• J. J. Sedelmaier

The Vintage Speedball Textbook

I once found a set of Speedball pen nibs as a kid. I was familiar with conventional pen and ink usage, but had never seen nibs like this before. It wasn’t until taking a calligraphy course in college (with Professor Don Anderson, author of “The Art Of Written Forms”) that I ran across them again and had a chance to try them out. The times have evolved a lot since then and so much of the calligraphic art is becoming lost to digital convenience, but leafing through some vintage ephemera turned up this tasty reminder of how much type production was once done by hand.


The Speedball Steel Brushes product are almost a century old and are still used and available, but from the 1920s through the 1940s, their more extensive presence in art production justified publishing a semi-annual “Speedball Text Book” booklet written by Ross F.George. This stapled, paperbound periodical presented type styles that were current and gave a step-by-step process of how they could be recreated with the use of the Speedball pen nibs. These manuals are wonderful testaments to the lettering styles and production techniques of the day.


14th Edition of the “Speedball Text Book”

14th Edition of the “Speedball Text Book” – 1941.


A vintage set of Speedball pen nibs.

A vintage set of Speedball pen nibs.



Poster Block font and instructions as to how to prepare and produce the typeface.

Poster Block font and instructions as to how to prepare and produce the typeface.



Basic intro and instructions.

Basic intro and instructions.



Basic lettering styles.

Basic lettering styles.



Balanced layout structure.

Balanced layout structure.



How to use the Speedball pens to do Roman Caps.

How to use the Speedball pens to do Roman Caps.



How lettering styles evolved

How lettering styles evolved …



Use of the brush nib.

Use of the brush nib.


The following are style examples:


style example

style example

speedball style example

style example

speedball style example

style example

style example

style example

How to space your lettering.

How to space your lettering.



speedball

Generic advert layout examples.

Generic advert layout examples.



Poster layout examples.

Poster layout examples.



More posters.

More posters.



How to plan an effective poster design.

How to plan an effective poster design.



The effect of type design on your message.

The effect of type design on your message.



speedball

Remember “Engrossing” ? (Can’t say I do. . .)



calligraphy

Now that’s calligraphy!



Newspaper ad layout examples.

Newspaper ad layout examples.



Price tix.

Price tix.



Index to the 14th edition.

Index to the 14th edition.


The following covers show examples of other editions of the “Speedball Text Book.”

Speedball Text Book


Speedball Text Book 12th Edition

12th Edition



 Speedball Text Book 13th Edition

13th Edition



Speedball Text Book 15th Edition

15th Edition



Speedball Text Book 16th Edition

16th Edition



Speedball Text Book 17th Edition

17th Edition


Add to Your Arsenal of Design Tools


Pantone Chip Set

#Speedballpen #RossFGeorge #Speedball #SpeedballSteelBrushes #engrossing #SpeedballTextBook #pennibs

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