quick brown fox : minimum :: abecedarium : kerning

Speedball “C” nib and Pro White on unknown scrap of black paper.

As “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is considered to be the quintessential abecedarium, so “minimum” is the stock word for practicing letter spacing. Here the challenge was to change the style each line while keeping each line as consistent as possible. Difficult! Here were the styles/rules I had in mind on each line:

  1. foundational connections and proportions with flat base;
  2. foundational connections with classic two-part triangular serif at top and rounded exit strokes at bottom;
  3. gothicized italic with flattened horizontal-ish exit strokes (copy of Edward Johnson’s version);
  4. a rather softened style of blackletter;
  5. a hybrid of bookhand and italic which requires a pen-angle change on the branching, with exaggerated pen-angle stops at the base;
  6. italic with a very low branch point;
  7. uncial;
  8. springy italic with increasingly erratic um, unrestrained gestural strokes.

practicing one script : working/playing in this manner :: practicing a straight scale : improvising a Hanon exercise using a jazz scale and syncopated rhythm