31 May 2014



I have really been enjoying my first alphabet for this year's edition of A Letter a Week—aka ALaWproject. In case you missed it and are wondering how these letter-inspired designs came to be, my initial post explaining the link between the non-letter-looking designs & the shapes we traditionally associate with the alphabet can be found here.

The "letters" are now all designed & printed, but will likely have to await assembly until my return from our upcoming summer adventure, which looms almost too soon! At the moment the studio is full cubes as I finish up my Mise en place edition, as well as other items inspired by my ALaW designs, plus calendar pages, etc., for people we'll be visiting.

The sleeves for the letters that I've already posted over the last few monthsassembled & complete with their boxesare shown in the first photo, above. Top to bottom/left to right:
B / O / G
Z / A / L / T
S / E / M

You'll probably notice that very few bear much resemblance to the letter their design is comprised of. In fact, the designs started to get a little too intricate & complex considering the 7x7-cm size called for by the ALaW guidelines (though I find they lend themselves well to other ideas). Some I feel are more successful than others, in terms of the composition & the colors, but I have learned from all of themnot to mention a lot more about working with Adobe Illustrator. I am continuing to explore the possibilities of the designs, and there have been nights lately when I could hardly sleep for the colors & patterns filling my head!


The rest of the photos show the printed strips for the other fifteen letters, with cutting & scoring marks and, in a few cases, some "overrun" of the designs (which will be trimmed). What you are seeing in each strip, from left is right, is: side 'A' of the sleeve / the top / side 'B' / the bottom / an additional "side" that will disappear when it's attached to side 'A'. Though the format for each "letter" is seven centimeters square, I opted to extend/wrap the design around to the sides and/or bottom of the sleeve for many of them.

The designs below are, top to bottom:
I / P / J
I love the 'P', to which I applied a "stamp" filter in Photoshop for one layer of the design. I was thinking of batik as I designed this one... I also really like the simplicity of the 'J', with the deep red imposed over the charcoal...it makes me think of seed pods/plant parts.



Next are, top to bottom:
F / U / C
(Sorry about the rude-sounding letters there—it was purely coincidental.) I quite like the contrast & simplicity of the two colors of the 'U', and would like to try the design in varying color combos. The 'C' was inspired by photos of my niece, Charlotte, when she went strawberry picking this spring.



Below are, top to bottom:
K / W / D
I love the 'W' & will be trying it in a few other colors too. Even though the design element you see actually looks like a 'W', in fact it is multiple 'W's' compressed, overlapping & layered. I like that the design in this case does evoke the letter of which it's made...




Here are, top to bottom:
R / X / N
I love the 'N'though all of the colors in this photo are a bit on the garish side here for some reason.


These are, top to bottom:
H / Q / Y
For 'Q' I was trying to create something with a "lacy" effect, and had to print it several times before there was enough contrast to make out the design (which includes a very subtle all-over background pattern as well...you may be able to see it better by double-clicking the image). I really love the purples & greens of the 'Y'.



So, that's ALaW alphabet #1. Next will be the "Place"-themed alphabet." I'm really looking forward to this one as well, and am using Italo Calvino's Le Città Invisibili (Invisible Cities) as a starting point.

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