I’ve been a member of the International Association of Master Penman Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting since 2015. At the time I was brand new to calligraphy and had no experience prior other than reading a few books as a child. Year after year I kept coming back to it until I decided I would put some serious effort into learning. I joined IAMPETH and attended my first conference. I was overwhelmed with the skills and talents of my fellow members but determined to find my place at IAMPETH. For those that don’t know, IAMPETH is an online community of thousands of penmen from all over the world. Every year they hold a week-long conference in the United States where members spend all day in classes learning a new hand or brushing up on a old one. In addition to the day long classes there are other events throughout the night. To learn more about the conference read my overview post from the 2018 conference in Wisconsin here.
Back in 2017 I was reading an issue of the Penman’s Journal,IAMPETH’s member’s only publication, and I came across a job posting for volunteer graphic design work. I applied with a quick email saying I was interested and received a quick response back saying the position had been filled. I was amazed by this “small” community of artist and wanted a way to donate my time to help support an association that I was proud of. I was hoping this would have been it but alas, no luck. Fast forward to the Fall of 2017 when I received and email from the 2018 president, Debi Zeinert. She asked if I was still interested in helping out. They were looking for someone to take over the position of designing the annual conference registration packet. I knew immediately and without hesitation, no matter how much work or how big of an undertaking I wanted this job. I was on board and eager to start designing.
I had remembered the previous year’s registration book; it was an unorganized mish-mash collage of information that didn’t flow and wasn’t specific. As a first-time attendee, I was beyond lost on how the week went and how classes were scheduled. When I talked to Debi about the previous year’s book we both agreed it was time to start fresh. There were no rules I had to abide by and no style guide I had to follow. It was the ultimate graphic design job. A book that I got to design from scratch with no additional creative input.
I jotted down the deadlines which were very reasonable and immediately got to work. I made a list of all the things the book needed to service. It needed to be legible – universal fonts that were royalty free, computer and printer friendly, and large enough for 90+ year-olds to read. It needed to be comprehensive – a one stop shop for any