Category Archives: Interpretive lettering

You’re right next door.

I work from my office in Western Mass, serving the Northampton area, but I work with clients from almost anywhere with an internet connection and a phone. That work includes web design, print communication, book design, visual identity development, business cards, interpretive lettering for book titling, signs and display, illustration – anything involving visual communication. Because of the internet and my technical background, I am able to communicate with printers, engravers, sign companies, web developers in your area to get the design onto a production path and in a way that is convenient to you.  Here are some examples of long distance work I’ve done in the past.

 

BluestemSignPhoto

Columbia, Missouri
This was perhaps one of the more difficult jobs on the production end from over a thousand miles away. After having created a visual identity for a crafts gallery, I was asked if I could design their sign utilizing an existing, odd shaped projecting sign frame left over from the 1950s. I worked closely with a local sign company and was able to design to fit the odd space exactly. Angles, curves, frame thicknesses, etc. all conspired to undermine the project, but with photos, careful measurements provided by the sign company and my familiarity with materials, we managed to get it right.

imagine

Palo Alto, California
This was the creation of a visual identity utilizing my interpretive lettering skills working with Adobe Illustrator. The project was art directed by a San Francisco design firm that hired me for the logotype development. The client was Imagine Foods, a natural foods producer famous for their Rice Dream products.

 

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Pretoria, South Africa
Wilmette, IL
This was a workbook and  cover design for the late Deborah Christesen in collaboration with  Julie Burnes Walker who together created the Oneness Model. This was a spiral bound workbook loaded with illustrations. At certain times we even managed conference calls between South Africa, Illinois and Massachusetts. Not so easy back in 2008.

 

IKKWeb1

West LaFayette, Indiana
Visual Identity,, website, blog and various print pieces such as business cards, stationery, etc. Iris Karas began this consulting practice not long after moving to indiana. Once the website was up and regular posts were being made to her blog, her business grew steadily.

 

 

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El Sobrante, California
This was a DVD cover design including front (right) back (left) and spine (middle). This was part of a series of DVDs produced by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen founder of the School for Body/Mind Centering. Bonnie travels the world giving workshops and overseeing the training programs she has developed for certification. The DVDs are another method of educational outreach.

 

 

 

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…and that has made all the difference.

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Early on in Sandra Boston’s life she decided to head down a road less travelled by. That road has taken her around the world and into the hearts of those she encountered. In this memoir, Sandra details her journey and what it has meant to her along the way. She asked if I would help her with her cover design for Out of Bounds: Adventures in Transformation.

I agreed, and working with photos taken along her journey I developed a design concept for the front and back covers. At first, I used a font for the book title, and though it looked fine, it somehow didn’t quite reflect the sprit of Sandra’s life. So I custom designed an original hand lettered title – what I refer to as interpretive lettering. Sandra was on board as soon as she saw it and the book was soon thereafter published.

Above is the finished book cover and below is the artwork I developed using Adobe Illustrator and incorporated into the cover. 

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A signage facelift at P&Es

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Paul and Elizabeth’s natural foods restaurant is a landmark in Northampton. The owners – you guessed it – Paul and Elizabeth, arrived in Northampton from Boston in probably the mid 1970s. Both were learning the natural foods restaurant business at the Seventh Inn restaurant and school from master chef Hiroshi Hayashi. Paul and Elizabeth wanted to carry forward what they were learning by establishing a restaurant in Northampton similar in concept to the Seventh Inn. My wife and I provided them with a place to stay on occasion while they were in the process of moving and setting up the restaurant.

They arrived with the logo image of the smooching cooks for the restaurant made by another designer, but from the beginning I worked with them on various aspects of the restaurant’s visual identity. I went off to teach for several years in the late 1980s and when I returned in the early 1990s, I helped them update their identity. In 2004, after designing full time for a sign materials manufacturer, I went solo again and so on occasion I still do some work for them.

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The P and E’s logotype shown in the example at the top of the post is a current application of interpretive lettering I did for them in the early ’90s (above). Interpretive lettering is hand drawn lettering that combines the freedom and energy of calligraphy with the precision and finish of a typographic font. I began building these logotypes in the early ’80s using pencil, pen, ink and black and white gouache on paper and in the late 80’s moved to Adobe Illustrator on a computer, of which this is an example. The skill level and the amount of time to develop such a logotype was about the same as hand construction, but the versatility in application was greatly improved as an illustrator file.

In the meantime, our kids have grown up, their kids have grown up and i recently got a call from Nate, their eldest son who is now taking over the restaurant’s major responsibilities. He wanted to update their signage at the front entrance to Thorne’s Marketplace where the restaurant is located, and the menu displays at the front and rear entrances to the restaurant itself.

After taking measurements and photos of the site I provided them with a concept that we decided to go with after a few revisions. Boxes had been previously built and installed at the front outside of Thornes and just outside the dining area. Both boxes had glass doors that opened to a cork display area on which they had previously pinned up menus.

To make things interesting, I  decided that part of the design would be applied to the glass door with the rest against the cork interior. This provided some dimensional interest.  At the back entrance, the sign was to be hung inside facing out to the street. I maintained the design concept, but there was no viable way to do anything dimensional.

The examples below, are what I showed them for design concepts. I firmly believe in showing a sign concept as it would appear on location. Though the photos look like the final sign in place, the images I’m showing are my designs superimposed over a photo of the window and the boxes. In reality, that is pretty much how the actual signs look in place. Above each concept is the before example of each of the signs.

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This is what the back entrance sign looked like for several years

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This was the design concept presented for the new sign which is pretty much how the new sign now looks on location.

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This is how the boxes on Main Street and at the restaurant entrance looked before redesigning.

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Above (Main Street) and below Restaurant entrance): These were the concepts presented for the new displays and pretty much how they now appear. In both cases the red stripes and logos were applied to the glass and everything else sits on a single panel about 2″ behind the glass.

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