[WOW] 16th Century Designer’s Portfolio

Macclesfield Alphabet Book.

Found at British Library


From the original Macc Book – as used by designers in the 1500s

“…and with this alphabet we achieved best of breed stand-out in the highly competitive gruel sector…”

Produced c1500, the book is filled with designs for different styles of script, letters, initials and decorative borders. All are believed to have come from one workshop, where the book would have been used not just in ye olde pitche meetinge but also to teach assistants how to reproduce the house styles.

There are 14 different types of decorative alphabets featured, including decorative initials with faces

‘foliate’ alphabets, ie those featuring leaves or other foliage

a zoomorphic alphabet

plus, the Library says, large, coloured anthropomorphic initials modelled after fifteenth-century woodcuts or engravings

as well as two sets of different types of borders, some of which are fully illuminated in colours and gold.

“Yes, very nice, but can you make my coat of arms bigger?”

read source here


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