Thursday, 28 November 2013

Lombardic Alphabet

The Lombardic alphabet is characterised by very broad, fat letters, and ornate designs.  The broad letters gives plenty of room to draw beautiful patterns, scrolls and designs within the letterforms.  The Lombardic letters are usually used for initials, and beginning of sentences.  They are to be used sparingly though, because your work can look over the top if you overuse the Lombardic lettering styles.  However, with this in mind, it can be very effective when combined with lowercase letters, such as poems, odes and short paragraphs and phrases.

How Do I Use Lombardic Letters

The Lombardic letters have been used for many years and were commonly used for notices and signs in circuses, market stalls, and fairs.  However, Lombardic letters can also be used for cake decorating, using clever artwork with icing and icing sugar.  Other common uses were fancy embroidery, posters and flyers, fabric artwork and part of pictured designs and illustrations.

How To Write Lombardic Letters

You can download plenty of Lombardic templates, transfers or typeface styles to practice your work and you will find that there are many variants of Lombardic lettering styles.  You can even make up some designs yourself.

Plan your work before writing this style.  To begin with, draw some very faint straight lines to map out your work, and then lightly trace the letters carefully, using a hard nibbed pencil.  Copy a style carefully, or trace it out until you are confident with drawing the letters.  Once you are satisfied with your outlines, you can then start to use a Rapidograph or a black, fine marker pen to draw out the outlines.  If you wish, you can color in the letters with any color of your choice, and any medium desired.  Lombardic letterings are commonly used with bright and vibrant colors, such as red or green.  You can use felt tip pens or strong watercolors to bring out your work.

A Picture Of A Typical Lombardic Alphabet

As you can see below, a flat pastel yellow watercolor wash was applied for the background of this lettering artwork, and a fine black pen is used to draw the outline of the letters.  White flecks of highlight are used to enhance and bring out the letters and there is no calligraphy pen involved.

The Lombardic Alphabet
There is no hard and fast rule when writing Lombardic letters, so you can produce your own orinigal designs.  Once you have mastered the basic shapes, you can go to town and produce some wonderful and creative decorative artwork.