Illustration: Anglo-Saxon Ornate Letters

by Max on October 25, 2001

Here’s a secret: drawing typography is not as fun as typing it!

That’s one of the things that I learned while studying Pre-Press and Graphic Design in the Institut Universitaire Kafaat, and I’m glad I did. We were assigned to choose two favorite letters for this project, and naturally I went for my initials. Next day, we each received two dirty black and white photocopied sheets depicting each letter in an extremely ornate and veiny Anglo-Saxon type.

The fun part began when we were instructed to enlarge, draw and color each letter in Acrylics, without the use of a computer. Initially we were dismayed, but once we started working on the design aspects of this type, we started discovering all the little details and notches, that usually go unnoticed in our fast-paced design world. I was especially interested in the proportions and the intricate decorations that envelope the type’s crevices and sides.

Needless to say, I spent hours toiling over the smallest details using pencils and rulers in order to get a proportional resizing. Once the basic design was set, I used colored Acrylics to define the letters and eventually bring the veins to life in all its detailed glory.

The scans below barely do these pieces any justice:

Tools used: Pencils, colored Acrylics

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