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Manny Ling

Alphabet by Manny Ling

Manny Ling's Alphabet

This alphabet was made by Manny Ling using Pilot Parallel Pens.

© Manny Ling and Pen People

Basic Pen Strokes

Manny Ling Pen Strokes

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Explanation by Manny Ling:

Over the years I have developed a variation of the Italic Hand that allows me to write more fluently and quickly. This process involves getting rid of the ‘serifs’ (the thin hairlines) at the beginning and the ending of letter strokes.

This article hopes to enlighten this process and may be for the more experienced calligraphers to have a go. I find writing in this way helps me to write more fluently because most of the strokes are made up of one movement of the pen (usually from top to bottom) rather than going up, down and up again (See fig. A). This technique helps me to maintain a better balance and control of the rhythm of writing.

The letters within the Roman alphabet usually consists of five or six variant strokes: verticals, horizontals, diagonals, dots and curves. Hence, one can practice the different strokes and create their own interpretations of them.

1. Lets begin with the vertical strokes. Begin with simple mono-line strokes to get used to writing without the serifs. Once you have established your rhythm of writing, try and concentrate on the consistency of the strokes, that is to say the thickness, angle and spacing should be same. (See fig.1)

2. Once you are proficient in doing this, you can try to embellish the end of the stroke with a ‘terminal’. This is achieved by quickly lifting away the left corner of the nib as you reach the end of the stroke. Depending on the angle and speed of the lift off, it will produce different looking terminals. (See fig.2)

Manny Ling Pen Strokes

3. Do the same with the horizontal, diagonals, and dots. (See fig.3)

4. The curve strokes have a slightly different approach. As you travel down the stroke use the right hand corner of the nib to make the up stroke. (See fig.4)

5. Once you have mastered all the different strokes, the fun begins! If one de-constructs the letters of the alphabet, for example, the letter ‘t’ is made up of one vertical and horizontal stroke or the letter ‘A’ is made up of two diagonals and a horizontal. With this in mind you can create variations of the same letter. (See fig.5)

When you start writing words, pay particular attention to the rhythm and contrasts between letter shapes. One can alter the shape of the subsequent letter depending on the preceding letter shapes. Be adventurous!

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