Lewes-based artist Seb Lester (previously) vacillates between the maximal and minimal in a new pair of aphoristic prints. Die-stamped in gold ink, the calligraphic works are studies of the relationship between medium and message, all filtered through elegantly gilded lettering.
“Carpe Diem,” the popular Latin maxim to “seize the day,” is the ornate of the pair and embedded with swords, flowers, and elaborate motifs. “I’ve drawn from many influences, including Victorian Memorials, Medieval Cathedral Inscriptions, and the work of the finest Writing Masters of the 18th century,” Lester says. “The letterforms are all highly ornamental and drawn especially for the project—warm Lombardic Capitals paired with a softened Textura lowercase.”
As a counterpart, the other print is more austere, reading “Illegitimi Non Carborundum,” which roughly translates to “don’t let the bastards grind you down.” Using bespoke Roman Monumental Capitals depicted “as if lovingly carved and gilded in marble into a magnificent ancient monument,” the mock-Latin phrase is graceful and refined, a contrast to the otherwise audacious message.
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