Friday, May 25, 2012

Spring 2012 : History of Western Letterform

Yet another amazing class I took this semester conducted by Cheryl Jacobsen. I took it for historical credit but the amount of work made me want to take it as a studio and turn in a beautifully executed final project instead of a 12 page paper. We analysed a new hand every week using Historical Scripts by Stan Knight. The class focused on learning how to analyse a hand and write it. I will post the analyses soon.

The book has an image of a leaf from the manuscript on the verso,
a close up view on the recto followed by
a detailed description of the hand itself and its history

The seven step analysis helps reverse engineer how a hand was written in order to replicate it. 
The seven steps to be determined are : the weight (number of pen widths to letter height),
 the angle of the stroke, the weight, the shape of the letterform,
the speed with which the hand was written and
the Ductus - which is a map indicating the number, order and direction of strokes

We had to write pages and pages of the hand after determining the above mentioned criteria.
This image is of Roman Half Uncials, written with a quill

Click on the image to take a closer look

As one of our assignment we went to the Special Collections Library

and looked at real live manuscripts from different time periods.
We had to identify and analyse any one of the hands

This is an example of Rotunda. You can see the digital archives here

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