The Lettering Arts Trust was founded in 1988 by Harriet Frazer as Memorials by Artists
This was in response to Harriet’s need to find someone to make a unique memorial for her step-daughter Sophie who died suddenly at the age of 26. It was hard at that time to find a letter carving artist, but harder still discovering that church regulations prevented her from inscribing her daughter’s poetry onto a memorial.
When Harriet finally did find artist Simon Verity, she determined that other people wanting to mark the life of a loved one should not have to go through what she had to before finding Simon. So she formed Memorials by Artists – to help others, and help foster the art and craft of creating unique well-designed memorials.
Today’s world is increasingly pixelated… digital… ephemeral. What better way to make a lasting mark than by having a name, a phrase, a date, hand carved forever in stone by a letter-carving artist?
We believe in the importance of creating beautiful hand-carved letters, and passing on the skills to create them. Hand-carved letters are a permanent mark in stone that show the love a person has for another; keep alive the memory of a special event; or mark a beloved place for years to come.
The highly honed skill of letter carving that had been passed down from the Romans, nearly faded in the mechanised society of the early 20th century. This was when a new generation of lettering artists such as Eric Gill made it their mission to revive it. This is our mission, too.
Today, we are the UK’s leading voice for promoting the lettering arts. We are a nonprofit organisation that fund apprenticeships, hold workshops, host talks, sell fine works, and curate exhibitions. Our aim is to inspire people about lettering, while equipping letter-carving artists with the skills they need for now and the future.
We also want to make creating a memorial by an artist as rewarding, inspiring and as meaningful as possible. For over 30 years, this has been one of our most important goals. Thanks to our register containing 75 of the UK’s finest letter-carving artists, with whom we have strong relationships, we are confident people who come to us gain a memorial by artists that at once inspires, consoles and delights.
Since 1988, Memorials by Artists has evolved. Today, it is the Lettering Arts Trust which not only helps people commission memorials, but also holds exhibitions and runs apprenticeship schemes for lettering artists. Its constant has been to keep the art of letter carving alive, to make it accessible to people, and to give advice and information through the process of commissioning a piece, be it a memorial or a garden sundial.
We want the centuries’ old art of letter carving to thrive in today’s digital world.
Meet the trustees
There are, of course, many talented people involved in the Lettering Arts Trust
We highlight here the people who are instrumental in its continuing success on a day-to-day basis.
Ron has been Finance and Operations Director at London’s artsdepot since 2008, and was Finance Director of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation between 2000 and 2008. He has over 20 years’ experience of financial management in both private and not for profit sectors.
Catherine joined Brunswick in 1988 to establish Merchant, the group’s design and advertising arm. On graduating in Law from Bristol University, Catherine joined City brokers Laurence Prust and Co, on the Framlington fund management team. In 1984, she joined Valin Pollen International prior to starting Merchant in 1988.
Charlotte is a sculptor, designer and letterer. Working in a variety of materials her work is imbued with a sense of fun and joyfulness.
She is a full elected member of Letter Exchange, a society for professionals involved in the whole spectrum of the lettering arts. In 2005 she set up Making Marks Ltd, as a focus for her work within the public arena.
Sarah read History and History of Art at university. She then worked for Oxfam in Oxford in their publications department. She sat on the board of charity Restless Development for eight years, finishing early 2018. Here, she was involved in development committees and well as the people committee, dealing with all aspects of personnel. It gave her a great insight into the working of a developing charity, its funding and the raising of a charity’s profile. Restless grew enormously in her time there. Sarah is also on a development committee at the Foundling Museum.
For more than 25 years, Simon has gained experience across a broad range of design and advertising agencies along with multi-media production businesses. He has worked with many leading global brands, nationally and internationally, as well as the public sector. Simon splits his time between Suffolk and London, working with local and national arts bodies in Suffolk when he can.
Karoline has enjoyed a diverse career as a public relations consultant, presenter, writer, and event producer specialising in promoting the creative industries and individual designer-makers. She founded Articulate Communication in 1992 which launched the London Design Festival; managed media relations for New Designers annual showcase; supported the Crafts Council and The British Council, and also provided strategic media programmes for numerous commercial brands and start-ups.