AS Far back as I can remember, I've been fascinated with letterforms and alphabets.
So it’s no coincidence that I’ve spent over 30 years enhancing the written word as a publications designer—working with so many words made up of so many letters.
I took mechanical drawing in junior high school, the main attraction being the hand-rendered block letters that accompanied each technical drawing. Each letter was meticulously drawn with a 2H wooden pencil. I was far more interested in the lettering than the drawings.
In my high school art class, we were given the assignment to hand copy an entire alphabet. I chose a 1970s-era lettering design, carefully drawing the beautifully swirling shapes and then filling them in with India ink. I was hooked.
For my illustration thesis at Pratt, I created an illustrated alphabet where each character is a different animal. The design process involved coaxing animal shapes into letterform shapes in such a way that both creature and character appear natural and comfortable. The final artwork is called “A to Zoo” and it's rendered in watercolor.
“Art of the State” is my type-inspired map of the United States. Inspired by 1970s design motifs, each letter is hand drawn and organic in nature. In this design process, the geographical shape of each state is formed by the letters that spell the state’s name—topography emerges from typography!
I have plans for more alphabet designs with "AtoZ Cactus" soon to be released in June, 2020. This work was inspired by the many cactus I'm surrounded by in the beautiful Sonoran Desert in Tucson, Arizona.
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