For me one of the most inspirational aspects of design is the union of typography and illustration.
From hand rendered calligraphy to visual onomatopoeia where the type takes on the appearance of the words it portrays, there are many different techniques, styles and examples to paw over and narrowing down to a top ten was no mean feat!
Here are some of my favourite examples of illustrative typography.
No. 10. Steven Paul Jobs by Dylan Roscover
Following on from the last Alphablog article, maybe this is more typographic illustration than illustrative typography, but lets not be picky. The use of words from a 90s Apple ad to build the portrait of the top man is intriguing, clever and beautiful.
No. 9. Dream Shepherds by Ania Szerszen
A fascinating world of hand drawn linework, organic flora shapes and bizarre, hidden characters.
Source: Typography Served
No. 8. Daily Drop Caps by Jessica Hische
Since 2009 Jessica has been uploading decorative drop cap illustrations to this ongoing project, gaining her huge recognition and endless plaudits from the online design community. But it’s not all she does – other elegant type based work can be found on her website and is well worth checking out.
No. 7. Let Your Good Heart Lead You Home by Si Scott
An expert with a pen and ink, Yorkshireman Si prefers not to draw with computers – what you see here is painstakingly hand drawn. I know, I couldn’t believe it either! Check his website for loads of other intense flurries of swirls, loops, and swashes.
No. 6. Cities by Julene Harrison
Julene must have incredible patience! Her beautifully intricate hand cut artworks are a joy to behold but she must have a permanently sore index finger from all that scalpel work!
No. 5. Rolled Gold by Alex Trochut
Barcelona based Alex is one of the most talented and sought after designers in Europe, with a philosophy of ‘more is more’, a client list that reads as a veritable who’s who and a portfolio full of detailed, technical and often surreal type based vector artwork.
The luxurious album cover for the Rolling Stones must go down as one of the more famous pieces he’s done.
Source: Alex Trochut
No. 4. Home Sweet Home by Seb Lester
Former Senior Type Designer at Monotype, Seb now produces highly collectible typographic based art prints including this calligraphic masterpiece printed onto iridescent Mirri paper. The depth of detail in his work is quite incredible.
Source: Seb Lester
No. 3. Cream by Sean Freeman
Illustrating doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be done with a pen or a mouse – Sean Freeman’s approach often involves real objects arranged, photographed and manipulated digitally.
No. 2. 5000 Dollars by Yulia Brodskaya
Producing a similar effect to that of Si Scott’s swirls, Yulia’s incredible artwork is created using rolled paper: exquisite, decadent patterns crafted with accuracy that most couldn’t replicate with the help of a computer!
No. 1. Burger by Vasava
It makes me hungry just looking at this wonderful piece! Each part of the stack spells out the ingredient and replicates its appearance – the mustard looks like it’s been squeezed from the bottle of French’s, the cheese melts tantalisingly and the burger looks freshly grilled.
Have you seen any examples that I should have included? Feel free to let me know!