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Several students and followers of this blog have asked me about the block lettering I include on some bottles. I can do it because I grew up with it in college in a drafting (mechanical drawing) class, then in an architectural class, then in a drafting job at the Frito Company….BEFORE it became Frito-Lay! 1961 was the year! I used it daily in my drafting job at Texas Instruments and, in my final working-for-the-other-fellow job at WFAA TV in Dallas I had many occasions to use my block lettering in tv promotional items.
On the wine bottles, it’s always vertical. Most of the drafting jobs where I was being paid to do it with my drawings, it was all slanted right and much more precise than you see here. On wine and spirits bottles, I take liberties with many letters like the long cross bar on the H. All words are not perfectly on a common baseline, though that is the goal. Still, nobody complains and often I’ll get comments about the nice appearance of the mix.
Now, why do I mix boring block with my Calligraphic script? First, for visual appeal. It gives a break and is a good mix. Second, and most important, it is screaming F A S T !! In my case, my long history using it makes it natural. Only a couple of years ago, in desperation for time, did I begin including it on wine bottles. It’s not on EVERY bottle. Often, when it’s a really busy event, I’ll quickly decide what is the longest line in the message and I’ll do it in block for speed. In the above photo, I did the name of the recipient (do you know any Chaps??) and the name of the giver in the Copperplate script. The Happy Father’s Day and the date were the quickest-done parts of this bottle.
Have had NO complaints, though, occasionally, I’ll have a note in the margin of the order form that requests all script. No sweat. The time I save doing the block on the cases of other bottles makes up for the few special requests to eliminate it.
In my Studio, when people are paying for the engraving….as opposed to FREE in the store events….the ONLY time I use block is on the dates and that is not every time even in those. A few students have asked if I have a DVD or any teaching materials on block. No, I don’t but certainly could if there’s a demand from enough people. Like the script, it is a discipline and lots of practice to be able to do it fairly consistently and legibly, and with some degree of flair.
Anyone have a comment or an interest in learning my way with block?
NOTE: THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO GET A RESPONSE TO YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ON THESE BLOGS IS TO EMAIL ME AT: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 214.250.6958.
-Ken • 214.250.6958