After a conversation in the studio one morning, about the merits of calligraphy, I decided to go ‘surfing’ to remind myself what a wonderful art form it is. I was duly rewarded as my search led me to Sebastian Lester. I had a vague notion that I had seen his work before, in various design books and magazines, but one thing’s for sure I hadn’t appreciated what a remarkable master of the craft he is.
As soon as I landed on his site seblester.com I was bowled over by his remarkable ability. His use of flourishes and dense calligraphic strokes are incredible and characteristic of much of his work. He has an attention to detail that most designers couldn’t even dream of. And this is demonstrated by his extraordinary work ‘Jerusalem’, A Tribute To William Blake’.
Anyone who has the vision and the craft skills to take a set of words and create something so artistically and visually awe inspiring has to be singled out for special mention. It takes an incredibly talented individual and a true craftsman to inspire and delight by excelling in the art of calligraphy.
The age of instant gratification is upon us, with social media managing to dumb down the written word, personal relationships and much else. The digital world has also supposedly rung the death knell of the craftsman. Don’t believe it. As long as there are the likes of Sebastian Lester around there’s still hope. So when you’re despairing of the disposable society remember Sebastian’s poster and what can be achieved when someone is prepared to invest the time and effort to create something truly special. Who knows that someone could be you.
Sebastian Lester is an English artist, type designer and calligrapher, often referred to as the “Banksy of Calligraphy”. He is notable for prominent type designs and calligraphic prints. He is also known for his videos of hand drawn calligraphy, often of famous brands, published on social media. In 2009–2010 he redesigned four covers of J. D. Salinger books, including The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey for Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton. Lester also designed the official font, Neo Sans, for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and helped develop the mastheads for The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph in the UK.
An indication that his remarkable abilities haven’t gone unnoticed by the ‘millenials’ is that he has over a million followers across his social media sites and a recent video of a media interview has been viewed 60 million times on Facebook.