About this lecture


The origins of Italic are rooted in the Cancellaresca family of scripts developed and used in the Italian Renaissance. The words Cancellaresca Corsiva basically translates into ‘Chancery Cursive’ but how do the Cancellaresca scripts differ from what we know as Italic?

In the Italian Renaissance there are 4 main aspects to Cancellaresca – Formata, Corsiva, Bastarda and Tonda. They all have different aspects but the Bastarda is by far the most varied of the hands as it depended on which of the gothic scrips it was blended with, and to what degree of bastardisation with said hand could be seen in the conjoining of the two scripts. Added to the bastardisation we also have different angles at which these scripts and their present-day counter parts were and are written at.

The Corsiva has a standard club serif and many theories have been put forward as to how they were formed. Formata has a bracketed serif. They both, sometimes, exhibit lead in strokes which contribute to the formation of the type of serif. Bastarda’s serifs are much more varied due to the amount of blending options. But you cannot discuss writing without discussing the use of tools and materials as this dramatically influenced the development of the hand both in its past but also in the present day. 

There are many calligraphers who practise Italic today producing numerous variations or hands. How did these come about as well and how can we gain an understanding of application with projects we have in mind?

As this lecture is a precursor to my Geometric Italic Workshop on Sunday, I will also look at why I decided to develop something so rigid and prescriptive, but we will also consider how that rigidity can easily open up into something more forgiving and decorative.

If you like Italic or write it and want to know more about where the script originated, join me for this fascinating talk. 

Italic Lecture


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