LOVE | Skillshare Projects

Melissa Iwai

Children's Book Illustrator and Author




Today I went into Manhattan with my son and husband to see an exhibit at the New York Public Library and have lunch with our niece and nephew.  My phone died along the way, but here are some of the photos I took of different typestyles that appealed to me:

1. I love the vintage Humpty Dumpty poster and the carnival feel.  This was a piece in the exhibit, The ABCs of Children's Literature.  

2.  This is a label of Rogue Ale.  I took it mainly because the guy on the label looks exactly like my husband which we thought was hysterical, but I also like the pairing of the curved type face and the "guerilla" -esque red lettering with the star in the "O".

3.  I saw a bunch of book covers at the library.  This is a version of the Brother's Grimm fairy tales.  I love the vine and leaves pattern and how it complements the title.

4.  This is a luncheonette we passed -- we would have eaten there, but we had made previous plans.  It looks so inviting and cozy -- it reads "comfort food" to me.

5.  This is a redesigned cover of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory done by Brunetti, one of my favorite illustrators.  In this case, I'm not sure I like it though, as to me, it doesn't communicate the feeling of the story -- it looks too modern to me.

6.  This is another version of The Wizard of Oz.  The handlettering has a nice quality to it, and in this case, I think it goes well with the story.  

7.  Houston Hall, I think is a rib place on Houston St.  --- it sure smelled good!  I like the western feel of the type -- simple and bold and easy to read.  

8.  Sorry about the flash here!  This typeface I love-- it is on a pouch they were selling at the gift shop.  It looks retro yet modern to me.  I like the shape of the "o"s.

9.  "We Fight" is from a poster on Aids activism.  The colors and the lettering harken back to the ones from the 80s that I remember.

It was fun to look for interesting type that stood out to me and really think about them-- what they were used for, why I liked them, etc.  

Here are the ten words and the typefaces that I chose for them:

This was also a fun exercise.  I downloaded some free fonts from, but for some reason not all of them are showing up in Illustrator and Photoshop, so I'm not sure what that's about...  

Looking forward to more exercises and doing the assignment!


January 8, 2014

I got distracted, but comitted to finishing the lessons!
Here is the assignment for the unit on brands.  I chose Maile brand mustard.  I like the combination of the script font, Honey Dijon, with the "French" looking "MAILE" type. The seal in combination with "Paris" and "Dijon" certainly has a Classic and Traditional feel. That, along with the year communicates that it is an old, established brand.  

I saw this brand while doing research for a book I'm illustrating.  I thought it was hilarious.

Sorry about the blurriness. 

The type treatment isn't that interesting, but it does communicate "strong".  But the illustration does more -- I thought it was funny for a putty container.  All the other ones were very boring looking.

Lastly, I love these new ginger mints found at Trader Joe's!  I always enjoy looking at their hand painted signage all over the store too.

I think they were going for an "Altoids" look.  The color is softer though.  Actually I don't think the pink and red communicate "ginger".  I would think an ochre or tan maybe with some olive touches would have been better.

I just realized I was describing Chimes ginger chews. lol

January 9, 2014

I did the copying letterforms exercise.  It was really good to do it, because I am also studying hand lettering, and it was good practice for seeing how weight works in letters.  I was using a 3B soft pencil, so it's not as accurate as it could've been, but I got a lot of out of the exercise.

January 10, 2014

I made my initials while I was making a snack for my son and his two friends today after school:  

Tuscan bread with Earth Balance and cinnamon sugar.  Then we ate it.

I also had fun (tried to get the troops to do it with me, but they wanted to play Minecraft instead) making my own font with

But then when I tried to print it, the font disappeared from Word!  Then when I looked in Photoshop, it wouldn't work there either.  Is there a time limit on these fonts?????  I was about 2 hours after I had created it.  Has anyone else had this happen?  The font is still visible in my font folder.  Very weird!

January 12, 2014

I realized I never did the kerning exercise.  Here it is:

I was very bad at the Kern Me game.  Do you think this looks OK?

I was able to figure out my Myscriptfont problem, and now they work fine.  My son made his own font as well, called 3rd Grade Math HW.  He has gotten into lettering in the past year when our designer friend gave him Draw Your Own Alphabets.  

It's SUPPOSED to look messy and "wrong" because it's 3rd Grade -- he's in 4th grade. 

January 25, 2014

Ugh, it's been so long because I have hit a wall.  Very confused about type and layout.  So I've been doing more research and trying to learn more about type. I find when I'm faced with a blank page, I don't really know where to start.  So tonight I just got my feet wet and just started to try out different fonts and play around on the computer, rather than analyze it to death.  But it was hard going -- I wasn't liking anything.  Here is one of my first attempts:

Very clunky, I know...  

Here is another one:

I thought maybe I could draw a shape like a Hershey's kiss and have the type fit inside maybe....

Here is another one -- I liked this one better, so I added a background.

I will play around a little more. I was thinking of trying out hand lettering as well.  

February 1, 2014

I've been playing around with hand lettering and vectoring it.  I think I am going to make an illustrated card with this sample.  I still have to create the illustration...

February 5, 2014

I finally finished my card and wrapping paper for the Valentine's Day Challenge!


Bunny Love wrapping paper:


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