The Original Hand Lettering

Back in September a close friend of mine asked me to join a continuing calligraphy class in Dayton. Being told that they only needed one more person to meet the minimum class quota, how could I say no to learning the art of writing with a group of sweet old ladies?
Going into it I had no idea what to expect. I thought I would just be learning this fun new way to write with a fancy pen and ink; maybe it could be another random addition to the "hey i can do this" list.

No dude. I was so wrong. Having never had a traditional typography course in college, this class was so enlightening and lent itself to be a great exploration of type. I had no idea I would learn so much about individual letters, how they work together in an alphabet, and that the letter ' o ' is the mother of the alphabet. No matter what alphabet, hand, or typeface you're working with, ' o ' should be the basis for almost every letter—why haven't I learned this yet?! I hope I just blew your mind.

Here are a few bits and pieces: 

We started with learning the Foundational Hand (thanks Edward Johnston— practice letters and a word sheet 


Foundational Hand homework, smudges and all. Quote: Dave Matthews Band, Sister 


Foundational Capitals — alphabetical word list of colors


Foundational Serif Capitals, with a few ligatures for good kerning 


Foundational Hand Final


Since I wasn't too satisfied with the above layout and smudged the last 3 letters (rescued by white out) I did a second final:


Second study was the Uncial Alphabet, typically used in Irish and biblical texts. The original alphabet did not contain the letters j, k, v, w, x, y, z which were added later. 


First Uncial project — excerpt from a poem by Sarah Kay called The Type


Uncial Hand Final (put a bird on it)