Archive for the ‘IF Kids’ Category
Ok, I’ll save you the spiel about how deeply I’ve fallen in love with typography and lettering, as that should be fairly obvious by now. Drew Melton‘s work essentially speaks for itself. His deeply expressive fonts and lettering demonstrate the importance of hand-drawing into the design process. Even in the sharpest, finalized versions of his work, you’ll a spontaneity that’s unmistakably fun and energetic.
Drew is an L.A.-based graphic designer and typographer who’s worked with clients like McCann, Nike, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Penguin Books. He’s had quite the interesting journey to success in the lettering realm, some of which is marked by serious self-reflection and the ability to remain humble.
One of the things that hurled him into the design spotlight was his Phraseology project, started with a few other designers and developers in 2011. Very similar to Erik Marinovich’sFriends of Type blog, Phraseology offers the public a chance to submit any word or phrase to be designed by members of the team. Soon enough, Drew was being commissioned for some big-time typography work by notable clients.
Unfortunately, with that exciting attention also came some consequences. As much as I admire Drew’s hand at lettering, I might be even more enamored with his grace and honesty about his past mistakes.
In January 2013, Drew bravely posted a public apology on his blog to several typographic designers, including Jessica Hische, Jon Contino, Dana Tanamachi, and Darren Booth, for drawing inspiration from their styles in ways that were not entirely “okay.” He spoke openly about his guilt and sadness at realizing that his creative process had been built too closely upon the examples of his heroes, and that his heroes were now upset with him.
The topic of creative originality is probably one of the most sensitive. It’s something that is constantly under debate and argued by strong opinions. I’m a strong believer that nothing is purely unique, especially in this day and age. It’s the nature of craft and evolution to build upon an existing idea. But in an age when visual information is so widely accessible, when an illustrator or designer can essentially educate themselves by opening their web browser–it’s up to the creative to draw the line between inspiration and imitation.
It’s a testament to Drew’s work ethic and passion for the art of typography that he was still able to gain success after this admission. Even while he struggled to define his style in the beginnings of his career, it’s clear that he’s succeeded.
I highly recommend Drew’s interview with the Australian Graphic Supply Company (a previous Art Crush feature), as well as his feature (along with this wife, stylist and co-creative Kelsey Zahn) on Rverie. Follow along with Drew here:
In the midst of a world grounded in digital technology, sometimes we need a reminder that good things can still be grounded in reality. This is why we still go visit galleries and museums to see artwork in person (a habit I’m still trying to get better at). This is why we still give each other greeting cards, or why our desks seem to collect countless post-its over time. It can be as simple as opening a letter or unwrapping a present–interacting with real material still matters.
On that note, I’d like to introduce you to Anna Bond, owner and creative director of Rifle Paper Co.–an inimitable force in the stationery field and beyond.
While Anna now lives and works in Winter Park, Florida, she has roots in New Jersey and received a degree in graphic design in Virginia. After working as an art director and freelance illustrator for a couple years, she discovered (or rekindled, rather) her love for stationery design while illustrating some wedding invitations. As mentioned in her feature on The Every Girl, stationery was the optimal combination of graphic design and illustration that she had been searching for, and so she pushed onwards.
While there’s something to be said for art directing at 21, I admire Anna’s honest and expressive way of dealing with her expectations, realities, and how to improve upon them. She’s spoken before about the first launch of Rifle Paper Co.’s website, detailing product disasters, website crashes, international shipping issues, and taking turns panicking with her husband. Without sounding cruel or spiteful, it’s incredibly comforting to know that someone as ambitious and driven as Anna has screwed up before. And to me, there’s no better way to recover than by succeeding.
Nearly all Rifle Paper Co. products feature Anna’s hand-painted illustrations, which are often nostalgic in style with a pastel palette.
Some of Rifle Paper Co.’s selected clients and collaborative partners: Anthropologie (their very first!), Kate Spade New York, Hygge & West, Chronicle Books, AMC Mad Men, and Penguin Books. I think it’s important to note that the variety of clients reflects Anna’s ability to design for both traditional and modern brands, which can be difficult depending on one’s personal style.
Follow along with Anna and her husband Nathan’s exciting ventures at Rifle Paper Co.’s website, and take a peek at Anna’s portfolio here. You can also find her on Twitter. I particularly enjoyed her Day in the Life feature on Design*Sponge as well.
