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My Favorite Lettering Artists: John Stevens

Ocean-yacht: Lettering artist John Stevens; © John Stevens DesignThrough the years I've been influenced by so many different lettering artists that I decided to start a series on my blog in which I will, from time to time, focus on one particular artist. The art of lettering is a multi-dimensional field which encompasses diverse disciplines such as hand letteringsign-writing, typography and calligraphy. A true lettering artist understands letterforms and is able to evoke the appropriate emotion through skillful character development of that lettering.

© John Stevens DesignPostmodern assertions aside, words are extremely important to us as human beings since through words we express our most precise form of communication.  When we complement our words through befitting embodied depiction of the letterforms which make up those words, we can enhance and clarify the meaning we wish to portray.

© John Stevens DesignI first encountered the work of John Stevens in an article I read in SignCraft magazine in the 1980's. Though he enjoys international acclaim as a master calligrapher, his humble beginnings were as a sign painter. This may be part of why I have such an affinity for his work and why I've chosen him to be the first example of my favorite lettering artists. The beauty and expressiveness of his lettering is a fluidity obtained, not only through natural giftedness but primarily through years of disciplined study and practice.

The best way to see this is not by reading my words but by visiting his website, John Stevens Design and viewing his own graphically expressive words.

As I continue this series periodically, I'll demonstrate the several different disciplines which converge under the umbrella of "lettering artist". Though my own efforts at being a lettering artist pale in comparison to these giants, I hope to share with you how they have helped to shape the direction of my own work and that you'll find inspiration therein as well.

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