For many years the hand which we know today as ‘Copperplate’ was called ‘Roundhand’. Unfortunately that name is now sometimes used by calligraphers as an alternative for the ‘Foundational Hand’ first developed and popularised by Edward Johnston.It is called Copperplate as in the early days the scribe’s writing was transferred by an engraver, using a pointed tool called a burin, on to a plate made of copper. Printed sheets were then made from this plate.Copperplate is also the name of a style of calligraphic writing, using a sharp pointed nib instead of the flat nib used in most calligraphic writing. Fine hairlines are produced when the pointed nib is just touching the paper and no pressure is applied to the nib. Shades (thick strokes) are produced when the scribe applies pressure to open the nib.