The John Stevens book is available!

ARTIST OF THE WRITTEN WORD With his art and words, John Stevens provides 
insight into the ideas and themes behind his work, illuminating a path to excellence, 
variety, and expression in calligraphy and lettering design. Read what others have to say in praise.

Reader's comments
  • Artist of the Written Word by John Stevens

    Artist of the Written Word by John Stevens

  • The letter beautiful

    The letter beautiful

  • Designing & Drawing letters

    Designing & Drawing letters

  • Pure Writing

    Pure Writing

  • The Working lettering designer

    The Working lettering designer

  • Logotypes & Brands

    Logotypes & Brands

  • Type Design from the calligraphers perspective

    Type Design from the calligraphers perspective

  • Writing Illumination

    Writing Illumination

  • Artists and the written word

    Artists and the written word

  • The universal line

    The universal line

  • Written word as image

    Written word as image

  • Western & Eastern calligraphy influences

    Western & Eastern calligraphy influences

  • Tradition to non-tradition

    Tradition to non-tradition

  • Logotypes & Titles

    Logotypes & Titles

  • Writing is its own best ornament

    Writing is its own best ornament

  • Letter games

    Letter games

  • Foundations & expression

    Foundations & expression

  • Hand-Lettered Book Jackets

    Hand-Lettered Book Jackets

  • Rhythm and movement

    Rhythm and movement

  • The Brush

    The Brush

About the Artist

About the Artist

John Stevens is one of the most gifted and original letter 
artists on the international scene, renowned for his skill as calligrapher, letter artist, and type designer.
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The Book

The Book

With his art and words, John Stevens provides 
insight into the ideas and themes behind his work, illuminating a path to excellence, 
variety, and expression in calligraphy and lettering design.
Read More
Calligraphy; then and now

Calligraphy; then and now

The world had never heard of Facebook or Twitter (not to mention all of the other social channels like YouTube), a mere 6-7 years ago. Handwriting and calligraphy have been around for thousands of years.
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John Neal Books

John Neal Books

Since 1981, John Neal Bookseller has supplied calligraphers, lettering artists, illuminators, bookbinders, and type and papercraft enthusiasts worldwide with books, tools, and materials.
Read More

Readers comments for “Scribe”

scribeBookJSRead what other have said about John Stevens’ book; Scribe | Artist of the Written Word.

John Neal Books | The Publisher

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John Neal Bookseller is a small company known worldwide to calligraphers and book artists as a supplier of tools and materials. The company also carries a very wide selection of books on typography, lettering, calligraphy, technique, and thought. Since 1981, John Neal Bookseller has supplied calligraphers, lettering artists, illuminators, bookbinders and type and papercraft enthusiasts worldwide with books, tools, and materials. They also publish Letter Arts Review, a full color journal on the lettering arts, and Bound & Lettered, a quarterly magazine on making books and making letters.

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Click here to buy the John Stevens Book: Scribe | Artist of the Written Word

About the artist

JOHN STEVENS
is one of the most gifted and original letter 
artists on the international scene, renowned for his skill as calligrapher, letter artist, and type designer. Starting as a sign painter in New York, his insatiable inquiry into letters and their 
design led him into calligraphy and lettering 
with various pens, brushes, and later the 
computer. By his mid-twenties he was working for nationally known clients in publishing, 
packaging, advertising, television, and film.
His work has graced book jackets, magazines, newspapers, libraries, museums, and churches. 
An in-demand teacher, he has been invited 
to teach at many national and international letter arts conferences throughout the United States and has made several excursions to 
Europe and Japan to teach his art. His original works are included in the collections of the San Francisco Public Library; Berlin’s Akademie der Künste; and La Casa del Libro (San Juan, Puerto Rico), as well as in many private collections. 
His exemplary work has been published and 
reproduced in dozens of publications  and books in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the U.S.A.

John Stevens Website

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The Book

 

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ARTIST OF THE WRITTEN WORD

A profusely illustrated, 264 page, full-color retrospective of John Stevens’ work with letterforms. Includes calligraphy and lettering artworks, personal work, experimental work, commissioned work — as well as graphic work and type design. His body of work spans paper to stone, books to walls, to type and the digital realm. This book is for letter-lovers: graphic designers, calligraphers, typophiles and anyone interested in the art/craft of word images.

Comments / Praise for the book

With his art and words, John Stevens provides 
insight into the ideas and themes behind his work, illuminating a path to excellence, 
variety, and expression in calligraphy and lettering design. The clear text describes how John approaches projects and opens a view into his creative process. In a gentle voice, allowing his sense of humor to come through, he shares his thoughts on topics such as the interaction of rhythm, form, and movement; chaos and order; and “broad-edged Zen,” to name only a few. You are brought into his world as he tells of his experiences with projects and clients, how the digital world has affected the practice of the craft, and why it does not matter if creating letter works is a craft or an art. While this is not an instructional book, you learn John’s views on a calligrapher’s education as he 
relates how letter-making and problem-solving can be approached. He discusses what paths can lead to a greater understanding of 
calligraphic form, providing a glimpse into how he conducts his classes and workshops. You will see letterforms differently as you become aware of the possibilities inherent in the form and the ways of connecting calligraphy, expression, art, and graphic design.

 

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In the text, John presents his approach to a design or work and his thoughts on letterforms, and continues with a discussion on tools, teaching, design and writing in general. Using his body of work as example, he makes the case that barriers between fine arts and graphic arts are mostly irrelevant.
B2982. John Stevens SCRIBE: Artist of the Written Word. 264pp. 8.75″x11.25″. Hardcover $49.95

Click Here to download sample pages

 

 

Calligraphy: then and now

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Any day we should have copies in our hands. I know it has been a long time. So much has happened in the past six years; I cannot believe the changes since 2007! When I started the book, the world had never heard of Facebook or Twitter (not to mention all of the other social channels like YouTube). And Google was competition for Yahoo, Lycos, and Alta Vista. In the last couple of years I wondered if anyone would even care about a book that had anything to do with writing by hand. I know it is important to not doubt yourself, but these changes are unprecedented. Add to that, a world economic collapse.
My thoughts and priorities had changed (as I am sure yours have too). So, does that leave any room for calligraphy? The biggest shift I see is in two areas:

1. As a therapeutic endeavor

2. As performance art.

I have seen these two areas increase the most. Very fine calligraphy seems to have been hurt the most in that it is very hard to capture on film/video. This “fine” calligraphy was the result of thousands of years of evolution. We now think more in terms of image than in craft; of inventing more than preserving. In times like now, change is the only constant and most of calligraphy was backward looking. (I do not mean that in a negative way—traditions are important.) I hope we can change the perception of calligraphy as anachronism. My feeling is that the word calligraphy needs to be updated or eliminated completely. I hope that “living letters,” as Warren Chappell called it, will continue to have a life and that the skills of the fine calligrapher are not lost in the mistaken notion that everything has to be new. There will always be new worlds, but my hope is we don’t lose what has been accomplished in search of the new.

Please read “LetterArts Museum”