Friday, September 28, 2012

Flourish Friday - The Calligraphy of Raphael Boguslav

I first became aware of the work of Raphael Boguslav while reading Calligraphic Flourishing - A New Approach to an Ancient Art by Bill Hildebrandt. I've shared before that this book is one of my favorites. (Unfortunately, it is out of print.)  In his Preface, Bill credits a 1982 workshop with Raphael as being one of the motivators for not only his Flourishing Alphabet but also for the book itself.  Within the pages of Bill's book are numerous examples of Raphael's lettering.  Each example is a work of art.  Sadly, Raphael Boguslav died in the summer of 2010 following an accident.

Now, we have the opportunity to help raise funds in order for The Fisher Press in Santa Fe to print a limited edition book of some of Raphael's hand lettered practice pages.  I love the title for this book, Practice Makes Perfect. The short video above explains the fundraising campaign underway at Kickstarter.  If you aren't familiar with Kickstarter, it is a "crowdfunding" website.  It is a fairly new vehicle whereby artists, musicians, filmmakers and other creatives may raise funds to kickstart their artistic dreams.  Kickstarter campaigns allow financial goals to be met through grassroots efforts - such as a bunch of calligraphy lovers joining together to see a book get made.  :)
Watch the short video above and consider becoming a backer for this project.  For as little as $1 you can help get this project funded.  Giving at Kickstarter is done via your regular Amazon account - although you can still give even if you don't have an Amazon account.  Everything is explained on the page of the video above, so be sure to click through. (Or see the link near the bottom of this post.)

This is a wonderful YouTube video of Raphael discussing his life as a graphic designer and calligrapher. You will need to click the link to watch it on YouTube.

Many of you are already familiar with Raphael's work.  In fact, all of you are; you just may not realize it. You can still visit Raphael's website to see what I mean.  View the pages of his logo work (under the "Work" dropdown menu), by CLICKING HERE.  You cannot help but be amazed.

Thanks to Stevieh Hazlitt of The Fisher Press for bringing this wonderful project to my attention.
Following are excerpts from the email Stevieh has sent out to help raise the necessary funds.  Stevieh's words are used with permission:

Dear Jane,

I work at a tiny digital fine art press in Santa Fe, NM  for Christopher Benson, the son and brother respectively of John and Nick Benson who run the John Stevens lettering shop in Newport RI. 

We are publishing a limited edition of a handmade book of facsimiles of some fantastic hand lettered practice sheets drawn by the great graphic designer and calligrapher Raphael Boguslav. Raphael was Christopher's father's best friend, and he died two years ago, at which point the Press made the first copies of this book as a tribute to him. 

We've just launched a kickstarter campaign to raise funds to print this edition and take it to the CODEX fair in Berkeley this winter, and we're trying very hard to get this link out to as many book and calligraphy people as we can.

The little video on the site is quite short at only 4 minutes, so not too onerous a chore to take a look :)

Any help you might give us in spreading this around would be tremendously appreciated. Thank you so much for your time!

All the best, Stevieh

Stevieh Hazlitt
Assistant  Director at

Gallery, Fine Books and Prints
307 Camino Alire
Santa Fe, NM, 87501


If you have any questions about the campaign, please contact The Fisher Press at the links above.
Help spread the word.
Join me in backing and supporting this project honoring one of the best flourishers of our time.
...and go forth and flourish.

Thank you for visiting, and have a great weekend!


  1. Thanks for the post Jane!!! I love his work too.


  2. Yes, so interesting!! I didn't know he was gone.

  3. Beautiful, stunning work! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. Love his work! Thanks for sharing, Jane!!



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