Thursday, March 31, 2016

GLORIA ROUBAL'S WEEKLY LETTERING #6 - hand painted, acrylic on wood: This is NOT Goodbye

I went to a workshop in hand-painted lettering last weekend. What a blast! I really enjoyed it. I had picked up my board ahead of time and had my under-sketch already done before I went, so that saved me a lot of time. Even so, three hours wasn't nearly enough time to complete it so I took it home along with the paint I had mixed and finished it there. I'm entering it along with (yes, really) 24 other pieces in the abCU show at Gallery 217! The opening reception will be on Friday, April 8, and the show runs all weekend.

For more about the abCU show:
To see more of my work:

Acrylic paint on wooden board

I really like the colors I chose for this piece as well as using dots instead of lines (I tried lines; they just didn't look right). This is the first actual hand-painted lettering piece I've ever done. I'm looking forward to trying again soon. :)

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By the way, I designed the lettering for the abCU 2016 poster as well as the Maker's March poster (Matt Farrell designed the rest of the poster in both cases. Nice teamwork!).

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I also designed the posters for the abCU shows in 2014 and 2015:

abCU 2014 poster

abCU 2015 poster

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Finally, here are a few of the pieces I am entering this year:
Whimsical bead and wire piece

Screenprint and T-shirt

printed on cool paper


I guess I'm in a specific phase of lettering: creating some kind of dimension. It's really fun to do, and it's interesting to see how different types of letter forms look when I add this. I'm not going to worry about shadows and other nuances quite yet. I need to figure out a way to make this type of design more interesting first. It's getting there!

I like the positivity of the message. It's actually derived from a Coldplay song lyric, "Everything's not lost." Why does everyone seem to hate Coldplay, by the way? Admittedly, I haven't liked anything they've done since A Rush of Blood to the Head, but that was a damn good record, IMHO! Anyway, I make no apologies for what I like in art, music, movies, books, and so on. I like Coldplay. So there. Rant over. Well, it wasn't really a rant. But in any case...that is all.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Gloria Roubal's Weekly Lettering Project #4: He's My Brandy Alexander

This is a line from one of my favorite songs by Feist. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

I might go back later and embellish the design a bit, but I really like how the letters turned out and how the composition as a whole looks. Hope you enjoy.

Lyrics to the song are below.

Link to the song: Brandy Alexander by Feist

Brandy Alexander
by Feist

Though I'd like to be the girl for him
And cross the sea and land for him
On milky skin my tongue is sand until
The ever distant band begins to play

He's my Brandy Alexander
Always gets me into trouble
But that's another matter
Brandy Alexander

He's my Brandy Alexander
Always gets me into trouble
But that's another matter
Brandy Alexander

Though I know what I love most of him
I'm walking on needles and pins
My addiction to the worst of him
The low moon helps me sing

I'm his Brandy Alexander
Always get him into trouble
I hide that I'm flattered
Brandy Alexander

I'm his Brandy Alexander
Always get him into trouble
I hide that I'm flattered
Brandy Alexander

Goes down easy
It goes down easy

It goes down easy
It goes down easy

It goes down easy
It goes down easy

It goes down easy
It goes down easy

Brandy Alexander
Brandy Alexander
Brandy Alexander
Brandy Alexander

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Gloria Roubal's Weekly Lettering Project #3: Love is limitless

I believe this statement with all of my heart.

In terms of my attempt to make progress in my hand generated type phrases, if the image is enlarged, you should be able to see shadowing in the dark purple "dimensional" part of each letter. I think I need to take it into Photoshop to do it correctly, but I did it using Illustrator. I like different aspects of this design, but somehow it didn't all come together the way I had envisioned. I do like the designs that surround the lettering and the way the letters do seem to pop off of the surface/background. I like the white/silver lines that are on each of the letters in "limitless." I'm getting there... I didn't spend as much time on this as I would have liked. But now it's time to let this one go and start on the next. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mary Kate McDevitt. Another Spectacular Letterer!

I keep searching for and easily finding letterers and illustrators and designers about whom I have never heard.

I came across Mary Kate McDevitt in an article in PRINT magazine from February 21, 2015. The article is entitled,"The Explosive Hand Lettering Rebellion." Check it out! Lots of extremely cool pieces by several different letterers (including Mary Kate).

