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Sea of Poppies Drop Cap

I'm starting with the book Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh. It is the first book in a trilogy (still yet unfinished), a historical fiction that focuses on the opium triangle trade between India, the Mauritus islands, and China. 

I chose this book because of the extensive character development. They are all linked through the opium trade in different ways, and all come from different backgrounds, showing how this trade really affected so many different groups of people. 

In addition the writing is very visual and descriptive, which I thought would be useful for this project.

So far the common thread I have found has been how each of these characters, no matter their background or ambitions, race or status, wealth or poverty, skill or none, is linked to each other through the opium trade. In that sense, they all become like poppies in a field, linked together by their common use.

I think that's going to be the heart of how I create this drop cap; that each character will be represented by a poppy, and all will be interlinked to create the letterform. 

Typographically I am torn between two style; as this occurs in the mid-1800s it seems natural to start with a serif typeface of that era, but much of this book centers around the ship that takes the characters from India to Maruitus islands to China, and on those ships the logs were usually kept with a version of Copperplate script written out by the first or second mate (or the captain), so that might be an option as well. 

I'll post sketches / notes soon.

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