Friday, April 22, 2016

David Jones Lettering

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

By Anne Rita Taylor
I won a Scholarship in 2012 from the Houston Calligraphy Guild. I knew I had to do a meeting presentation at HCG within the year which is a requirement of winning.

By David Jones
While I was working full time I found an online class from an Australian Calligrapher, Gemma Black, on David Jones Lettering, which I had never attempted. David Jones (1895-1974) a poet and calligrapher from England, wrote a page of calligraphy as if he were painting a picture.

By David Jones
David Jones combined Latin, Greek and English. “Exit Edictum" comes from the account of Christ’s birth in St. Luke’s Gospel. Along the left side: “I am Redit Apollo” comes from Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue (selection). Jones preferred colored backgrounds and lettering in colors.

Gemma’s workshop consisted of three lessons, the first two had four exercises each. My letters were written with colored pencils and nibs. Annotating what I wrote with and wrote on was a new experience for me to record what worked and what did not.

We emailed back and forth. Gemma gave me good suggestions on my first attempts and I had hope that I could improve with more practice. Writing on a ground of white acrylic paint was a fun learning experience!

For my Houston Calligraphy Guild presentation I penned my own Exemplar (A to Z) of David Jones Letters. I did not present any of Gemma’s calligraphy since attendees were taking photos and I wanted to preserve Gemma’s copyright protection.

My calligraphy on the cover of the 8 page books I made for each person at the Houston Calligraphy Guild presentation on May 2013. It was a full house with about 60 people attending!

A more recent alphabet I wrote in my journal.

I highly recommend Gemma Black’s teaching! I was lucky to meet her in person when she taught at the Legacies Calligraphy Conference in Dallas during July 2014. We had a lovely time at The Marriott Renaissance Hotel.

Please leave a Comment if you liked learning about David Jones Lettering!


  1. This is a wonderful post! I remember when you did this for the guild, though I couldn't attend. With the traffic, growth in Houston, and road construction, it takes almost three hours for me to travel to the meetings from my home. Since my injury, it's too difficult for me to get there on Sat mornings. I do miss coming, though.

    1. I'll bring a David Jones instruction book for you to the Yukimi workshop next week - I'm looking forward to seeing you!

  2. Sandee Setliff and myself are always looking for new lettering experiences.. Would love to know more! :)

  3. I'm lucky to have the Houston Calligraphy Guild nearby - there are others in the US too. Each year there is a calligraphy conference in a different location, 2016 is called A Show Of Hands in Asheville, NC.