I recently bought a tattered old book called The Business Guide; or Safe Methods of Business by J.L. Nichols, A.M. With headings like "Practical Maxims for Getting on in the World" and "How to Apply for a Situation", it makes for an interesting read. But reading wasn't my real purpose for buying the book. Instead, it was the bookplates of ornamental penmanship inside that drew my attention. The fact is that I'm a sucker for good penmanship. I would easily hang one of those chalkboard menus we associate with Parisian bistros on my walls and call it art (a future post may well celebrate unintended cafe art). I've been known to spend hours in Word putting various fonts through their paces. So to me these images of once popular penmanship drawings constitute the perfect marriage of writing and design.
(Images from The Business Guide; or Safe Methods of Business by J.L. Nichols, A.M., published by J.L. Nichols & Co. Naperville, ILL., 1896 and available at amazon.)