Mary Kate McDevitt is one of the most successful hand-letterers and illustrators working today. A graduate of Tyler School of Art, Mary went on to work at a design studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After 2 years, she moved out west to pursue a freelance illustration and design career in Portland, Oregon before ultimately settling in Brooklyn, New York, which is where she presently resides. While she previously imagined that she would work as an illustrator, dabbling in some lettering on the side–but it turned out to be quite the opposite. Her ever-growing client list includes Chronicle Books, CMYK Magazine, Fast Company, and the United States Postal Service.
She is specifically inspired by vintage type and techniques, including the ones of her own family. As a teenager, she discovered a plethora of handwritten letters that her mother and aunt wrote to her grandmother during college. She used this inspiration for her Your Handwritten Letters project, a daily hand-lettering exercise. Mary would hand-draw a letter of the alphabet and mail the original to a unique participant each day.
You can follow along with Mary Kate McDevitt on her website, blog, Instagram, Dribbble, and can also purchase prints through her Etsy shop. She also has two online classes on Skillshare that can be found here and here.
If it’s not worth drawing, it’s probably not worth having after all.
Quilling is a technique involving rolled, shaped and glued strips of paper. During the Renaissance monks and nuns embellished book covers with quilled images. Artists today are taking the art form to new levels, such as this delightful piece by Erin Casner. Casner’s work combines a joy for color and texture with typography.
Russian artist Yulia Brodskaya‘s is known for her intricate paper-based designs. Her clients have
included Neiman-Marcus and Starbucks. When not working on quilled illustrations for clients,
she creates artworks such as the one above titles “Babushka.” This detail of her art shows how
intricate quilling can be
Interested in trying quilling yourself? Here are some resources to get you started:
Summer travels are just around the corner. Are you ready? Here are some ideas
to keep little hands occupied during long road trips.
I love this sophisticated journal (featured above) by CherieBee, but of course a basic journal is easy to construct with minimal effort.
You will need:
8.5″ x 11″ paper in assorted colors
8.5″ x 11″ cardstock in assorted colors
envelopes – assorted sizes, all smaller than the the cardstock
3 clip rings
1. Punch 3 holes into your paper, cardstock and chipboard covers. Consider adding a few journal pages that
provide space to draw and with lines to make writing easier such as these free printables from
Teachers Pay Teachers.
2. Glue envelopes onto several sheets of cardstock for collecting paper ephemera – ticket stubs, menus, etc.
3. Arrange paper and cardstock in an order of your choice.
4. Add the covers and bind together using the clip rings.
Crayon rolls keep the most basic of art essentials neatly organized. This tutorial from
Pretty Prudent will have you making one in a snap. Make two – one for crayons and one
Post by Clio.
Kevin Waldron is an Irish born illustrator currently living and working in New York City. Kevin makes beautiful picture books for children with funny characters and bold colours and shapes. Kevin’s first book Mr Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo, unveiled Mr Peek, his eccentric and amazing zoo keeper character and it won the Bologna Ragazzi Award Opera Prima Award in 2009. The sequel Pandamonium at Peek Zoo was released in April of this year.
Tape, that sticky stuff we use to seal packages and mend pipes, is a flexible medium for creating art, whether paintings, sculptures or installations. With the range of colors and patterns now available, the possibilities are endless. Brooklyn-based artist Aakash Nihalani uses it to draw attention to the mundane, filling the space with wonder and surprise, while Rebecca Ward uses it to make her intricate, large and colorful installations.
Want to try making art with tape? Here are a few blog filled with ideas to get you started!
Create a sculpture.
Creative Jewish Mom
While paper is frequently used in drawings it is a less common material for sculptures. Jen Stark slices through layers of paper to create her colorful works of art. The colors explode forward or draw the viewer closer into her galaxy.
Interested in trying your own hand at making art with layers of paper? Check out these blogs for some fabulous ideas for kids (of all ages!).
Show us what you created! We would love to see them! Post them on our IF Kids Facebook page .
Watercolors are a flexible medium. One technique to create layers is to mask areas of the paper prior to adding a wash
You will need:
- watercolor paper
- flat watercolor brush (size 2-4)
- painter’s or masking tape
- non-stick scissors
For this sample I used painter’s tape which for some reason I have in abundance around my home. You could also use
masking tape. I don’t recommend regular tape as it is difficult to remove. For the star, I cut two triangles and then overlapped them.
Add several washes of watercolor. As I was going for a night sky theme, I chose blues and purples.
Allow your paper to dry thoroughly. If you are anxious to see the results, use a hair dryer or heat gun to speed up the drying process. Once dry, remove the tape and proceed with the rest of your painting!