Mary Kate McDevitt's website

I love to see the initial sketch prior to adding color and shading, etc. Here is one such example:

I absolutely love everything about this piece! Here is what Mary Kate says about it on her website:

Heartwork Poster

I was pleased as punch to create a poster for the great organization Heartwork. Heartwork is a project designed to raise money for art supplies within the art room at Target House—this wonderful home-away-from-home for the families of children facing long-term treatment at St. Jude® Children's Research Hospital. The theme of the collection of posters is "hope" and this years line up was filled with talented folks. Check out the entire collection, but I think all the posters are sold out.

Client: Heartwork

I'm a sucker for dots and flourishes. I also have a thing for ampersands. I want to get better at designing the "decorations" that go with the lettering... like this. And, I love the faded and slightly distressed peach-colored background behind everything.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Better Call Saul... Tobias Saul, that is.

I LOVE this! I want to learn how to do this amazingly detailed type of lettering. And, I love that Tobias Saul, the letterer (check out his website below), used the title of one of my favorite TV shows, "Better Call Saul" for his self-promotion! SO cool.

Here are a couple more of his lettering pieces:

Weekly Lettering Project #2: Makers Gonna Make

I'm sure this phrase has been said/made before. I'm getting ready to go to three "maker's" workshops on the next three consecutive Saturdays. One is paper-making, one is screen printing, and one is hand painted lettering. I'm really excited for all three of them, and I hope that at least one piece will be good enough to enter into the abCU show in Downtown Champaign, April 8-10!

I'm really happy that I am starting to figure out how to do this three dimensional look on my lettering. The next thing I need to learn is how to make realistic-looking shadows. I should look online for a tutorial. Also, I have free access to classes through my Champaign Public Library card! I'll check there, too.

I wish I had added more detail to the background for this piece, but maybe it doesn't need it. On to weekly lettering project #3!

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Weekly Lettering Project #1: Always be KIND

This lettering piece may not look much different to you than some of the other pieces I've posted here, but the difference is that I was able to take my time and not rush to get it all finished in one day as I have in the past! I am now creating one lettering piece per week rather than one per day. My goals are to have a little more time to myself in the evenings, to create lettering using some different techniques which I'll now have time to begin to learn, to create pieces with more visual interest and dimension and also, when I can figure this one out, with a more organic feel... more soul.

Another thing I may do at times is revisit a piece that I created for my daily HGT phrase project and edit/add/revise it to make it better than it was.

Admittedly, it was easier to have a daily goal and stick to it than to have a more lax goal of one per week and stick to that! I already took more than a week to get this first one posted.

I also want to write a blog post each day, or nearly each day, about some other wonderful piece of work by someone else. I've already done so with the last few blog posts, but I've yet to stick to a daily post. Wish me luck! And, I hope you enjoy today's lettering piece. :) I think the message is really really really really really important, by the way.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ahhh.... Jessica Hische!

Yes, Jessica Hische is still my idol, my hero, one of my greatest inspirations when it comes to lettering, illustration, and design.

If you want to see some spectacular work, visit And by the way, her bio on her about page starts with the sentence, "Here’s a brief history of who I am, what I do, and why we should be friends." I love that warmth and welcoming opening statement. :)

One of the earliest projects of hers of which I'm aware is her "12 Days of Christmas" card set that she created in 2006. By the way, she had included these in her portfolio which led to her to working for the famous designer and letterer, Louise Fili when she (Jessica) was very young and just starting her career. She immediately relocated to NYC upon being offered this prestigious job. This was such a huge accomplishment for a young designer, and she proved herself to be so remarkably amazing in her work, she now has an extremely successful career of her own, working for such clients as Penguin Books, The New York Times, Tiffany & Co., OXFAM America, McSweeney’s, American Express, Target, Victoria’s Secret, Chronicle Books, Nike, and Samsung, to name a few!

Her description of the project, "12 Days of Christmas," from her website:

"This was a personal project that I sent out as a promo in the winter of 2006. It was a set of twelve postcards, each illustrating one of the twelve days of Christmas. They were all held together with a belly band stating "Happy Holidays" in hand-lettering."

I LOVE this project. Her illustration skills as well as her cleverness and sense of humor shine through so brightly. It's just lovely! So fun and beautiful! I love the way she illustrates animals, and I'm really drawn to the "cut-out-paper" look of this style. Everything is so well thought-out and crafted from the big picture down to the smallest details.

I'll be writing a lot more about Jessica and sharing her work. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Erik Marinovich... Consider me wowed!

I'm looking for the holy grail of lettering.
Well, maybe there isn't just one!

Check out Erik Marinovich, an absolutely amazing letterer. And prolific! And extremely successful! I'm thoroughly impressed.

