The Antiqua is an almost omnipresent type of letter. We find it in a majority of our novels, and our bookshelves are filled with it. Littera Antica is the proper term. It has also been called ‘Oldstyle’ (pretty imprecise, right?). They are the minuscule letterforms that evolved from the carolingian minuscule and matured into the Antiqua of the Renaissance. 


Italian scribes would copy carolingian manuscripts, and though we don’t know who came up with the idea originally, someone felt like borrowing the serifs from older Roman letterforms and fuse them with the carolingian, and voila!, the littera antica was born.


Although many consider the Antiqua to be a purely typographic form, most calligraphers know better. It springs out of calligraphic letterforms, made for example by Paduan scribes such as Bartolomeo San Vito.


In order to fully understand this letterform, we must simply put it back in the pen again. 


In this workshop we will move from a ‘foundational hand’ (an English carolingian manuscript letterform) to understand the underlying form, and gradually approach a fully mature Antiqua form.


Even though this isn’t a type design workshop, examples of digitization will be shown, and some technical considerations will be touched upon.


This workshop includes lectures, demonstrations, Q&A sessions and corrections of work in Slack between lessons. 

All levels are welcome.

When: Four week class in Zoom, Wednesdays 24th of May–14th of June 2023, 19:30–21:00 (90 mins). [CEST]. 

Content: Access to videos for three months after classes have ended. Talks and demos. Corrections and comments between sessions (using Slack). Downloadable workbook as pdf.