U0 ERKUS11 123' ITALIAN LETTERING, 1439' ORNAMENTAL LETTERING. The form ofan artist's lettering is seldom entirely under his control. In departing from accepted shapes he runs the risk of not being read. So long as he desires to be read, he is free only within the limits of legibility_a quality it is for his readers to determine. He must be not only legible, but legible to them. Learning itself is therefore no safe shelter against misunderstanding. The adoption of an obsolete character will be reckoned to a man as at the best pedantry, just as the invention of quite new forms will be put down to his conceit or affec- tation. The wise policy for an artist (not that it is wise always to act on policy) is to keep safe hold of some time-honoured and familiar form of letter, and to deal with it gently, venturing only upon such depar- tures from it as in artistic conscience he feels bound to make. This applies to all manner Ofinscriptions L.O. L