Certificate Core: Experience the Origin of Roman Inscriptional Capitals

Certificate Core: Experience the Origin of Roman Inscriptional Capitals
John Stevens

Workshop at Letterform Archive
Type West Certificate Program
Sat–Sun, Nov 16–17, 2019

This workshop will be a close examination of creating Roman Capitals with a flat brush. About 2000 years ago, the Romans had evolved these lovely forms, which they borrowed from the Greeks and perhaps, the Etruscans. The beauty of these forms is that they remain the traditional standard, and most experts agree that the beautiful nuances and serifs are the result of writing with the chisel-edged brush*. Roman capitals offer us many “lessons” to calligraphers and typographers on the subtleties of Letterform design. In this hands-on workshop, we will write with a flat brush, learn the moves and techniques that will let you “see” the cause of these shapes that have stood for twenty-one centuries. *The theory was laid down by Fr. Edward Catich; (but there are further distinctions and refinements we can make using both flat/square brush and the round ferrule, sho-card brush.) John is an acknowledged master of these forms: both teaching and doing.

Note: This workshop is only open to students enrolled in the Type West Certificate Program in Type Design.

About John Stevens

John Stevens is a well-known and accomplished letter artist on the international scene, renowned for his versatility and skill as a calligrapher and letter artist; resulting in a wide range of exemplary work. Beginning as a sign painter in New York, his insatiable inquiry into letters and their design led him into type, calligraphy, and lettering, learning to use various pens, brushes, and later the computer. By his mid-twenties he was working for nationally known clients in publishing, packaging, advertising, television, and film (Lucasfilm, Life, Time, Newsweek. Tiffany’s, New York Public Library, to name a few.) He has been invited to teach at many national and international letter arts conferences throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and South America as an instructor of this art. His original works are included in the collections of the San Francisco Public Library; Berlin’s Akademie der Künste; and La Casa del Libro (San Juan, Puerto Rico), as well as in many private collections. His work has been published and reproduced in dozens of publications and books in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the U.S.A and more recently, his book Scribe: Artist of the Written Word was published in 2013 to critical acclaim. He is working on completing the book; Mastering Broad Brush Capitals.