Ladder Lettering Alphabet
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36. Ladder Lettering Alphabet

Bubble Letter Example

Bubble Lettering ExampleThe ladder lettering presentation is completed and the ladder lettering alphabet needs to be erased, the cleaner button on the applicator is pressed to apply a squirt of fluid on to the area in question. The handheld equipment then lifts a sheet of paper from the holder and wipes the board with it before releasing it into a garbage can. Two types of markers are used for ladder or bubble lettering system when used on paper or card. The one permanent type of marker leaves semi-permanent lines for the outline of a map, music staves or lettering guidelines. The other type of marker is erasable in the normal course of events. Another type of marker board is available which doesn't use cleaning fluid. This is called the dry erase marker board. To add an extra professional touch in your teaching use bubble or ladder lettering for keywords or phrases. Try the complete alphabets yourself in the following exercises.

Write out the Full Alphabet in upper case A to Z.

Bubble Letter Marker

Cut Out Bubble LetterA bubble letter marker produces excellent displays in a variety of bright colors and fancy letters. Water-based lettering can add visual impact and appeal. A simple way to produce bubble lettering is to cut square, rectangular or sloping shapes of the bubble letter frames out of colored sheets of gummed paper and then take a pair of scissors and round off the corners to form each letter. This very pleasing and impressive effect allows you to adjust the bubble letters not only on a horizontal baseline but also on a curved one if you wish. Letters on a curved baseline are normally very difficult to accomplish well without the actual physical letters to position. Using cut out letters allows you to see the overall effect before you commit yourself to stick down the gummed letters on the board or paper for a presentation. This is also true with graffiti type letters which can be made to overlap one another. Various artists are now producing their distinctive custom graffiti alphabets with such colorful names as Hoodson Script, Fat Wandals, Scare Arms, Grizzly Attack, Mersey Cowboy, Bubble Collor, Yo Style, and Sloppy Paint.✞

Felt Tip Markers

Felt Tip MarkersTo draw bubble letters on card or paper, two different types of felt tip markers are available. These are water-based felt tip markers or spirit-based markers sometimes called permanent markers. The latter has a distinctive petroleum type of smell. Permanent markers leave a brighter colored line, but also tend to soak into the surrounding paper. Water-based markers produced by Blick and other companies use water-soluble inks but not all are washable. Consider this when you are purchasing. Some packs contain up to 60 different colors. Some have certain advantages, however, especially when used in children's groups. I would personally recommend washable felt tip markers with children under five as the water-based inks can be washed off hands and clothes more easily! Spirit-based markers have a crisp clear outline on any smooth surface such as sheet metal or even plasterboard. Water-based markers are usually non-toxic so they are quite safe with infants. Another big advantage of water-based markers is that they can sometimes be individually topped up with special inks obtainable from a large stationer's store. You can also buy dual brush pen markers, washable classroom packs, scented markers and the ones I particularly like biggie markers on the internet. With a little care, felt tip markers can be great fun and last for a long time without needing to be replaced.

Bubble Letters Alphabet

Bubble Letters AlphabetThe bubble letters alphabet in special sized and shaped frames two units high and with their corners rounded presents a pleasing effect for lettering. Bubble letters are an attractive alternative to ordinary writing for display by teachers, preachers, and communicators. They can be used in the production of visual aids either for the classroom, the art class, art graffiti or as a teaching tool to an audience in a large or small space. "Graffiti," by the way, is the plural of "graffito" from "graffio" meaning a "scratch." Graffiti was originally writings or drawings scratched or drawn on walls or boards. Some graffiti images date back to the Egyptian Greek and Roman eras. Modern bubble letters produce a quick, pleasing and easy substitute to line lettering or printed letters for flashcards or headings cards. I have personally used bubble letters with great success many times over the years in my teaching. Bubble letters can make an impressive graffiti art form and highly stylized letter types are appearing all the time, not just on rail cars but on large walls and canvases. Sometimes extensive graffiti works of art are planned as an outlet for aspiring artists. This is certainly true for street artists like the anonymous and controversial "Banksy" (1974?-present) whose masterpieces on walls in England are highly acknowledged as satirical masterpieces. The letters in both ladder or bubble letter styles are also produced quickly and are very impressive! Once you have mastered this technique, people will be astonished at the instant results you can achieve with a stroke of the paintbrush or felt tip marker.

Letter Frameworks

Rubber Soul Bubble LettersBubble letters are formed like ladder lettering. First, pencil out boxes on a sheet of paper or card in the proportions of 1 unit wide by 2 units high for each bubble letter. These can be 2" x 4" or 4" x 8" or 1" x 2" but always in the same proportions, that is one unit wide and two units high. The "M" and "W" letters are one and a half units wide and two units high, the "1's" and the "I's" are a half unit wide and two units high. Every other letter is one unit wide and two units high. Next, take a pencil and draw in the rounded-off corners of each bubble letter on your paper, making sure that all the sides of the letters touch the frame everywhere except at the corners.

Pear-Shaped Letter

BubblesFor a bubble letter italic effect, that is with letters leaning towards the left or the right, slope the vertical penciled out boxes for the letters. To form pear-shaped letters widen the base of the boxes to say two units wide at the base, one unit wide at the top and two units high. One can use any combination of these and overlap the pear-shaped letters for effect. Try drawing a curved baseline with a compass and a central arc point some way above it (or below it) then draw a parallel line the letter height of two units above it with your pencil and finally mark off the individual letters of a half, one or two units wide with their vertical lines radiating from the center point. Lightly pencil in the corners and you are ready to complete your bubble letters masterpiece!

Whiteboard Letters

White BoardThe whiteboard letters system and alphabet can be used with bubble, ladder, freehand or even press-on vinyl lettering. For those who want to develop the whiteboard letters techniques regularly with groups using bubble or ladder letters, there is a four-color marker kit which could be of considerable help. Three felt markers, one-quarter inch, one inch and two inches wide, stand in a reservoir of their own for each color and are all connected with a convenient carrying handle. Pots of top-up inks and large pads of ready lined paper can also be obtained to refill and augment the whiteboard letters kit as required. This can be an extremely useful tool for a school teacher, an enterprising Sunday school superintendent or a minister in displaying keywords or phrases in bubble or ladder letters. Other available kits can be purchased for in/out planner boards and other commercial uses. Many whiteboards are made in environmentally friendly porcelain. Another special type of felt tip pen is used in the dry erase marker system. The dry erase whiteboard system is a proprietary unit involving a patented coated or non-porous laminated surface. Glass is an ideal non-porous surface for this kind of use. It is sometimes white or cream and often combined with a magnetic backing so that magnetic letters can also be used. A plastic holder is provided which carries five markers, a cleaner and a series of sheets of cleaning paper. Bubble or ladder alphabets can be easily used with this kind of whiteboard lettering system.

"Ladder Lettering Alphabet"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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