Buenos Aires, City of Faded Elegance

Mastering Calligraphy: From Buenos Aires to New York

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In seeking the perfect for Ceci’s birthday I wandered the bookstores & art stores of Manhattan. On a gray Saturday afternoon last month I sought out Rizzoli Bookstore for its reputation of specializing in illustrated books. Rizzoli is a very special bookstore located in a fashionable townhouse around the corner from Central Park. Heading up the lovely wooden staircase I found the graphic design books near the front window of the upper floor (pictured below).

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I ended up buying two books: a practical book and an inspirational book. The first was the just published Mastering Calligraphy: The Complete Guide to Hand Lettering. I was afraid that the book might be too basic for Ceci, who is already quite experienced and studying with a calligraphy teacher in Buenos Aires. However, Ceci tells me that the book is quite good. Despite the rather dull book cover, the page layouts of the interior are very well conceived and the content ranges from beginning to advanced.

The most exciting part of the Mastering Calligraphy book (and I didn’t even realize this until after I purchased it) is that it features work from our friend Yanina Arabena, a Buenos Aires-based calligrapher who is making quite a positive reputation for herself with her distinct lovely style of hand lettering. Yani’s lettering is featured on the back cover of Mastering Calligraphy as well as on one of the first interior pages. Always a thrill to unexpectedly open a book and find references to someone you know. Congrats Yani!

The other book I got for Ceci was an elaborately designed book by Marian Bantjes titled I Wonder, which is truly a gorgeous book.