The Speedball B Series Nib

The easy-to-use B nib for creative styles of uniform-width lettering.

Class 3 in the Writing with a Bent Nib series by Randall M. Hasson

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

The Speedball B Series Nib – Class Summary

This class explores the smooth and easy-to-use Speedball B nib, introduced in 1916. The B nib is a lettering favorite that can be used for creative styles of uniform-width lettering, including scripts, architectural styles and art deco era lettering, as well as traditional calligraphic hands.

This is the third 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 a special bundle price!

The duration of the B Series Nib class is 4.25 hours. Scroll down to view curriculum and watch preview movies.

A Bit of History & The Basic Strokes

The B nib is one of the easiest and most pleasurable nibs to use. In this section, you will learn about the origins of the Speedball B nib and practice the basic strokes that this nib can produce. Then we’ll focus on the lettering of the German poster artists from the early 1900s, including Ludwig Hohlwein who was one of the leading poster artists in the world at that time.

How to Develop an Alphabet

German poster artist Ludwig Hohlwein’s lettering provides many possibilities for the lettering artist today. In this section you will learn how to create an alphabet from a limited number of letters from one of his posters. We will extrapolate the missing letters to create a unique alphabet – and yes, you can apply this technique to any other poster that inspires you!

Uncial Alphabets

If you’ve written Uncial with a broad-edged pen, we’ll begin with a style that you already know. Then using the B nib, you'll morph it into new shapes as you create letterforms more unique to you. Using various sizes of the smooth B nib, you'll enjoy rendering light and dense versions of these unique Uncial styles – made all the more fun with colorful Bister inks! 

Vanitie Roman Alphabet

Ross George created Vanitie Roman in 1925 using two different sizes of B nibs and a triple stroke feature on its stem strokes. To help you learn this fun but challenging alphabet, Randall breaks down each letter into its component parts and provides detailed diagrams on their construction. Vanitie Roman first appeared in the 9th Edition of The Speedball Textbook.

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 series, please visit the Writing with a Bent Nib page on our main site.

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!
  • Watch as often as you like, as long as you like. The videos will not disappear! 
  • 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 – without the instructor being interrupted!
  • Ask questions live with Randall at his once-a-month Zoom sessions (enroll in the Live Session Replays course for FREE!)
  • Download PDFs and exemplars directly from the classroom
  • Learn more on our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us with questions
  • To learn more about this full series, please visit the Writing with a Bent Nib page on our main site.

 “All I can say is Wow! This B Nib workshop is utterly amazing! I am blown away by the detail, the illustrations, the instruction, the excellent quality of the sessions – everything about the class. I have learned more about Speedball nibs from this session than in my previous 15 years of calligraphy.”

Ann Cobb
Workshop Chair, Nashville Calligraphy Guild

Course Curriculum

“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

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.”

How It Works

As soon as you enroll in this class, you will have immediate access to all the lessons in this class. You can watch the lessons at your own pace as your schedule allows. Because everything is captured on video, you can go back and replay a particular stroke or letter as many times as you like – even at different speeds! There’s no need to worry about being left behind, or missing something. 

You will also be invited to a Closed Facebook Group as well as a monthly Live Zoom session with Randall Hasson where you can get more information, ask questions, share your work, and meet your fellow students. 

Learn more about the other classes in the Writing with a Bent Nib series on our main website or on the Series sales page .

We believe these classes are a great value, but if you don’t agree (for whatever reason), we offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

Single Class


The Speedball B Series Nib
(class 3 in a 5-part series)

Writing with a Bent Nib Series (5 Classes)


Special bundle price ($100 savings). You will automatically be enrolled in each class as it is produced over the next few months.
Learn more about the Series

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


Six monthly payments. Total $420.
($80 savings)
Learn more about the Series

Sandia Workshops partners with leading art instructors to produce prerecorded professionally edited video lessons. You can sign up for a class at any time. Once you purchase a class, you can watch it immediately after you check out, as often as you like, as long as you like.

If the class is part of a series, each class is sold separately so you can choose the class that is right for you. We believe you will love the quality of our classes, but if for some reason you find a class is not for you, we offer a full refund within 30 days.

Full details on how our classes work can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page on our main website.