Tuesday, 18 March 2014

✳︎✳︎✳︎ L E T T E R I N G ✳︎✳︎✳︎

After a whirlwind canter around last weeks blog hop I'm back with "What I did at the weekend". Do they still make you write up your weekend memoirs in junior school on a Monday? I used to make mine up to make them sound more interesting and guess what? 
I still do. 

The sun shone and glittered over London town this weekend, accompanied by the sound of footballs, shrill squeals of delighted children, along with the hiss of opening beer bottles and the odd glimpse of a flapping sheet hung out to dry. I decide to get busy with some paper and pens and practising my lettering skillz. I wanted to try something out for a friend's new business as well as hone up my general thoughts about lettering and how I want to approach it. I want to prepare for this.

I  bought these letter cards at Paperchase which I quite liked, I wanted to buy the whole set but then in my usual miserly fashion, I thought I could make some. I think this about almost everything I see which makes me actually brilliant to go shopping with as I discourage purchases with my refrain. I enjoy buying less and living more as I pile on the years. I recite this when I look at Things I Want. My anti consumer chant.

I cut a pile of watercolour card into 110 x 70 mm pieces and set about freehand painting some borders. At this point I was simply doodling with no plan of action. I find this works for me, you may work better after doing a few sketches. I would rather dive in and make mistakes, I have learned so much from doing just that. The only thing I am going to lose is a bit of paper and I repurpose my mistakes into cards and labels so Nothing Gets Wasted. (another miserly chant)
A good sharp scalpel, a steel ruler and a cutting mat are invaluable, if you want to make any paper based items, buy these now. They last forever and make all the difference. When I was teaching at The Make Lounge (which has sadly closed) everyone loved the tips and hints I gave them about measuring well and cutting cleanly. The way you hold the ruler and the scalpel are quite important but not very easy to explain without you watching what I do. You will have to come to one of my workshops. I will let you know when they will begin. (still got a chimney stack to come down and a floor to lay)
I love watercolours, if you buy really good ones they last forever and you only need a tiny dot of colour to make a lot of paint and best of all, you don't need to rinse your palettes as a little water refreshes them and they seem to live forever.

Here's me painting on borders and trying not to think about the end result except when I decided to use some masking fluid. Then you have to think about 2 steps ahead.

Here's some borders waiting to be filled.

And here are my letter cards when I had finished. I was so engrossed that I forgot to take during shots. But I jumped in with the watercolour on a big brush with a beautifully pointed tip and then doodled them over with a few scratchy pen and ink lines...Some of them are badly executed but they are the ones I learned the most from. I'm not hiding them away, this isn't that sort of blog. ;-)

And here's some single shots of my favourites.

Yeah, they need work but they fuel other things...

It was a really great play around with some good old fashioned doodling and I relished it. I find that doing something like this really gets my mind pinging ideas around and now I have a whole set of ideas to practise. I want to get the paints out again but I have to knuckle down to some 'proper' work this week. 

I did a project similar to this in a junior school and I encouraged every child to draw me a letter which I then scanned and turned into a jaw dropping font for the school magazine we were designing. 
Here's a glimpse.

The kids loved it. I spoke to them about letter design and typography including showing them Jessica Hische's Daily Drop Cap which they all loved. Then they designed their own letters, the image above is just a glimpse into the huge body of work we did around that project. Apologies for the gloomy pictures in low light on a dark winter's afternoon. Wish I had taken better ones.

I do love a nice lot of pictures on a blog post and I am sure you all do too. Hence the endless images....Thank you for reading today, come back again soon. 


Lizzie said...

Yay for gorgeousness and experimenting and paint and sticky and wet and lovely... and making stuff and having fun!
Love the results of your experiments - and loved seeing the work you did with the school children too.

louloulovesbooks said...

Ah dear Lizzie, thank you for all your lovely comments, it's so nice to be back. I'm back blogging again, it feels like I never went away.What a great community {*}

Alex Seaford said...

Lovely letters
Carefully crafted
On sunny afternoons......
.......perfect! Xx

Anonymous said...

love these!!! Might have to commission some for my new abode. x