School of Art, Media, and Technology

This Summer: Calligraphy, Lettering, Wood Type and Prosecco in Italy

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DiSpigna_22013 Legacy of Letters Tour and Workshop
June 23 to July 4
Northern Italy
$3500 for students (includes accommodations; excludes airfare to Italy) or $3800 for the tour/workshop and extra Parma day

Check out this PDF for more info.

Ten days of immersion in making and looking at hand drawn, inscriptional, calligraphic and typographic letters with co-leaders Paul Shaw and Alta Price and special instructors Tony Di Spigna and Lucio Passerini. Paul will teach the fundamentals of broad-pen calligraphy and present the history of both broad-pen and pointed-pen scripts. Tony will lead a three-day workshop on how to draw script letters called Spencerian (such as those in the illustration here). And Lucio will lead a three-day workshop on printing letterpress using wood type. The classes take place at the beautiful Tipoteca, a printing museum an hour from Venice. There will also be trips to libraries in Venice and Padua to see and handle manuscripts and early printed books.

Paul Shaw teaches calligraphy and typography at Parsons. Alta Price, a graduate of RISD, is an artist specializing in papermaking and is fluent in Italian. Tony Di Spigna, born in Italy but a longtime teacher at Pratt Institute, was a partner in Herb Lubalin & Associates where he was one of those responsible for the firm’s famous lettering works. He designed the typeface ITC Serif Gothic. He is the one of the most talented letterers in the world. Lucio Passerini of Milan is a printmaker and letterpress printer.

Participants will collaborate on a letterpress keepsake and have a chance to make one of their own. See the link below for the story of part of last year’s keepsake:

The extra visit to Parma is a day at the Museo Bodoniano looking at real Bodoni type: punches, matrices and books; as well as looking a manuscripts, and Roman inscriptions. And, in Parma there is always prosciutto and parmesan.

The Legacy of Letters group is small, limited to 12 people or less. There are still a few places left. THose who have signed up include graphic designers and letterpress printers. No prior experience is required. This is an opportunity to extend your typographic education in a beautiful setting (we stay at a villa where they make prosecco, the Italian equivalent of champagne) at a relaxed pace.

California designer Patricia Vining said of last year’s tour that it was “non-stop visual eye candy (type porn) and skill-building”.

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