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#50 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

nice

Right now I am loving the work of crazy-talented London-based illustrator and hand lettering artist Linzie Hunter.

Originally from Scotland, she graduated from Glasgow University and then studied illustration at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.

orangesweater

Linzie’s distinctive, exuberant doodles have graced everything from magazine and book covers, posters, cookie tins, children’s toys, stickers and stationery to oodles of promotional materials. Her impressive international client list includes The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Scholastic, HarperCollins, Roaring Brook Press, Sainsbury’s, Random House, Macmillan, American Girl, and Marks & Spencer.

Her hand drawn letters have irresistible “personalities” and her zany characters often prompt a double take. I also love her maps and ongoing poster series of Uninspiring Messages. And yes, she’s illustrated a children’s book: A Small Brown Dog With a Wet Pink Nose (written by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen).

Enjoy this mini-trip to Linzie Land! :)

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#49 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

tea

All images © 2014 Lily and Val

There’s something wonderfully nostalgic and old school about chalk art. I remember being so excited when it was my turn to erase the blackboards in grade school. Before clapping the erasers outside, replacing stubs with brand new sticks of chalk, and wiping the boards clean with a wet rag, I liked to “play teacher” with my own little scribbles and drawings.

Now I have three chalkboards in my kitchen: one for the grocery list, one displaying an inspirational quote for the week, the third to advise guests: “Feel free to wait on me.” :) There’s also another chalkboard in our dining room, where I post the menu when we have company for dinner (it’s fun to “play restaurant”).

teatime

No surprise that I fell hard for Valerie McKeehan’s charming hand lettered chalk art, which she features on prints, note cards, stationery, gifts and accessories. Naturally I love her kitchen-themed designs best — tear-off placemats, illustrated recipes, menu boards, foodie sayings. Lily & Val products are quaintly whimsical with that undeniable handmade-heartmade quality I covet, and are available via LilyandVal.com or at the Lily & Val Chalk Art Boutique on Etsy.

I recently ordered some note cards which arrived lickety split — I kind of hate to part with them, but will enjoy sending them to special friends. :)

Enjoy this little Lily and Val sampler. How can you resist?

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#48 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

Look what just zoomed in — a spiffy convoy of hardworking trucks all featured in a brand new picture book by Samantha R. Vamos and Ryan O’Rourke!

Start the engines.
Lift and load.
Shift the gears and
hit the road.

Vroom! Rumble! Zoom!
Alphabet Trucks.

Maybe you’re already wondering: could there actually be a different kind of truck for each letter of the alphabet? What about Q, V,  X, and Z? We all know how much they love to cause trouble.

Relax. Clever Samantha has got those rascals covered, and along with the familiar pickup truck, tow truck, and cement mixer, she throws in quite a few less commonly known vehicles to keep things interesting: knuckle-boom truck, lowboy, winch truck.

(click to enlarge)

A is for apple truck,
carting produce to the store.

B is for box truck,
with a rolling rear door.

They’re all described in jaunty rhyming couplets that explain each truck’s job, while O’Rourke’s crackerjack retro-style illustrations show the trucks in action, two per double page spread. Young readers will enjoy studying each scene, especially because the upper and lower case letters take on a life of their own — sitting in apple trees, bouncing along the street, being picked up by a crane or carried by movers one by one.

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#47 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

MaricorMaricar_HK_Del7

(click to see more from the “Delicious” project at Maricor/Maricar)

I fairly swooned when I first saw the amazing hand embroidered typography created by twin sisters Maricor and Maricar Manalo. Based in Sydney, Australia, they’re designers, illustrators and animators by trade and refer to themselves as “Makers of Things assorted.”

logoSelf-taught in needlework, they seem to be creativity personified — I love their colors, patterns, lines, textures, and refreshing sense of fun and whimsy. The gorgeous piece pictured above is part of a project they completed for the Hong Kong Airport, where they were asked to embroider the word “Delicious” in six different languages, all spelled out using food from the different regions — pizza, sushi, pretzels, prawns, grapes, onions, limes, hotdogs — too cool!

abcs embroider

MaricorMaricar_HK_Del8

MaricorMaricar_HK_Del2

MaricorMaricar_HK_Del1

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#46 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

Hey there, Font Freaks! Why the long typeface?

I’ve got just the thing to titillate your Times New Roman. That’s right — a double platter of tippy top typography today! (Say that fast five times.)

Those of us in love with the alphabet usually love to play with our fonts — after all, there’s one for every mood, every emotion, every occasion, every whim.

When I first set up this blog two years ago, I changed the standard fonts that came with my template. You’re now looking at Fertigo Pro in the blog title, Adelle for headings,  Slab for general text. They all seemed friendlier somehow.

Lately, I’ve been quite partial to Lucida Bright or Bookman Old Style when drafting new stories in Word. I’m surprised how anti-creative some fonts can be (sorry, Impact). And I still don’t get all the flack about Comic Sans or Courier. Neither has ever stolen my chocolate. :)

On to today’s offerings.

* * *

First Bite

Behold the delightful work of art student Pranita Kocharekar of Mumbai, India. She’s studying typography and recently designed this wonderful illustrative typeface called, “Bird Watching,” which earned her a 2013 Typographer of the Year Award. She used upper and lower case A-Z, 0-9, and some punctuation, and she’s thinking of selling bags and vests featuring the design. Yay!

Pranita also created this delightful story called Lost in Typeland, which features two characters who befriend each other, the famous typeface Bodoni and a little girl. Too cool. Be sure to click here to read the entire story and view Pranita’s portfolio.

typeland two

* * *

Second Bite

Check out this clever paper-letter animated short, “The History of Typography,” created by Ontario-based graphic designer Ben Barrett-Forrest. It consists of 291 paper letters, 2,454 photographs, and required 140 hours of work! So amazing, Bravo!

* * *

There now, didn’t it feel good to get your Garamond on?

I love me a good font feast.

Ahhhhhh — to serif or not to serif, that is the question. :)

♥ More Alphabetica here.

P.S. Take the quiz: “What Font Are You?”

* * *

alphabet iconCertified authentic alphabetica. Handmade just for you with love and 26 of your best friends in natty upper and lower case.

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Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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