Artist & Alphabet:

Twentieth Century Calligraphy and Letter Art in America

Over the past quarter century, calligraphy and the lettering arts have enjoyed a renaissance all across America. Godine has joined forces with the Society of Scribes and the AIGA to assemble, exhibit, and illustrate the work of the calligraphers who have made major contributions to the field and whose work, in the opinion of their peers, is consistently outstanding. Here, then, is a selection presenting a century of scribes, representing 140 examples of their best work, and displaying the taste, variety, and vitality of the lettering arts in this country over the past century. The greats are all here, from Arnold Bank, John Howard Benson, and W. A. Dwiggins to Alexander Zanetti and Hermann Zapf (whose influence is so pervasive and whose American contacts so legion that it would have been criminal to omit him). In between are stunning examples, with 96 specimens illustrated in full color and 47 in black and white, of the very best this country has produced. Complete with 72 pages of color, this landmark book provides the widest possible overview of the lettering arts of the last century, a rewarding display of American talent and artistry reproduced to the highest standards.

Jerry Kelly is a calligrapher, book designer, and type designer. His work has been honored numerous times, and his book designs have been selected more than thirty times for the AIGA “Fifty Books of the Year.” In 2015 he was presented with the 28th Goudy Award from RIT.

Kelly has served as Chairman of the American Printing History Association, President of The Typophiles, and an active member of several committees at The Grolier Club. He has written many articles as well as several books on calligraphy and typography, including The Noblest Roman: The Centaur Types (co-authored with Misha Beletsky; winner of the 2016 Bibliographical Society of America Prize).

Kelly has taught typography at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design in New York, and has lectured on the subject for The Cooper Union (Type@Cooper), ATypI, The Typophiles, and numerous other organizations.

Before starting his own design business in 1998, Kelly was Vice President of The Stinehour Press, preceded by a decade as designer at A. Colish.

Alice Koeth was born in New York City and studied calligraphy at the Brooklyn Museum Art School with the renowned Arnold Bank. She began freelancing in 1953 and teaching in 1970. Her work has been included in many calligraphy publications, including Calligraphers Engagement CalendarsModern Scribes and Lettering Arts, International Calligraphy Today, and Lettering Arts. New Yorkers know her for her masterful posters for the Morgan Library, which she designed from the 1960s through the 80s. She is on the faculty of twelve international calligraphy conferences and is a founding member of the Society of Scribes.

Donald Jackson is the official scribe and calligrapher to the Crown Office of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He is also artistic director of The Saint John’s Bible, a hand-written and illuminated Bible commissioned by the Benedictine monastery of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota.