Marian Bantjes for Saks Fifth Avenue
the absence of white space and feeling strangled by a riotous tangle of
swashes. Instead, it is the observations of a calligrapher/letterer
with over thirty years experience who has studied and admired the work
of the great Spencerian letterers of the phototype era: Ed Benguiat,
Tom Carnase, Tony DiSpigna, Jerry Campbell, Peter Horridge, Jean Larcher, and Raphael
Boguslav. Their work outshines that of today’s “new ornamentalists.”
The difference is more than a matter of time—and yes, doing Spencerian
properly, whether by hand or by mouse, takes enormous amounts of time.
It comes from an understanding of letterforms, borne both of longtime
experience writing and drawing them by hand and of studying the writing
masters of the past from Lucas Materot and George Bickham to Louis
Madarasz and William E. Dennis. Spencerian flourishing requires both an understanding of rhythm and space as the residue of physical acts and as a visual arrangement.
Westbury Hospital, by Jerry Campbell
“A Wedding,” by Tony DiSpigna
Tony DiSpigna will be speaking about his four decades of work on February 24 at the Type Directors Club. See tdc.org for details and reservations. Go see the work of a true master of letter and line.