Letterform Archive News

Mar 15, 2016

This Just In: The Ross F. George Archive

Posted In: Collections
Mockup for Round Hand Script sample alphabet, by Ross F. George
Mockup for Round Hand Script sample alphabet, by Ross F. George

Seattle sign painter and showcard writer Ross F. George (1889–1959) was the inventor of the Speedball pen and author of the first 17 editions of the Speedball textbook (now in its centennial edition).

With this post we gratefully acknowledge George’s family’s donation of an archive of his work, containing drawings for original alphabets published in the Speedball textbooks, his pens (including some early prototypes), showcards and other examples of his lettering and drawing, account books, papers, and photos.

George’s Speedball textbooks and pens have aided countless calligraphers and lettering artists over the last 100 years. We’re thrilled that Letterform Archive will now get to share his history, art, and process with many more.

Download a hi-res sampler of images from the collection

If you are interested in contributing materials to the Archive, please contact us. To receive notifications when our "This Just In" series is updated, sign up for our e-newsletter.

Feb 25, 2016

This Just In: W.G. Sutherland, The Sign Writer and Glass Embosser (Manchester/London, 1898)

Posted In: Collections
William George Sutherland, The Sign Writer and Glass Embosser (1898), Plate 1.
William George Sutherland, The Sign Writer and Glass Embosser (1898), Plate 1.

We were delighted to get our hands on a copy of William George Sutherland’s The Sign Writer and Glass Embosser, a rare technical manual from the turn of the 20th century. Consisting mainly of decorative alphabets, this book was meant primarily for use in signage, with chapters dedicated to various methods of decorating on glass including gilding, embossing, etching, and enamel painting. The volume includes a portfolio of 32 lithographed prints, 16 in color with occasional gold, by Kleinertz of Manchester.

View a hi-res sampler of images from the book

To receive notifications when our "This Just In" series is updated, please sign up for our e-newsletter. We send occasional updates on upcoming events, workshops, exhibitions, and more.

Jan 22, 2016

Without Type: The Dynamism of Handmade Letters Opens at San Francisco Center for the Book

Posted In: Collections

The exhibition organized by Letterform Archive in San Francisco brings together handmade letter art from the 15th century to today.

Without Type exhibition

On January 22, 2016 the San Francisco Center for the Book will open an exhibition organized by Letterform Archive in San Francisco that showcases handmade examples of the letter arts made by practitioners from various disciplines, including calligraphers, architects, type designers, and illustrators. By juxtaposing works created across diverse time periods and geographical locations, the exhibition seeks to highlight the tremendous creativity and myriad possibility for the handmade letter arts, while at the same time drawing connections between seemingly disparate works.

Aug 12, 2015

Type@Cooper & Letterform Archive launch Type@Cooper West

Posted In: Education

The Cooper Union’s Continuing Education Certificate Program offers West Coast courses beginning October 2015.

Periodicals wall of the main reading room of Letterform Archive

Update: Type@Cooper West was succeeded by Type West in 2018.

Type@Cooper and Letterform Archive are partnering to offer a post-graduate certificate program in Typeface Design in the new Type Annex of Letterform Archive. In addition to this rigorous one-year course in typeface design, the newly established Type@Cooper West program also brings public workshops and a public lecture series focusing on lettering, digital typeface design, font production, and typography.

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