Fig. 05.12.09
A detail from the initial series of type sketches (see previous Production is Reception post), showing some beginning display letters, potentially for use on the title page of The Heads.

Oh, it’s so much fun not to have any idea what I’m doing. Well, sometimes it’s fun, other times it’s nerve-frying and soul-twisting. But that’s part of the fun too. So here we are with another post of me bumbling through “lettering design.”

Fig. 05.12.10
First of new series of drawings specifically for the title type. The regular alphabet letters at the top show a brief flirtation with the idea of lowering the crossbar on the “A.”

These letters began with a slightly taller version of the regular alphabet (see Fig. 05.12.09), but as I recreated these digitally and enlarged them, I realized that they should be drawn at actual scale (using the same base grid) as that would allow for more variation in the design (like having a stem with a width of 3 blocks instead of a multiple of 2).

Fig. 05.12.11
Figuring out the shapes and trying out decorative elements—the “serifs” or “beaks” on the “T” and “E.”

So more drawings, then. No need to bore you with the details. I’m still not totally happy with these, but we’ll see where it goes. And of course the position on the page, along with any other text (the rest of the title, author name, press name, etc.), will play a huge role in how they look at the end.

Fig. 05.12.12
The final? Perhaps….

I’m still sorting out, still thinking through, what this kind of activity means for the larger process of making books (for NewLights—so the large but local sense), of making books strange. & of course this is just the design stage—setting these things in lead, manipulating and printing them, is going to be another matter entirely. But the activity in & around & through these letters is energizing and informing the whole process in a new way for me. Which is always the point when figuring out any new book.

No comments: