Recently, we visited Brazos Bookstore and asked them which titles were some of their favorites and most recommended to designers and creatives in Houston. Our purpose? To offer twice-monthly reviews and features of books we think are referential, interesting, instructive, or simply fun for our members and community. Every title is available for purchase and perusal at Brazos Bookstore, and should make their way to your bookshelf, office, or coffee table sometime soon.
Draw Your Own Alphabets cover, image courtesy of Mint Design Blog.
To begin, we reviewed Draw Your Own Alphabets: Thirty Fonts to Scribble, Sketch, and Make You Own by Tony Seddon, a great book for those inspired by Jessica Hische’s recent talk, specifically the breakdown of lettering, vectorizing, and digitizing her custom typography.
Slime example font, image courtesy of Ivy Press
Hand lettering has experienced as resurgence in the past few years, with many designers and artists looking to learn the art. While many books simply show examples of lettering, this book, Draw Your Own Alphabets: Thirty Fonts to Scribble, Sketch, and Make You Own by Tony Seddon, also breaks down key parts of each letterform.
A hand-lettering example, image courtesy of The Designer’s Review of Books.
Each hand-lettered style is designed by different artists, and the pages between each example offer a practice space, complete with a grid so readers can tweak and adapt each font to their own style. This book also takes hand-lettering one step further by showing readers a few different ways to digitize their fonts, whether by simply scanning each letter in, or creating a new vector.
The Anatomy of a Font, image courtesy of The Designer’s Review of Books.
One of our favorites pages is “The Anatomy of a Font,” which breaks down each key part of a letterform. The author makes one thing clear: if you’re going to design your own type, consistency is key. Having your letterforms adhere to certain rules and structures will help you flesh out the font further once it’s digitized. This chart helps readers understand what structures and rules need tending to.
Drawing with Vectors, image courtesy of designworklife.
Draw Your Own Alphabets is great for anyone looking to hone their lettering skills, designers who love type but haven’t experimented with their own, or artists looking for tips on how to expand their work digitally.
Find this and all the books in our upcoming series at Brazos Bookstore, located at 24121 Bissonnet Street in Rice Village.
Book Reviews for Houston Creatives is a shared collaboration between Jeremy Ellis, store manager of Brazos Bookstore; Josh Higgins, AIGA Houston’s Associate Director of Education Programming; and Chelsea Thomas, AIGA Houston’s Chief Blogger.