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A Room Without Books

Oct. 25

A room without books is like a body without a soul. - Marcus Cicero

I grew up in a house that had books in almost every room, stacked on tables and lined up on shelves. Many bookcases were built into nooks and crannies to hold our ever-growing collections. So when I first heard this quote, I always thought I'd like to do a project with it. I'm a little nervous about it's length since I'm new to hand-lettering, but we'll see how it goes I guess.

Here's my intial brainstorming list:

At first I was imagining doing something really architectural, kind of in the vein of the library in Beauty & the Beast (a formative influence) - borrowing visual elements from arches, columns, tall tall book cases with ladders and sweeping metal railings.

But I realized that doesn't really describe my experience with rooms full of books and it doesn't quite have the cozy, comforting feeling I want to create.

So I starting looking at cottage bookshops and thinking about the lovely chaos and clutter of stacks and stacks of books, curling up with a cup of tea, earthy tones, and so on.

Which reminded me a little bit of Marc Giai-Miniet's dollhouses.

In terms of lettering inspiration, I looked at book covers of classics. Some vintage and some modern (but vintage inspired), like these book covers by Jessica Hische.

I also was looking at patterned end papers, how you sit when you read a book, the actual stitching that goes into book binding, and also thinking about showing the books from different perspectives - like from edge instead of the spine.

And that's where I'm at right now .. I'm not sure if I'm pulling from enough varied places or if I even have a completely cohesive concept in mind, but it's a start.

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