The Speedball A Series Nib

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

The Speedball A-Nib (Square)

Rennie Mackintosh. London Underground. Neuland. Copperplate Gothic. 
 The Speedball A nib was developed in 1915 to hand letter styles like those above at smaller sizes. It allowed letterers to make strokes of a uniform width in any direction. Poster artists of the early 20th century depended on it for square-shaped monoline and bold, chunky styles.

Expand your repertoire beyond the traditional broad-edged nib 
This is the second class in Randall’s Writing with a Bent Nib five-part series. Once you are familiar with its unique characteristics, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! 

Note that each class in the series is sold separately or you can also purchase all five classes at special bundle price ($450) OR pay in six monthly installments. 

The duration of this A-Nib class is over 4 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 gothic letters at smaller sizes. 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. 

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! 

Why choose Courses from the Hasson Studio?

A superior quality, informative presentation is the highest priority in Randall’s Course offerings.
He has a focus on the WHY of his subject matter. Each course has detailed introductions with history and background, information on materials, and skill session videos geared towards your learning style. Short videos allow a more focused concentration, while longer presentations can give a greater overview for those who learn better that way.

Features of these Online Courses

Extended access allows you to learn at your own pace.
Classes are ready to begin as soon as your payment is processed.

  • Classes are prerecorded, allowing you to watch on your own schedule
  • Videos are recorded in High Definition video with multiple camera angles
  • Videos are paced for the artist; unnecessary pauses and wasted time are edited out.
  • Copious handouts, resources, or detailed materials videos are included with each course.
  •  4 years of extended access for individual courses; 5 years for multiple class bundles. 

We also recommend adding Randall's Live Sessions and Session Replays for a full year (10 sessions)
These sessions include presentations, projects, questions and answers, and the ability to interact with fellow students. Live Session Replays are posted so new students can catch the ones they missed, and a private Facebook Group allows you to comment, share your work, and get inspired. 

To learn more about this series, please visit the Writing with a Bent Nib page.

“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

Speedball A Series Nib
Single Class Purchase


The Speedball A Series Nib
(class 2 in a 5-part series)

Writing with a Bent Nib Series (5 Classes)
*Recommended Plan


Special bundle price
($100 savings)
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


Randall Hasson

Randall M. Hasson is an artist, calligrapher, instructor and speaker who has appeared on the faculty of over 25 Arts, Lettering Arts, and Educational Conferences in the United States, Canada and England. 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, he co-edited of the 24th (Centennial) Edition of The Speedball Textbook. In addition to a series of online workshops called Writing with a Bent Nib, Randall 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 1900’s.