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Lettering & Calligraphy

History :

A century of fine pen making began in 1899 when the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company opened in Camden, New Jersey. A group of English tool makers founded the company that manufactured and distributed steel pens to a fast growing nation. What helped to put the company on the map was an association that they formed in 1913 with two master letterers, Ross F. George and William Hugh Gordon, who contrived and perfected the Speedball Nib.

In the early days of the twentieth century, lettering signs, show cards and movie titles was laborious and time consuming, due to the only available tools – small brushes and fine pens. Letters needed to be outlined and then filled in . Ross F. George, a frustrated young letterer with his own ship, The System Service Company of Seattle, looked for a method to improve the speed of his work. His search led him to develop a nib with a reservoir, which he worked on perfecting with famed letterer William Hugh Gordon. It was nicknamed “Speedball” because of the speed of the pen, which reportedly cut time working in half.

The first pen points they products were the square ”A” style nibs, followed closely by the rounded “B” nibs, and not long after by the broad-edged “C” style and oval “D” style nibs. Over the years, the Hunt Company grew with the production of lettering, artists’ and mapping pens, and succeeded in capturing and keeping the major share of the market. The name “Speedball” became synonymous with lettering pens. In 1958, the Hunt Pen Company opened a new manufacturing plant in Statesville, North Carolina where the pens are still manufactured today.

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    Dip Pens

    There are two different kind of nibs, broad-edge and pointed, which can be inserted into Speedball Pen Holders. When lettering Italic, Roman, Blackletter, etc., select a broad-edged tool like the C-Series Speedball nibs. When lettering pointed pen hands, such as Copperplate, use a flexible pointed nib such as the Speedball 99 or 103. For monoline lettering, select a Speedball B-series nib.

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    Elegant Writers

     Elegant Writers are calligraphy markers that have crisp, chisel nibs that make forming beautiful calligraphic letters easy. Free flowing ink is AP non-toxic and acid free. Available in a variety of colors (black, blue, red, green, brown, gold and silver). Speedball offeres great sets as well!

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    Fountain Pens

     Panache fountain pens have cartridges which automatically feed ink to the nib. The 22 carat gold plated nibs are available in 6 different sizes and are also made for left handed scribes. The cartridges come in several colors (or Panache ink can be used)

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    Inks & Paints

     Our Speedball pigmented acrylic ink has rich vivid colors that are waterproof, intermixable, free flowing, non-toxic, acid free, permanent and archival quality with excellent lightfast. These beautiful highly pigmented acrylic inks are ideal for drawing, calligraphy, stamping and airbrushing!

    Set of 5 — Colors come in ½ oz (15 ml) glass jars. Includes palette with 10 mixing wells. Colors include Black, Gold, Silver, White, and Pen Cleaner.

    Set of 10 — Colors come in ½ oz (15 ml) glass jars. Includes palette.  Colors include: Black, White, Red, Blue, Green, Burnt Umber, Gold, Silver, Teal & Purple PLUS Pen Cleaner

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    Literature & Textbooks

    First published in 1915 by Ross F. George, The Speedball Textbook is the superlative resource for artists and letterers of all ages and skill levels.
    In celebration of the 100th year anniversary of the first edition’s debut, Speedball is proud to announce the forthcoming release of the Centennial Edition of The Speedball Textbook. This 24th edition will contain enhanced content that will provide readers with instruction and inspiration for techniques and styles ranging from medieval to modern and showcase the work of scribes from around the globe.

    Speedball Elementary Alphabets is a best selling beginners text book that has been prepared for the purpse of introducing pen lettering in a more simplified way. Suitable for grade school pupils, advanced commercial art and drafting students. Offers lessons in: Roman, Gothic, Manuscript and Text styles for Roman Gothic alphabets, uniform line drawings, boarders and display posters.

     

    Abraham Lincoln's Introduction to Handwriting & Calligraphy can help you improve handwriting and learn basic calligraphy from one of America's foremost calligraphers. Includes easy to follow workbook format lessons that are great for teachers and beginners.

    Elegant Writer Lettershop Calligraphy Book and Kit is a project oriented kit that includes 3 Elegant Writer markers and a removable guide liners, practice pages, plus a 116 page Instruction Book.

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    Calligraphy Kits

    Speedball offers great calligraphy kits that are designed for pen and ink artists, letters, calligraphers, beginners and students! Kits are great for drawing, calligraphy, stamping, air brushing, scrapbooking, and craft!

    Speedball Calligraphy Kit is an ideal introduction to calligraphy. Comes with everything you need to start learning how to do great calligraphy!

    Speedball Super Value Calligraphy & Lettering Kit includes the essentials to get you started in lettering and calligraphy. Perfect for beginners, students or calligraphers. Easy and Fun to use! This kit also includes with Speedball Elementary Alphabets Instruction Booklet!

    Deluxe Pen & Ink Kit is designed for pen and ink artists, letterers or calligraphers. In addition to calligraphy and lettering this kit is great for drawings, washes and other forms of art as well. To perfect your skills even further, make sure to try the tree projects included in this kit and Speedball Textbook!

    Elegant Writer Lettershop Calligraphy Book and Kit is a project oriented kit that includes 3 Elegant Writer markers and a removable guide liners, practice pages, plus a 116 page Instruction Book.

    Pigmented 10 Color Acrylic Ink Palette Kit has a ten color selection of inks in a wheel palette with black, red, blue, green, purple, brown, gold, teal, silver and white.

    Drawing Ink Super set is ideal for drawing calligraphy stamping and airbrushing.

    Pigmented Color Acrylic Ink Palette Kit has five 12ml inks: black, gold, silver, white and pen cleaner.

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    Paper

     The type of paper selected in critical to good lettering, therefore it is important to choose a paper that will work well with the pen and ink. For good pieces, try smooth or vellum surface bristol board. Bienfang Calligraphy Parchment Paper has a fine surface texture and is great with the high pigmented inks. For beginners or practice the Bienfang Practice Paper has a smooth surface texture and is lined which provides a guide to practice perfect calligraphy. Excellent with inks.

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