This is his client list:

Criterion Collection
Ford Motor Company
New York Times
Mohawk Fine Papers
Wired Magazine
Chronicle Books
New York Magazine
Bloomberg Businessweek
Almanac Beer Co.
Lincoln Motor Company
Woman's Day Magazine
Maxim Magazine
Toronto Life
Seattle Met
Malibu Rum
Absolut Vodka
Metropolis Magazine
Graniph Tshirt Store
Dockers Air Canada
Holy cow!

And his bio paragraph:

Erik Marinovich is a San Francisco based lettering artist and designer, and is a co-founder of Friends of Type. Since 2009 he has drawn letters, logos and type for nice folks like: Nike, Target, Google, Hilton, Facebook, Sonos, Sharpie, The Criterion Collection, Air Canada, Gap, Ford Motor Company. In 2012 he co-founded Title Case, a creative work space that conducts workshops and lectures. Between client work, teaching and side-projects, you’ll find him on the road promoting Keep Fresh Stay Rad and Let’s Go Letter Hunting, two new releases from Friends of Type published by Princeton Architectural Press.

This guy is so f***ing good!

Here is just one of his pieces that I love. It is one in a series of his custom handlettered pieces for the following:

"Every month at Friends of Type we invite a guest designer or illustrator to take over the site and create work for an entire week, we call it ‘Guest Post’r’. To kick off their week of work, we introduce them with a custom headline and interview. This is a sampling of the headlines that I’ve created over the past year. All of the typography in this series is custom handlettered."

Everything about this is so interesting and aesthetically pleasing to me. The whole thing is created out of arrows of different types. "Jeff Rogers" is a little hard to make out at first, but this is really a fine piece of art. The design is so nicely balanced; I love the colors; the texture and shading are wonderful. I want to know how he created this. 

If you like this, check out the rest of the series: Erik Marinovich's Friends of Type Guest Contributor Series.

For me, delving into the work of other letterers—which I'm ashamed to admit that I've done very little of this last year—is like stepping into a wardrobe and coming out the other side in Narnia (without the dangerous stuff)! I think I'm going to be absolutely amazed at what is out there, especially since lettering is the new black.

(Bio, client list, image, and description of the series all come from Erik's website:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Lauren Hom is the "Bombay of the Day"

So I'm newly enchanted with designer/letterer Lauren Hom.

I'm also really excited to find that she has some online tutorials on techniques she uses, such as this one that shows how she adds dimension to her letters: TUTORIAL

I'm including one simple sample of her work from her blog (and book). She seems to be prolific, and I'll be posting much more of her work in the future! What I really enjoy about this is the texture, depth, shadowing, and simplicity. It's elegant. It has soul.

Having stopped creating my daily hand generated type phrases is giving me time to look at the work of others for inspiration! That's time well spent.

Check out her blog:
And her website:

From her website: "Daily Dishonesty is a book and award-winning hand-lettering blog. It combines my love of typography, humor, copywriting, and illustration. The blog documents the lies I tell myself on a regular basis. Hopefully, you're guilty too and can have a good laugh!"

Also, check out her awards: 
     2015 Communication Arts Typography Annual 5 Winner
     2014 Communication Arts Typography Annual 4 Winner
     2014 Webby Nominee, Best Personal Website
     2013 Webby Award, Best Personal Website

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Here it is. My last daily HGT phrase. It's not my best design or lettering, but the message is important. Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day! It's all about love. Valentine's Day and every day can be filled with limitless love, regardless of whether you have a significant other. It's the love inside you and how you choose to spread it to others! Love for yourself is what has to happen first, however. We have to learn how to see ourselves as worthy of our own love and compassion. It has to be practiced. You are deserving of your own deep love and compassion! When you practice that, then it's effortless to extend that love and compassion far and wide, to all beings everywhere.

Back to my fifth Daily Hand Generated Type Phrase on May 15, 2015, "LOVE IS ALL."

So please continue to read my blog. I plan to write a daily post, focusing more on the great design and lettering and other art and beauty that's out there. And, once a week I'll post a phrase (or maybe it will occasionally be a single word), and hopefully you'll see some newness in my work.

May all beings be free of suffering and the root of suffering.
May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
May all beings know and experience peace and deep love that comes from within.
May all beings' lives be of benefit to the world.
May all beings learn how to surrender to and be deeply in the present moment, where life occurs.
May all beings be at ease, no matter what the outer circumstances are.
May all beings be cradled in the arms of lovingkindness and compassion and forgiveness and be able to tap into that feeling of being held at any time.
May all beings love and be loved in this life.


And, this being Valentine's Day, here are a few from my archives that have something to do with love, hearts, compassion... stuff like that. A little finale, of sorts. :)