Last January 2015, I was contacted by Summit Books (publishing house) to create a book about hand lettering. Ironically, it's long been on my life goals (since starting to teach workshops) but I decided to leave it out, thinking I couldn't manage to do something so ambitious.
Well, it's pretty amazing how the universe works wonders. Six months later, I wrote and illustrated a book called The ABCs of Hand Lettering - which became a bestseller on its first few months of release last June 2015. And I also got to add "author" to my job description. :)
Something most people don't know is that ABC is a play on my name, Abbey Sy. That's also why "The ABCs" in the title has two meanings: (1) ABCs, meaning, the basics, and (2) ABC: Abbey Sy.
About the Book
The book is divided into five chapters: each chapter highlighting a specific topic. In a nutshell, the book covers basic hand lettering tips and techniques: from which materials to use, common terminologies of type, font styles and alphabet samples, how to draw your letters and experiment with various styles.
I used both ink and watercolor to illustrate the visuals in the book. All artworks were made from scratch.
Above: illustrations of art materials used for lettering.
Below: some of the alphabet sets I did for the book. I came up with 12 different font styles to showcase all the styles.
One of the things I tell my students when I teach workshops is that "The goal of hand lettering is to turn letters into visual art". I believe that type has the power to inspire people and to convey a message, the same way illustration, photography, and all other art fields have.
Above: a breakdown of parts of a letter.
Below: one of the pages for the artwork showcase (I did 10)
Apart from mostly illustrating the book on the first three chapters, the last two chapters were dedicated to other aspects of the craft, such as a comprehensive work showcase of different lettering and calligraphy artists in the Philippines. I also wrote about finding your own style and showing your work.
Above: featured artists chapter (Googly Gooeys' page)
Below: a snippet from the 5 Tips to Remember part of the last chapter.
The ABCs of Hand Lettering was launched last June 20, 2015 at National Book Store Glorietta 1. The book was also released to bookstores on the same day.
I gave a live demonstration and workshop during the first half of the launch, with the first batch of guests who arrived and registered. After that, I got to sign around 100+ books that day, which was overwhelmingly a lot. So grateful for the support of my readers / friends / family.
I had my stamps custom made from my friend, Kara, who does rubbercutting and creates stamps.
Those are "Always Be Creating" and "Trust the Process". Makes it a wee bit easier for me to sign books. :)
Above: Signing books for a reader during the book signing.
Below: Wouldn't have done it without these people - my book team. Super grateful I got to work with them on two projects. I don't think I'd be this efficient and evolved with my work if it weren't for their guidance and trust.
(L-R): Jaykee Evangelista, art director / me / Macy Alcaraz, editor / Koko Ko, publisher
I also got to participate at 3 other events for Summit last year: another signing at Trinoma, became part of the Philippine Literary Festival and the Manila International Book Fair. Thank you, Summit Books, for the opportunity!
How to Order
As the book is currently out of stock on shelves, you may order a copy by e-mailing email@example.com with the subject "ABC Order". It's distributed at major bookstores and convenience stores nationwide for PHP 295.
You may also avail an e-book via the following links:
Amazon (for Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/The-ABCs-Hand-Lettering-Abbey-ebook/dp/B014VZA9VY
Photo credits: Ber Garcia, Sofia Lorenzo, Katsy Garcia
Thank you for viewing!