reading...
Seek and ye shall shall find. All of the books listed here in this post were ones I’ve been after for quite some time now and they just so happened to cross my path all at once. Thanks to all of you subscribers I was able to afford picking all of these up and I shall return the favor to you have them made into PDF’s over the next few months – one of them is even going up in a few days already! These are a few books that you really need to see if you’re a sign or lettering enthusiast so I’m going to do my best to get them up as soon as possible. If you see one in particular you are just dying to see, feel free to let me know and I’ll try to push it to the front of the line, enjoy!
Luminous Advertising Sketches – Phillip DiLemme – 1953
The definitive book on neon, Luminous Advertising Sketches is a tremendous showcase of signage concepts, technical drawings and general layout ideas which in all likelihood served as a neon shop bible for an entire era of sign making. The original book from 1935 had a burgandy cloth cover and was substantially larger than most books at 11×17″, but this book has double the content with over 200 pages of illustrations. continue reading...
Heraldic Designs and Engravings – J.M. Bergling – 1913
One of the first books we launched with here last week was J.M. Bergling’s Art Monograms and Lettering - a stunning collection of ornate and simplistic monogram samples for the use of sign painters, engravers, letterers and more. In addition to that book, he also produced this one titled Heraldic Designs and Engravings along with two others – Art Alphabets and Lettering and Ornamental Designs and Illustrations (which is the only one not currently in my collection). This particular piece is an incredible catalog of heraldic design and crests, banner, and more, with a few color plates thrown in. I may very well include this in the next collection even though it’s not explicitly a “lettering book” because it’s an invaluable resource for lettering artists all the same.
Prangs Standard Alphabets – 1st Edition – L. Prang & Co. – 1878
Prang’s Standard Alphabets was one of the original books we launched with last week, however the one I made available was the revised edition from 1901. I have just this week obtained an original copy of this beauty which contains a different, but equally stunning title page and completely different contents in the back half of the book consisting of heraldic full color plates as opposed to the full color illuminated initials provided in the last batch. continue reading...
Posted on August 1st, 2014
The day you have all been waiting for has finally arrived, the wait is over and Lettering Library is officially operational.
Over the past few months both my web developer and I have been been constantly adding and refining content for the website and being about as detail oriented as two people can be without going insane. We hope the extra work and time was worth the wait and that you will enjoy what we have to offer you here on launch day.
The first four books from my collection that I’ve selected are some of my absolute favorites I own. Covered in these books is penmanship, flourishing, ornamental and plain lettering, alphabets, monograms, layouts, borders, engraving suggestions, display panels and show cards. There’s a great variety showcased in these four books to see what this website will be all about and displays a solid sampling of the content to come (of which there is plenty, just check out the shop page for yourself!).
I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful work these books will inspire you to create. If you find yourself particularly inspired by a design or sample in one of the books and find yourself recreating something in its likeness or style, be sure to share your work by tagging #letteringlibrary on Instagram or Twitter and spread the word! continue reading...