Hand Lettering and the Universe

numberuniverse w It seems I’ve completely missed something that has just now come into my conscious radar:  hand lettering. I studied calligraphy eons ago, and I am aware of typography, but I didn’t realize that there was this whole niche of creating visuals with words that is somewhere between the two worlds that I already know something about. This is how it happened. I was looking on the web for some inspiration for making some numbers that had a good feel to them.

Orange two
My own playful 2

I have never failed so miserably in finding something than when I was looking for inspirational number forms on the web. But I persevered and somewhere along the way I started noticing lovely drawn letters.  Eventually I landed on Sean McCabe’s utterly awesome site. As well as showing copious examples of his work, Sean  creates context for this art form. I have to say that it was a relief to me to realize that hand lettering was actually something that people do. It feels so odd to have just discovered this. I mean, I see hand lettering on chalk board in restaurants but it just didn’t occur to me that it happened anywhere else. I did do what could be considered hand lettering on my Stuffed Grapes Leaves book, but I somehow felt like I was cheating. threes

I’ve begun playing around with hand lettering so that I can add text that I like to  a Number Line book. The quote at the top is mine though I think that the wording needs refinement. If anyone out there has any idea what I might be getting at, and would like to help me find a better way of saying it, I am open and hoping for suggestions. I was thinking of writing “the Number Line is a lot like the universe” but, besides being problematic grammatically, it has no punch. Both the number line and the universe are infinite, both in their largeness and in the depth of every point therein. They both contain everything that’s not imaginary. And the center of each seems to be right where you are at. This isn’t meant to be a lighthearted comparison. I think that there is real merit in looking at these similarities. But more about that later. I am putting this post to bed, and hoping to hear something from someone….

In the meantime, I am hoping to learn more about hand lettering. Take a look at my pinterest board. to see some examples of work done by hand lettering artists. What a natural fit for a book artist!

2 thoughts on “Hand Lettering and the Universe

  1. I look forward to reading more about this fascinating concept.

    One possibility: The number line is a parallel universe. On a lighthearted note: If someone thinks they are the center of the universe, wouldn’t that person have to be a zero?


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