Typographic time capsule
Here is a sneak-peek of a typographic print I’ve been working on. It’s a snapshot of Exmouth Market, a vibrant commercial street, full of independent shops, restaurants and cafés, close to me in Central London. The aim is to capture its colourful history and present day character for posterity.
Historical research was conducted over a couple of months, to uncover the location’s 400-year-old story that includes; vineyards, duck hunting, a Victorian tea garden and an atrocious graveyard now buried under the adjacent park. The print also lists over 40 of the street’s venues, in an ‘establishments of note’ section, that includes the weekly market stalls that set-up along the street.
To evoke the feel of the market, each of the illuminated capitals, spelling ‘Exmouth’, has been inspired by the rich assortment of lettering found on the street, or its story. The typography has been arranged to create a formal structure that includes the use of ornaments, pilcrows and other interesting characters.
A limited edition is being letterpressed next week in silver, turquoise and black on 300gsm Crane’s Lettra paper. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
I was intrigued by these delicate, flowing characters, some of which look like suspended underwater organisms. They were created by the mysterious ‘Abi’ of Cambridge, NY (no further profile listed or found).
This sort of lettering seems to go hand-in-hand with mystery. Last year Stephen Coles mused on the origins of this graceful mark. It was later identified as the Fin International logo by a helpful Type Worship reader.
You can find a world of inspiration in any of Julia Trigg’s collected letters. These playful compositions make a feature of the yellowed, textured papers and vivid inky letters that she’s gathered over the years.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Julia is based in Brighton in the UK. She keeps her eye out for all types of ephemera for use in her work; old stamps, postcards, packaging and woodblock type.
Unlike many of her contemporaries that practice montage work with collected items, she finds herself unable to cut the letters up, preferring instead to scan everything. This not only avoids any of the items fading over time but has the added advantage of enabling her to adjust the scale and colour of the beautiful details.
If you like this style I bet you’d be interested in the lettering work of other illustrators in this area that has featured on Type Worship:
Martin O’Neill: Gifted fidget, and found alphabet
Greg Lamarche: Gorgeous type compositions here and here
Paul Thurlby: Alphabet and other lettering work
Kama-Sutra type by Malika Favre
I saw this screen printed alphabet today at the ‘Pick Me Up’ graphics and illustration exhibition currently on show in London.
Malika believes in distilling her work down and conveying the concept using the minimum of shapes and lines possible. “Less is definitely more” she says.
This alphabet leaves just the right of amount detail to the viewers imagination without being overly explicit.
These two double-page spreads of hand-lettering have been designed by Oli Frape, a letterer and illustrator based in London, for Nuts Magazine.
The magazine asked Oli if he’d like to work with them on their annual Sex Survey, producing these info-graphic like results, spelling out the word S-E-X.
Oli started illustrating professionally four years ago. after a stint in TV, and has already worked for some very prestigious clients. I asked him how it all came about:
“My first job came from being found on an illustration blog where I’d set up a profile (http://www.illustrationmundo.com) Otherwise work has really just gradually grown over time. I had an agent for a while which didn’t hurt my profile but actually they never directly brought me any of the bigger client work.”
I asked Oli more about his process:
“Everything I produce is hand drawn then scanned - that hand-drawn aesthetic is what I value most in my practice. In the past I’d always add colour digitally but lately I’ve been painting a lot more.”
How did the project with Nuts come about?
I’d contacted the Art Director last year and unlike a lot of people when you first get in touch about work, he replied straight away saying he’d have an opportunity for us to work together at some point. Eventually after nearly a year he got in touch with this job!
There looks like a lot of information to get across, how long did it take?
“There was a LOT of info! We actually turned the whole project around in about 3 days from brief to final artwork. Its fair to say that I put in a couple of very long days though. We needed to keep the extra details minimal since there was so much information.
It was really fun to produce, definitely my favourite editorial job so far!
These illustrative type animals are well executed. I like the Kangaroo…
Word Animals are unique typographical designs best described as images of animals created using the letters in their name. The identity is comprised of a hand written mark and a broad colour palette that matches the visual style of the “word animals” designs. Designed by Manchester based designer Dan Fleming, these beautifully drawn designs bond together animal structure and typographic structure and present a complete and professional final outcome.
[View the full article over at Inspirez]
There’s a liquid, smokey feel to these letters, produced by London based illustrator and artist Von. This typographic style is the result of hand drawing and inking to introduce some lovely details. These are then scanned and arranged digitally to create the final composition The ethereal nature of the work is inspired by Bjork lyrics.
Playful lettering by Linzie Hunter
Linzie is one of those designers who’s work exudes positivity. Her playful lettering has a carefree feel that is reminiscent of schoolbook doodles. You can guarantee however that this style has been honed over many years to become so beautifully crafted.
Originally from Scotland, Linzie lives and works in a London. She describes her freelance illustration work as being created digitally though you can clearly see its roots here in her vibrant sketchbooks.
Painting by Letters
Canadian illustrator & letterer, Darren Booth, produces these rich, layered designs with just a pencil and paintbrush. “It’s about 99% analog. The only digital part is when I scan work.”, he told The Great Discontent in a recent interview.
There is also some subtle collage mixed in with the paint, that you can see. This was by his own admission, a quick way of avoiding mixing-up new paint for retouching . “Instead, I just cut out a piece of paper, stuck it on, and it was done. I was catering to my own laziness and eventually, it became a thing.”
There is certainly a unique, textured, solid quality the comes from the build up layers. This style has attracted big name clients such as Coca-Cola, Aol and The New York Times. He also recently created an award winning cover for Steve Martin’s novel, An object of beauty.
Ampersand: Personal work
Vital: for the US band Anerlin
'O': Daily Drop Cap for Jessica Hische
After writing about Paul Thurlby’s alphabet letters a few months ago, Paul got in touch and I had the opportunity to ask him to describe some of his lettering work:
The Making Future Magic illustration was a promotional piece for Dentsu London [huge advertising agency, founded in Japan]. They chose a number of illustrators to come up with their own interpretations of the phrase.
Boooom was personal work. I was trying to make the image using the word itself.
Modest Artistic Genius was a self advertisement. Originally, I wanted to just say ‘Artistic Genius’, but I knew I couldn’t get away with that. So, it was just something a bit tongue in cheek that, somehow, putting ‘modest’ in front of such a statement makes it alright, plays it down a little!
A TypeFace with real characters
I just came across this illustrative typeface by Canadian design student, Julien Poisson. It gave me a real smile: as novelty typefaces go, this one is well conceived—and even pretty legible.
Alright, this may not be the most seasonal post, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere (though there have been flash floods and hail this week in the UK) but it is winter in Sydney, where Maricor and Maricar Manalo are based.
MaricorMaricar, a ‘twin sized’ studio, make these wonderfully tactile illustrations using embroidery. Some of their work features script lettering that uses coloured threads produce subtle gradients. Combining their passion for sewn type, patterns and winter sweaters (or ‘jumpers’ in the UK), they’ve come up with a new alphabet series called Sweater Letters.
They take commissions—if it is getting chily where you are.