I offer a little inspiration today for those considering joining in at the Artlog with the forthcoming exhibition themed to the alphabet, which we’ve called Alphabet Soup. The notion for the exhibition came about when I was regularly posting images from my own Alphabet Primer, and Shellie Byatt suggested that the theme of ‘Alphabets’ might prove to be a popular follow-up open exhibition to the one we did about ‘Maquettes’. You can read the ‘Call for Submissions’ for the alphabet exhibition, HERE. Shellie and another Artlog regular, Lucy Kempton, will be jointly organising and curating the exhibition. I do hope that many of you will unleash your creativity on this little project, and that visitors to the Artlog will be rewarded with exciting new typographies and alphabet primers.
Anita Mills sent me the gift of a book titled Gone Wild: an endangered animal alphabet. It’s by David McLimans and is published by Walker & Company, New York. I’ve taken some photographs of the book to get you thinking about letters in new ways.
U is for Bald-Headed Ukari
M is for Prairie Sphinx Moth
V is for Baluchistan Vole
W is for Ethiopian Wolf
R is for Black Rhinoceros
Endpapers from Gone Wild
They’re fabulous! Designing the letters for the Alphabet Soup project will give it an extra twist…especially for those of us who don’t normally play with typography much. Oh….’T is for typography’…..there’s a thought!
Your’e off and away!
Wondrous! And very exciting to look forward to a full Meso-american alphabet from Leonard…
If Leonard puts the creative vision and skill into the alphabet that he invested in his maquettes, then we’re all in for a big treat!
I appreciate the vote of confidence, I’m fortunate in that Meso-american studios have plenty of themes that begin with the more challenging letters, “Q”, “:Z”, and “x”. Should be fun.
Xoloitzcuintle! ; )
That’s what I mean, your suggestion was not even in the running (: !!!
I was considering Xibalba-the Underworld, Xochipilli- the Flower Prince, but settled upon Xochiquetzal- Flower Quetzal, goddess of female sexual power. Seemed a no brainer!
But thanks for the suggestion, amazing culture to use such a beautiful letter so very often.
Most charming: I think all children enjoy decorating letters, especially of their names, don’t they? It’s a real kid-impulse that I remember clearly.
Definitely. Hence the frequently elaborate ornamentation of names on school exercise books.
Come to think of it, do children even have school exercise books any more? Somehow I doubt it!
Very nice. One of my favourite personal possessions is a copy of Sheffield street artist, Phlegm, beautifully produced ‘Illuminated Alphabet’ –
Phlegm is also responsible for what is perhaps the UK’s most beautiful canal barge…
The alphabet is fantastic. I can quite see why it’s such a treasured possession of yours. And that barge is quite something, too. We’re so accustomed to traditional narrow-boat decoration… roses and suchlike in enamel-colours… that a departure like this is a shock to the eye. Very exciting though.
Fantastic stuff, definitely bookmarked Mister Phlegm.
Me too. Rich and strange!
I would love to hear Tom Hirons and Rima Staines’ perform Russian folk tales by firelight in a abandoned courtyard which has been decorated by Phlegm 🙂
Only if I can be there too! (-;
Very handsome, i have always loved the convention of shaping the letter into a shape, animal, the human form, floral etc. This is very striking, such a fresh spin upon the more familiar Renaissance alphabets. Anita is correct, the moth “M” is particularly handsome.
I’m teasing out my own alphabet ( I will do a complete set) based upon your suggestion of the Meso-world. Undetermined as to whether to follow your primer format, “”M” is for Maize, or the above. Leaning towards the above.
As always, thanks and thanks to your thoughtful friend Anita.
Delighted to hear that you’re going to join in this one Leonard. I think I was following my heart with the ‘A is for…’ model, enjoying the sing-song nursery formula that I have a deep nostalgia for. The ‘decorated’ letter approach employed in Gone Wild is in a great tradition too, so I can see either working for you. This promises to be exciting!
I absolutely love this fellow’s work! I think my favorite letter–only if forced to choose–would be the Sphinx moth “M.” Anyone interested to see more of his work could visit his website:
Be sure to explore the section titled “Sketchbook”… it demonstrates a rare free-ranging creative spirit. I wish I could just cut loose like he does! ; )
I’d originally been alerted to his work at the Animalarium… a wonderful blog… and so I was already an enthusiast when your gift arrived. And yes, that sketchbook is a delight.