The Speedball A Series Nib – Randall M. Hasson

The Speedball A Series Nib

Class 2 in the Writing with a Bent Nib series includes Spurred Gothic, Rennie Mackintosh and Neuland alphabets.

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Writing with a Bent Nib series is now hosted on Hasson Studio. Purchasing above will open this class in a new tab.

The class starts as soon as your payment is processed. The class runs on YOUR schedule and does not expire!

The Speedball A Series Nib – Class Summary

Rennie Mackintosh. London Underground. Neuland. Copperplate Gothic. The Speedball A nib was developed in 1915 to hand letter these at smaller sizes. But the A nib is capable of so much more! Poster artists of the early 20th century depended on it for square-shaped monoline and bold, chunky styles, and so Randall has included many examples of their creative lettering to inspire you. 

Expand your repertoire beyond the traditional broad-edged calligraphy nib with this versatile pen. Once you are familiar with its unique characteristics, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

This is the second class in Randall’s Writing with a Bent Nib five-part series. Note that each class in the series is sold separately or you can also purchase all five classes at special bundle price ($400) OR pay in six monthly installments.

Students are invited to a private Facebook Group where you can get more information, ask questions, share your work, and meet your fellow students.

The  duration of the A Series Nib class is 3.5 hours. Scroll down to view curriculum and watch preview movies.

A Bit of History & the Basic Strokes

The square A nib was developed in 1915 and was used by show card artists to write at smaller sizes (watch A Bit of History video). Once you understand its characteristics and master a few basic strokes – either with the shoe flat on the paper or turned over to create thin serifs – you can create a wide variety of alphabets. 

Spurred Gothic Alphabet

First published in 1915, Spurred Gothic was a forerunner of the Copperplate Gothic font (Gothic in this case means a uniform-width stoke). Randall provides in-depth demonstrations for both the lowercase and capitals, and in two different weights. By the time you’ve finished with this section, you’ll be a ninja with the A nib!

Rennie Mackintosh Alphabet

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) was a Scottish architect, designer and artist. The Rennie Mackintosh style was a drawn lettering style employing elongated letters and high branching. Learn to write a standard version with the A nib, then add alternate characters to make it your own. Watch Preview movie.

Neuland Alphabet

Developed in the early 1900s by Rudolph Koch in Germany, Neuland is normally written by calligraphers with a broad-edged pen with lots of pen manipulation. If you don't enjoy all that twisting and turning, you’ll love how easy it is to achieve this popular boldface lettering style with the square A nib! Watch Preview movie.

About Your Instructor

Randall M. Hasson is an artist, calligrapher, instructor and speaker who has appeared on the faculty of arts, lettering arts, and educational conferences in the United States, Canada and England. He owned and operated the Randall M. Hasson Gallery from 2000–2013 in San Diego, CA and Santa Fe, NM. He is the author of articles on a variety of art or lettering art related subjects and has appeared as a mainstage presenter and/or teacher with lecture topics covering public art, art history, the painting process, collaborative art projects, and the history of writing including the recent invention of the ADLaM alphabet in West Africa. 

In 2015, Randall co-edited the 24th (Centennial) Edition of The Speedball Textbook. He is currently writing and designing his forthcoming book Teaching America How to Letter – The Speedball Story, a history of commercial lettering and American show card writing in the early 1900s. It is due to be published by Letterform Archive in 2020.
Barbara Close

To learn more about this 5-part series, visit the Writing with a Bent Nib page at Hasson Studio.

How it works

  • Classes are prerecorded with excellent HD video quality and audio so you can see every detail
  • Practice immediately after you check out – no waiting for the class to start!
  • Replay a particular stroke or letter as many times as you like – even at different speeds!
  • Bite-sized lessons make it easy to pick up where you left off in the course or jump to a specific topic
  • Videos are tightly edited so as not to waste a second of your time!
  • Progress through the lessons at your own pace – you’ll never miss a homework deadline!
  • Copious handouts, resources, or detailed materials videos are included with each course.
  • Hasson Studio offers 2 years of extended access for individual courses; 3 years for multiple class bundles.

“The Speedball Bent Nib is a new and unusual tool for me but I am really enjoying the journey. It is wonderful to learn about the history of these beautiful letterforms and to see just how versatile these nibs can be. The course content is wonderful and Randall is an amazing teacher!” 

Heather Victoria Held

Course Curriculum

Julie Gray

“Great course! Not only for beginners, but as a good refresher for experienced copperplate calligraphers. Barbara makes everything clear, concise and professional. A nicely produced online class for everyone interested in pointed pen.”

Hasson Studio

The Writing with a Bent Nib Series is now hosted directly by Randall Hasson.  
Purchasing below will redirect you to Hasson Studio in a new tab.

Learn more about the other classes in the Writing with a Bent Nib series.

Single Class


The Speedball A Series Nib
(class 2 in a 5-part series)
Hosted at Hasson Studio.

Writing with a Bent Nib Series (5 Classes)


Special bundle price ($100 savings).
Hosted at Hasson Studio.

Writing with a Bent Nib Series (5 Classes)
Installment Plan


Six monthly payments. Total $420.
($80 savings)
Hosted at Hasson Studio.