Type@Cooper - The Renaissance Capital in Script and Type

The Renaissance Capital in Script and Type


with Ewan Clayton




Sat., Mar. 19 – Sun., Mar. 20, 2016
10:00AM – 5:00PM
location: The Monotype Classroom at Letterform Archive

This workshop is an elective for Extended program participants, and space permitting, available as a public workshop.

This class will trace the development of the roman capital during the turbulent years of the renaissance. Drawings with pencil and pen will be made in a spirit of enquiry - to inform contemporary practise. We will trace the capital letter's journey from pen-written to printed forms beginning where it all began, with the pen-made letters of Poggio Bracciolini; his simple narrow capitals began to echo a classical ideal; they make an excellent model for straight forward contemporary work. But then we look at the gradual transformation of these letters in the hands of Bartolomeo Sanvito and his contemporaries, who fell under the spell of ever more careful studies of roman inscriptions. These capitals become displays of flamboyant yet functional penmanship. We conclude with a look at the first printed roman capitals of two great Venetian printers - Nicolas Jenson and Aldus Manutius, both of whom built on the achievements of the scribes we will have studied.


    Required Materials

  • Tracing Paper & 9" x 11" Layout Paper
  • Square-Edged Dip Pens, Speedball C Series Nibs or Mitchell or Brause Nibs w/ pen-holder & reservoir in a range of sizes
  • Black Non-Waterproof Ink such as Higgins Eternal or Pelikan 4001
  • Ruler
  • Eraser
  • 2H pencil
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Cotton Rag
  • Notebook


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Instructor: Ewan Clayton

The Renaissance Capital in Script and Type
Ewan is a calligrapher and part-time Professor in Design at The University of Sunderland where he co directs the International Calligraphy Research Centre. He grew up associated with a community of craftsmen at Ditchling in Sussex founded by Eric Gill. Ewan has enjoyed a varied professional career working as both a calligraphy teacher and a consultant to Xerox PARC, and he is currently a core faculty member at the Royal Drawing School in London. In 2013 he was awarded the first Karl-Georg Hoefer prize by The Schreibwerkstatt Klingspor for his work in calligraphy and education. His book on the history of calligraphy and typography The Golden Thread is out in paperback this year in the USA and has recently been released in Spanish and Italian translations.

• www.ewanclayton.co.uk



Venue