I’ve always admired lettering design from the likes of Jessica Hische, Jill de Haan or Ryan Hamrick, but I’ve not brought this design aspect into my own work very often. Back in my college days, I took the ISTD award entry as an opportunity to try my hand at some lettering. The results weren’t bad for a first foray into the area, but certainly not finessed or matured. I’ll dig out a few examples from that project and posts them. I guess I hoped that some maturing and finesse would come with time and skill development through multiple projects, but I hardly touched lettering since.

Fast forward many years and I’m now working with upcoming children’s book author, Cath Kilgannon, who needs a logo for her writing pseudonym ‘Kitty K Rhymes’ and for a future merchandising line called ‘Wishful Thinking’. There could be many roads to take with these logos, but I decided they need a hand written aesthetic with identifiable aspects of Cath’s own hand writing incorporated. Enter lettering design once more.

Having access to an iPad Pro and the new Apple Pencil, I’ve taken to using these as the means to get the initial hand written shapes, and then refining these in illustrator. The iPad Pro stage has taken writing loosely and fluidly over and over, erasing and repeating until each letter and the overall world starts to form designs that work. These were repeated and tweaked before saving out to illustrator. In illustrator, I’ve simplified the paths and started the big task of tidying up in terms of trapped spacing, height of ascenders and descenders, kerning, unifying individual letter design somewhat etc. The idea is to take the raw and unrefined lettering, and refine and finesse it, taking cues from how Jessica Hische approached the redesign of the Mail Chimp logo.

With that in mind, I turned over a fairly raw, unrefined first illustrator iterations to design friend Jean Fujita for some feedback. Jean has done a fantastic critique of the initial designs, reinforcing aspects I knew needed a lot of work and highlighting a few I hadn’t thought of.

My next steps are to take this feedback onboard and start the task of translating these designs into a finalised logo. Progress updates to follow!

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