Phillip Pullman - Northern Lights | Skillshare Projects



Phillip Pullman - Northern Lights

Hi all!

Here us my project that I'm starting for Lettering for Designers: One Drop Cap Letterform at a Time. I've chosen my book which is Phillip Pullman - Northern Lights, one of my favourite books which is unique for being the first 'childrens' book to win the Whitbread Prize.

I've started sketching out some words and creative ideas based around the story, which is based around a young girl called Lyra who goes on an adventure from Oxford, England, all the way to the far artic North to find her friend Roger who has disapeared. It is a magical tale full set in a different world to ours, but is fundamentally a story around the fight between good/evil and religion/reason.

The letter I'm using is P for Pullman, and my initial ideas are around using the empty space where the P sits in order to illustrate a part of the story i.e. a compass face, or a ballloon.

Below are my initial (albeit it wonky/terrible) sketches, so feel free to have a look and let me know if you have any feedback :)



Next couple of attemps, tried a few more styles that incorporate the snow and wintery conditions that occur in the second half of the book when Lyra journeys to the north on the Gypys's canal boat and eventually via a hot air balloon.

Tried some flat versions, then some slightly 3-D versions. The P shape is becoming more of a stationary object on which the iconography of the book are wrapped around.


This version is a combination of the two ideas, the Altheomtetr in the centre of the P and the stationary object on which the story revolves around.

I've used the stem of the P to illustrate the winters night sky which then moves across.

Next step is to turn this digital and see how it turns out!


Getting towards the sembelance of a final image now, although I feel like I'm meddling too much with the details... Using inspiration from Norways passport re-design and the work of M.S. Corley who also redesigned the cover for the Northern Lights. 

The design is effectively a scene in the book where the protagonists fly a hot air baloon through the night sky to fly to a fortress hidden in the moutains. I've added the northern lights detail and have used graphical lines to indicate the differetn waves of light.

I've yet to add the final piece which is the altheomtere detail in the middle of the P to make the shape, so I'll be working on this next. 


So after a final critique I decided to make this a Serif Font that was more in keeping with the traditional and imaginative prose of the book. I also decided against using an althemoter in the circle of the P based on my original designs as I felt this would complicate the clean aesthetic of the illustrattion.

Added the text and cleaned up some of the snow globes around the moutains and the northern lights so that they appear against a pure black backround.

Overall I'm happy with the final outcome but would love to know what you all think :)



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