6.4 Majuscules — D & L

Our eighth group of majuscule forms is referred to as the Reversing Backbone Group. These two letters make use of a common element called a Reversing Backbone. I expect that you'll find this stroke to be somewhat straightforward after your experimentation with the V and W, but don't let your guard down to much—the curvature on the D is tricky to say the least!

By utilizing the guidelines along with the video and plate below, you should be able to translate these forms proportionally to your own paper. Pay special attention to the proximity of each stroke to its DVL reference points.

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The Reversing Backbone Group

Unlike our last group of letterforms, the two found in this group share a vivid resemblance through a portion of their ductus. The Reversing Backbone is a straightforward stroke. Pay special attention to the way that this stroke is penned below the Ascender Line and above the Baseline. It is important that enough room is allowed for the turns before and after it in letter assembly. Aim to produce your practice to the right of a DVL so that your letterforms to follow can utilize the proportions of the grids against the provided models.

The Majuscule D

This form utilizes the Reversing Backbone inside of a large encompassing round. Note that the entire forms is composed in a single stroke and will require a significant amount of ink to complete.

Begin by pulling the Reversing Backbone down on the right side of a DVL and transitioning into a long pushed shade at the baseline that moves up and to the left. This shade should not trespass the preceding DVL, but rather touch it. As you raise into to the Ascender space, transition up and to the right to the long Primary Shade. Keep this transition gradual and consistent. Aim to avoid any angularity in the curves that are assembled on each side of the transitions.

As you continue over the top, you may trespass the subsequent DVL on your approach to the baseline. At the bottom, swoop under and back towards the Reversing Backbone, concluding in a similar fashion to the small s.

The Majuscule L

This form utilizes the Reversing Backbone following a small spiral similar to that found in the G. It is important to aim to produce forms that are consistent not only within their individual letter groups, but consistent across the majuscule roster as a whole.

Begin your form with a small spiral that originates in the same position as that found in G. As you round over the top, aim to pull your third shade so that it morphs into a Reversing Backbone without compromising the curve from the second shade.

At the bottom, lift your pen and double check that you have no fibers or other debris. Place a long, horizontal angled foot at the baseline that exits out and up at a 45° angle to the right. That's all there is to it!


With this lesson, we conclude our final lesson in majuscule instructions. Of course, there are and will always be more ideas and concepts to cover, but for now, you've been exposed to each of the 26 majuscule letterforms and tasked with training them to a high level of fidelity. After this lesson, we will embark on a new leg of our journey with French Roundhand.

To test this final group, design a plate that demonstrates fictitious names starting with D & O and L & G.

Example: Dilbert Ong

Produce three names of each arrangement and aim to demonstrate some of the similarities between the two majuscules used in each name.

As a bonus challenge, choose two other majuscules from different groups that you believe have similarities and produce a third set of names utilizing them!

Once you've completed your plate, head to the Community Forum and share your post along with your thoughts about concluding the majuscules. How are you feeling about the material covered so far? Are you excited to begin utilizing your French Roundhand in projects, or are you anxious to get more practice in?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!