Last Saturday afternoon I was driving and listening to my GPS between two points in the metroplex I was not totally familiar with.  I was rushed for time to get to my event and was somewhat distracted when my cell phone rang and knocked off the sexy female voice giving me directions.  

Although we’ve lived here for eons, a few new buildings and connecting highways have changed what was once a familiar landscape. I was all but lost.  I answered the phone, “Ken Brown Studio, this is Ken,” and this man begins giving me an order.  Didn’t ask if we were still in business, he just began with, “I’ll take 3 steel brushes, 5 cartridges for the Panache reservoir pen and one of the Ken Brown Practice Pads.”  

When I could finally break in, I asked him the date on the catalog.  He said it was ©1979.  Of course I told him, although we are still in business after all those years, things had changed a bit.  He seemed shocked that he couldn’t get what he wanted from that 35 year old catalog.  

His phone call confirmed there is still interest in elegant hand-lettering and the beauty it adds to anything it’s on or used for.  We all are almost totally dependent on our digital world.  From the smart phone in our pocket to the computer on our desks, we can be in touch with the world in a variety of fonts, perfect and flawless…and pretty.  But all that techno stuff will never replace the warmth and vitality of the hand-written note whether with a Bic ballpoint…5 for a buck…or a two-dollar chisel edged marker making Calligraphic letters.  

So by now you know where I’m going with this.  We don’t stock all the fancy pens and pads we once did.  Those are still in the retail stores and if you’re lucky, you might even find a dusty copy with my name on one somewhere on the bottom shelf.  If not, we do still sell my long-lived, trusty Ken Brown Calligraphy Handbook to get one started on making the letters the old boy on the phone still appreciates.  

Below is the book.  Here’s where you get it.  By phone and credit card only.  No shopping carts here.  

If you are interested in my ongoing hobby of cramming as much as possible about all this into 140 characters-per-post on Twitter, here’s where you can see some of those midnight and lunch-at-Cotton Patch inspirations.  


(Yes, that’s me when I had hair.  No, it’s not my son.  He’s the photographer, Kevin.  But don’t mistake him for me; he doesn’t have much hair either.)

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