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A weekend In the Woods With the Typeface Baskerville

Updated July 24, 2014
Camping with Typography - Review of Sean Wes, Learn Lettering

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

For the occasional recluse like myself, there’s nothing better than having a purpose when going into the woods; some kind of mission for self-flagellation or aggrandizement.

This time was no different. I had set my sights on one particular typeface, and being the type-nerd/type-romantic that I am I was extremely excited to study it’s every stem and beak.

I was turned onto the idea of ‘deliberate practice’ by hand-lettering Guru Sean McCabe, and it was suggested to push your involvement with one font, tracing it, then looking at it and copying, then trying to reproduce the font from memory. After I did this I would compare my from memory versions of the letters and note any inconsistencies between the typeface, in this case Baskerville, I was trying to emulate.

Baskerville Typeface - Deliberate practice Sean Wes review, learn lettering

Ever since my love affair with the typeface Proxima Nova, I was never so delighted. Baskerville is a classic font, and with all it’s serifs and well done curves and angles it gives the impression as one THE premiere classic serif fonts. I highly suggest taking a closer look at this font and studying some of its lettering forms. It’s just has a delightful style.

So anyways, I repeated this with a couple more fonts and then started planning out a couple compositions, and went back to Baskerville for more. With plenty of business  marketing and design Podcasts in my ear I found myself never bored and slowly starting to feel my comprehension of many of the little things about the typeface starting to become second nature.

Camping with Typography - Review of Sean Wes, Learn Lettering

Some have fishing, some have partying, I have fonts.

I suppose it could be of some interest to discuss my second and third font choices as well. I have a font called Geogrotesque that is a tall sans serif and gives me a lovely vibe, and Museo Slab which is very popular right now with designers because of it’s friendly slab serif ways.

I love how Sean McCabe suggests taking one then other fonts, and trying to pick ones that have been around for awhile and stood the test of time. It’s definitely interesting how things come and go, and font styles become very popular for a time and fade. Sometimes they could be still good, but I remember a couple years ago, I kept on seeing League Gothic Condensed and similar fonts; tall thin bold sans serifs. But I love fonts that feel timeless. I suppose that goes for many of the things in my life that have to do with style. I’m attracted to things with style that doesn’t seem to wear out, and design elements that have a continuously modern yet classic feel.

Perhaps you are interesting in getting started with hand-lettering. You may want to check out Sean McCabe’s course at http://seanwes.com/learn.

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I’ll offer up a sort of review here.

The course was somewhat expensive for me, but the expensiveness actually increased my overall perceived value of the course so I found it to almost endear me to it. I’m still finishing up some of the course, I’d have to say that some parts seem almost unnecessarily drawn out. For instance, if you do the ‘deliberate practice’ as he suggests, the hour and a half or so that he shows him drawing every letterform in each style feels a bit redundant. However, certain things like the general principle that down and to the right strokes are thick, up and to the right are thin and so on, as a general principle is very useful to note, and there are a few more tips like this that really help. As for personally, I think Sean could be a little less self-deprecating while doing the course, as this guy is likable and pretty brilliant. Check out his Podcast on Itunes for business tips and design expertise.

I’m really starting to love hand-lettering, and I’m guessing you’ll love Sean McCabe’s work too if this is up your alley.

Check out Sean McCabe’s work here. http://www.viralnova.com/amazing-typography/

There are also other resources to learn the art of lettering on Skillshare. Check them out here

And/Or Buy his course http://seanwes.com/learn/

One of my pieces, I started on the camping trip.

Learn Lettering review


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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

If you are interested in Hand-lettering, why not check out my FREE Crash Course?
  Crash Course to Hand-lettering

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4 Comments on "A weekend In the Woods With the Typeface Baskerville"

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Tim Brown

It can be very soothing and meditative to be working with your hands lettering. 🙂


“Some have fishing, some have partying, I have fonts.”

After reading that I realize that I’m not so strange after all. Great review!

Tim Brown

Thanks for your comments 🙂 Glad to hear it

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