Santa Cruz, CA
Carl Rohrs has been a freelance lettering artist & sign painter since 1977. and currently serves as the editor of “Alphabet, the Journal of the Friends of Calligraphy,” first from 1989 to 1992, and now again since 2015. In addition to being a teacher of Graphic Design and Lettering & Typography at Cabrillo College, Aptos, California since 1984, Carl has led calligraphy workshops around the United States and Canada since 1986, and internationally since 1993. In January of 2019, Carl produced the online course, “Losing Contact: Modern Pen Techniques,” and served as a contributor to the 22nd, 23rd & 24th editions of The Speedball Textbook.
“Drawn lettering has been part of my personal artwork since grade school. My introduction to formal calligraphy came at Humboldt State University in 1973, via Reese Bullen. My first calligraphy teaching job was at Colorado Mountain College in Vail, CO, 1976.”
CARL’S INTRODUCTION TO THE SPEEDBALL TEXTBOOK
I’m sorry I can’t pinpoint it — it just seems like it has always been there, as far back as high school. I am certain I made my first inked letters using a Speedball nib.
CARL’S FAVORITE EDITION OF THE SPEEDBALL TEXTBOOK
I’ll pick two. Any from the 11th to the 16th (1929–1952) when George was in his prime are great, but I’ll pick the 13th edition, 1938, when RFG first introduced his flat brush alphabets — two of the greatest lettering ducti plates ever created; and the 22nd edition, 1991, when Joanne Fink and Judy Kastin made it something truly aimed at modern calligraphers.
WHAT APPEALED TO CARL ABOUT SERVING AS CO-EDITOR TO THE 25th EDITION
How could it not? It’s always been part of my lettering life, and America’s lettering life; a topic of conversation, inspiration and admiration between my sign painting buddies and me for decades. Then it became a calligraphy manual as well. Having both feet cemented in these two lettering worlds all of my working life, I leaped at the chance to work with these iconic pages that have inspired so many in both worlds.