Contemporary Book Title Design: Recent Work
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    Hand lettering for book covers by Iskra Design: recent projects for contemporary fiction, fantasy and childrens' books with notes on design and m… Read More
    Hand lettering for book covers by Iskra Design: recent projects for contemporary fiction, fantasy and childrens' books with notes on design and method. Read Less
    Published:
Hand-Lettered Book Title Design
Integrating Custom Typography with Book Genre and Illustration Style
One of my specialties as a lettering designer is title design for books. I work in every genre, and enjoy the challenge of fitting title with style. Each of these books has a different illustrator and design architecture, and the title has to integrate with all the elements, suggesting intrigue or romance or innocence or another world.
Pointed brush script on smooth paper for a sleek finished look. I have done many titles in this series, and the inspiration has always been the curve of the cat's tail.
Casual Pen calligraphy done on rough paper
Hot off the press, a new book title design for Jackie Collins. Un-retouched brush script.
An informal script with two goals embedded in the design: the title treatment needed to express innocence and warmth without being childish, and it should visually talk to the tennis shoes.
"Knitting Under the Influence" is one of my favorites. Brilliant art direction here from Claire Brown at Warner Books. My job was just to letter under the influence and let the title unravel from the spool.
Highly finished pen calligraphy for Danielle Steele title, with special effects added in post production for an embossed metal look.
A transitional style done with a round-nibbed pen on rough paper.
I've got to admit, some styles are more fun to do than others. This one is always a blast, I feel like I am back in the Middle Ages wielding a pen like a warrior and letting the ink fly. This is a spiky version of Uncial blended with some other influences.
I begin my custom typography with a traditional edged pen. Then I refine the work in collaboration with the art director or designer of the project. The shape of the serifs and the subtle curves of the counter shapes make or break such a short sweet title. The many repeated letters and the curve added  a big challenge. In this case we vectorized the final art for a very finished "font-like" look.
Pen calligraphy based on the Uncial alphabet, redrawn for a typographic look. I have gotten very fond of this valiant mouse of Redwall over the years.
 
Pen calligraphy on rough paper with soft rounded serifs designed to go with the curved accents of the illustration.
 
Follow my work on my blog, Alphabet Roadtrip, where I post updates on recent projects, essays on type and calligraphy, and occasional photographs of odd or vintage signage that stops me in my tracks. My complete lettering design portfolio can be found at Iskra Design.