Disney teaches us a lot of valuable lessons, including about “love, kindness and the joy of helping others” (thank you, Fauna, for that line from Sleeping Beauty), but it now also teaches us how to write meaningfully.
Thanks to Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini and Disney Editions, Art of Hand Lettering gives us a beautiful and inviting lesson into writing, history and communication. Targeted towards a younger audience, but really doubling as a read for all ages, this artful activity book educates the reader on the meaning of the fonts and feelings behind many famous Disney titles.
The workbook structure guides the reader through several calligraphy and writing styles and exercises, including English Cursive, Gothic Script, Jumping Sans and Modern Calligraphy. If you think this sounds a bit too dry or technical, think again – the book applies these styles to Disney films and phrases you know and love. You are familiar with the styles from those famous Disney title cards after all!
My favorite part of Art of Hand Lettering is the comparison between different writing styles used for different Disney titles. For example, the author explains that English Cursive used for “Beauty” in Beauty and the Beast evokes a sense of “timeless elegance” and “represents the charming Belle.” By contrast, “sometimes true love is a force that makes us face our fears and give our best.” This fierce and strong sense of love is better communicated via the “timeworn fable” flavor of Gothic Script as seen in the title cards for Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The theme of the book is love, but Art of Hand Lettering is so much more than a theme or a simple writing lesson. Intrigued and so very pleasantly surprised by all this book has to offer, I sincerely recommend it as a charming gift and great addition to any Disney collection. Santa, pop a few of these in your sleigh this holiday season!