The Russian Academy of Sciences Library holds a retrospective exhibition of works by students of the Higher School of Polygraphy and Media Technologies of the St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Engineering and Design, the Institute of Arts of the St. Petersburg State University, and the Institute of Decorative and Applied Art.
Lettering is now penetrating into all areas of human activity, from purely physiological —products, clothes, and entertainment advertising, to the highest ones, such as art, science or religion. The presence of lettering is no longer recognized, as it has become customary in the print publications, on the screen, on a shabby bathroom wall. The computer has made the font an indispensable tool and a headache for every user, whom almost every inhabitant of the planet is gradually becoming; for a graphic artist and graphic designer it is even more so.
This vernissage presents works by students, specializing in the Art of Script and Calligraphy, from three St. Petersburg art schools, made under the guidance of Dmitry Petrovsky, Associate Professor of the Higher School of Printing and Media Technologies.
The works are both academic and creative. Modern teaching of composition within the framework of teaching graphic design and book and magazine graphics often focuses on rethinking the external form of the script, opting for a free associative interpretation of the geometric basis. This poses a new challenge to achieve the classic "simple beauty of the letter." Therefore, the main focus in the practical part of teaching is to acquire the traditional type designer skills proven over decades and centuries: drawing a form by hand, which is methodically incomparable with manipulating the Bezier curves, as well as writing all the main historical forms of European and Russian scripts with a broad nib. Thus, the students are encouraged to establish the enduring foundations of the artistic taste and learn the central points of the theory of the contemporary script art. And in the composition of their graduation works, students are urged to be guided by acutely modern, non-standard application of those skills. In many respects, the same figurative and associative tasks that are subject for composition, are mainly solved here using sharply composed and subtly felt forms of classic script characters.
The exhibition includes methodical works studying the regular scripts of the Renaissance, classicism, baroque (Peter the Great’s civilian script), 19th-20th centuries display scripts, as well as calligraphic sheets and manuscripts made within the framework of studying the historical scripts of the Ancient Rus, Russia and Western Europe. When studying the civilian script and historical calligraphy, students’ task is to combine the actual script and graphic elements in one poster (or handwritten book sheets).
Though the exhibition mainly focuses on the students’ hand work in the field of script art, now called lettering, and to calligraphy, one of the exhibits presents a digital research work on the study and restoration of the fonts used in the early 17th century by the Ukrainian typographer Pamvo Berynda in the Lviv edition of John Chrysostom’s and Basil the Great’s reasoning "A Book on the Priesthood ..." published in 1614. The work includes three texts and three display fonts, as well as an original title page and its reproduction made with the restored fonts.
Along with the students' works, there are also several works by the teacher Dmitry Petrovsky, including the three volumes of the Visible Verb textbook published between 2005 and 2016.