Presentation details
Reynolds Stone – a life in graven letters

Humphrey Stone

Friday 14 September | 15:00 – 15:45
Location: Sallis Benney Theatre

Keynote | Theme: | Duration: 45 minutes

This talk, by a biased son, is a tribute to a father who combined brain, eye and hands to a remarkable degree. Unassuming, modest, observant, scholarly and a superb craftsman he was above all an artist with an artist's vision. Largely self taught, except for a fortnight at Eric Gill's studio in Pigotts, his mastery of the art of engraving letters in wood remains equal to none.

The talk aims to reveal the man behind this skill, his passions like water, trees and Dorset, for his character and life are embedded in every line he engraved. In fact his life and work were one.

From his initial training as a printer at CUP to his discovery of Italian Renaissance writing masters and the engravings of Thomas Bewick through early encouragement of scholars like Stanley Morison he took on public commissions that included stamps, Bank notes, The Royal Coat of Arms that is still being used on your passport, Dolcis Shoes logo and type faces. He also designed over 100 inscriptions including that of Winston Churchill in Westminster Abbey.

Besides illustrating books and over 350 bookplates, and many publishers devices, he also painted water colours. The talk however concentrates on his lettering. Born in 1909 he died in 1979.

Speaker details

Humphrey Stone

Born in 1942, son of Reynolds Stone. Typographic designer. Trained at the OUP, and a year sitting at feet of Giovanni Mardesteig in Verona. Worked at Chatto & Windus and Weidenfeld & Nicolson, before being assistant designer under P.J. Conkwright at Princeton University Press, USA. Then he became art director for Stanford University Press, California and later the Compton Press, Wiltshire. Freelance since 1979. Among the many books he has designed is the three volume Robert & Lisa Sainsbury Collection. His wife, Solveig, runs Compton Marbling and they live on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, surrounded by his bantams, ducks and Dorset sheep.

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