• Steven Heller

The Pen is Mightier Than the Brush

The study of writing and lettering was at once an artistic and business craft. A large number of penmanship courses were, in fact, part of the business school curriculum. The ability to write the perfect letter, make the clearest notations and add a bit of flair to printed matter was high on the list of marketable skills. There was, curiously enough, a bit of rivalry between penmen and brushmen (women were also involved). The pen (and pencil) for some was the quintessence of writing tools. Here are a few pieces from the turn of the century that were held up as textbook examples of how to write decoratively and add shadow, too.

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