They Often Call Me Speedball

 

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Well now, they often call me Speedo, But my real name is Mr. Earl, Bom-bom-bom-bom, Ba-ba-do-do-do.

Those lyrics by The Cadillacs (and this offer to have them as a ringtone on my cell) got me thinking about the days when I used a Speedball pen to make fluid letters in a faux calligraphic way.

I went back to my Speedball file and found some tools that have been all but forgotten with the advent of the computer. But on this hot summer dog day, I urge you all to pick up some “free-flowing ink” and “smooth cardboard” because “Sticky inks seldom give satisfaction” and start drawing letters with a Speedball. You’ll be amazed by the zen-like stress-free-meditative ease. Of course remember this: “Choosing the style and size pens best suited to the construction of letters you are going to make simplifies your work and minimizes time and effort” What’s more “Clean pens do clean work” and “speed will come later when strokes are mastered.”

If any of these rules cause more stress, get a cat.
 

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Ross F. George (the fella who created all those wonderful amazing speedball textbooks) appears to have been Seattle guy. I wonder if there is anybody out there who has more information on his history/career? i can find virtually nothing.

  2. Ross F. George (the fella who created all those wonderful amazing speedball textbooks) appears to have been Seattle guy. I wonder if there is anybody out there who has more information on his history/career? i can find virtually nothing.

  3. Ross F. George (the fella who created all those wonderful amazing speedball textbooks) appears to have been Seattle guy. I wonder if there is anybody out there who has more information on his history/career? i can find virtually nothing.