Man of letters

Letman aka Job Wouters is a master of the hand-crafted decorative letter, and his first book is a celebration of the beauty of putting pen and ink to paper

Detail from poster for Stacked, Eindhoven by Letman (see below), 2010

Letman aka Job Wouters is a master of the hand-crafted decorative letter, and his first book is a celebration of the beauty of putting pen and ink to paper…

The cover of Letman: The Artwork and Lettering of Job Wouters boldy announces the penmanship of the artist in three highly stylised calligraphic words: ‘Well well well’.

If the tone is one of setting up a point to be proven, the 160-page book (published by Gestalten) succeeds in affirming why Wouters is one of the most engaging graphic artists and hand-letterers working today.

Left: Proef de Czaar Peter poster for MRKMLN, Amsterdam. Collaboration with Yvo Sprey. A2, offset print. 2008. Right: Welcome to Detroit: poster for MRKMLN, Amsterdam. Collaboration with Yvo Sprey. A2, offset print. 2008

Left: Untitled: poster for Stacked, Eindhoven. A1, silkscreen. 2010. Right: Sketchbook pages. 2005–2010.

There are hundreds of projects here from magazine and book covers to prints and posters, even a menswear collection for Dries van Noten, where Letman reworked a series of letters as a print pattern for shirts and jackets.

It’s lovely stuff: physical and inky-fingered work that you can really savour on the page. Plenty more at letman.com and the Letman book is available from Gestalten; £27.50.

Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime menswear collection for Dries van Noten

Left: The Last King of Scotland. Book cover for The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden, published by Faber & Faber, UK. 14 × 22 cm, offset print. 2010. Right: This Is History Not Rock ‘n‘ Roll: cover for Amsterdam Weekly, Amsterdam. 30 × 30 cm, rotation print. 2007.

Detail from This Is History Not Rock ‘n‘ Roll

Part of a still life series of typographic sketches. Photography by Qiu Yang. Commissioned by It’s Nice That magazine, London. 2011

Letman at work on wall lettering and artwork for launch of the A/W 2012-2013 Dries van Noten menswear collection

Lettering for Vrienden van de Servicegarage online project, 2010. See vriendenvandeservicegarage.nl

Detail from Vrienden van de Servicegarage project

Creative Review Feb 2009 cover, offset print

What's the story?

The Storytelling issue, Oct/Nov 2017, is out now.
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