DeAnn reviewed letters by student request.
TIP: place your grid ruler over a letter to measure its width. Compare to the exemplar. If you’re having trouble with a letter, try tracing it.
|Spacing words, plus alphabet sentence.|
Then DeAnn demonstrated writing words and explained letter spacing for Fraktur.
You can use the alternate letter forms within the same text. Depending on the letter-order or spacing, one form may be a better fit. Experiment!
Letter Spacing: all the inner white spaces should be similar. If the letter form’s strokes are all straight (e.g. “minimum”), then the spaces between the strokes should be the same. The difficulty comes in judging the correct spacing between curved and straight strokes. If two curves are next to each other (e.g. “oo”), they can be very close together, even overlapping.
For letters that have a “hangover” like “c”, “e”, “r”, “t”, “f”, “k”, “x”, leave the square serif off of the next letter and overlap or tuck underneath to start the down-stroke. E.g. er, ru, ei, ci, ce.
General rule of thumb on spacing: write out “minimum” with the correct spacing. The overall “color” of the text should match that of “minimum” – by “color”, DeAnn means how the text looks at a distance while squinting your eyes.
TIP: Highlight the white spaces on the exemplar and compare it to your own letters.
Word-spacing: leave enough space between words to show where the word ends, but not too much space. In other hands, an “n-space” (width of the letter “n”) separates words, but use less than that for Fraktur.
TIP: after writing out text, hang it on the wall and take a break. Then come back and stand some distance from it and squint your eyes. Do any white spots stand out? Do you see any dark spots? Those are the areas that are spaced too far apart or too close together.
REMEMBER: Spacing trumps spelling. It’s more important to get the spacing correct than each individual letterform being perfect. Even if some of your letters don’t look very good, your piece will still look good with the correct spacing. But even if you have beautiful individual letters, your piece will not look good if your spacing is not correct.
Next week: capitals.
HOMEWORK: Write alphabet sentences. Go to DeAnn’s website to get the alphabet sentences (http://designingletters.com/html/alphabetsentences.html) Or Google “alphabet sentences” for other examples.
To practice letter-spacing, see the list of “Words to Use for Spacing” at DeAnn’s website:
These are words that emphasize spacing issues between letters.
TIP: Try to practice 15 minutes a day, rather than an hour Sunday night before class. A little more often is better practice than a longer session just once a week.