The Typism Skills Summit features ten typographers and hand-letterers. Peer over their shoulders as they teach you their techniques and share their secrets in a series of intimate video masterclasses.

Today we meet Melbourne lettering artist, Maria Montes. Her Typism Skills Summit Class will teach you the basics of with Neuland Script using a bamboo pen.

In her Typism Summit course, Maria Montes introduces us to a lesser-known style of calligraphy called Neuland. I love making bamboo nibs with my design students, so it was refreshing to see them in the hands of a professional. You might not have heard of Neuland, but if you have seen the Jurassic Park logo, you’ve certainly seen it in action.

Along with using a bamboo nib, Maria shows us a nifty technique of selecting a different colour every time she dips the pen, so there is a lovely blending of earthy tones between the green and brown inks.

Maria is a Spanish fabric designer who has made Fitzroy (a groovy inner-Melbourne suburb) her home. She works out of a converted textile factory and shares the studio with a variety of Melbourne creatives. One thing we did get to see in Melbourne was a lot of co-working and shared studio spaces.

We were also graced with a very special studio guest as Maria’s friend Bobby Haiqalsyah kindly agreed to be her student for the day. If you attended the first Typism conference in 2013, you would remember Bobby was one of the speakers.

In the workshop, Bobby and Maria work their way through the alphabet using this handy little worksheet Maria has put together for the Summit. She also shows us how to cut the bamboo nib and how to mix walnut ink.

I am lucky enough to have several bamboo stands in my garden, and this is what I use to make bamboo nibs. If you don’t have access to bamboo, most art supply stores have bamboo blanks. I’ve also never tried walnut ink, so I will be looking out for it, but in the meantime, you can practice with any liquid ink, or even very watery paint. You might want to mix a few different colours and experiment with the colour blending technique that Maria shows us. She also takes a look at a variety of square wide calligraphy nibs if you cannot access any bamboo locally. Any flat nib will do.

Get started today.

Learn at your own pace and watch all of the videos in the Typism Skills Summit as many times as you like. Learn a variety of hands-on lettering skills from experts.

Access all 80+ videos for just $97

Check out Maria’s Instagram @iamariamontes and get started making those bamboo pens.

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