Thursday, 28 September 2017

Thirty Days of Digital Lettering & Harry Potter Picturing Magic Course

By Ruth Rowland

JOURNAL: RR LA Facebook . RR LA Instagram . RR LA Twitter . British Library Picturing Magic Course


I've recently invested in a new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and I'm enjoying exploring the array of creative apps available for this impressive mobile device.

As I progress, I've been collating a digital lettering sketchbook and I've decided to share some of the work on social media in the coming month as Thirty Days of Digital Lettering.


Murano Ampersand by Ruth Rowland Lettering Artist

To start off with, I'm experimenting with some of the Adobe Mobile Apps, which are included as part of my Adobe CC subscription. If you're interested in following along, you'll find these digitally hand lettered pieces posted on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts during October (links at top of post). 

Sassy S by Ruth Rowland Lettering Artist

The British Library Harry Potter Picturing Magic Course

I'm excited to have been asked to contribute to the Picturing Magic Course, aligned with the wonderful British Library Exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic. The Course is being led by talented professional illustrator and educator, Sion Ap Tomos with specialist help from myself and creative book binder and printmaker, Shelagh McCarthy


I'll be dropping in on one of the sessions to talk to the students about their approach to annotating their hand bound and illustrated books. Needless to say, I'll also be bringing along an interesting collection of pens and inks to demonstrate the possibilities. It may not be Hogwarts but I'm still hoping to help bring a little magic to the students’ hand lettering …

Lettering on the Harry Potter Picturing Magic Course

If you'd like to join us on the course (link at top of page), there are still a few places available but be quick to sign up as these exclusive classes have limited numbers. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Hand Lettering for Can I Speak to Someone in Charge by Emily Clarkson

By Ruth Rowland

Publishing: Pretty Normal Me l Simon & Schuster 

I was delighted to be asked by publishers, Simon & Schuster to work on a the hand lettered book title for popular blogger, Emily Clarkson, founder of Pretty Normal Me

‘Pretty Normal Me was founded by Em Clarkson to help women be the happiest versions of themselves.’ 


Her new book, Can I Speak to Someone in Charge, is an expansion of the blog. The casual brush lettered title and side copy make for a fresh, dynamic cover and reflect the subjects she discusses in her pertinent posts.

Over the years I've worked on an interesting range of book covers, you can see more of my hand lettered titles and author logos in the publishing folder on my website.

Digital Dalliances

I've been having a lot of fun experimenting with the latest iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Much as I love my pen and ink, it's been interesting to see just how sensitive pixels can be …



If you're interested in how digital brushes compare to conventional ones, I'll be posting further experiments on my Instagram and FB accounts.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bespoke Lettering for the Made in Yorkshire Logo

Logos: Made in Yorkshire I Ledgard Jepson I Ruth Rowland

I always enjoy working on logos, so I was happy when asked by Ledgard Jepson to contribute to their designs for the Made in Yorkshire branding for the Cooper Gallery, Barnsley.


Alongside its regular programme of contemporary art exhibitions and events, the Cooper Gallery features unique and individually made items by talented Yorkshire artists and makers.


Bespoke lettering was the perfect choice for a logo that needed to capture the artisanal nature of the range of products on display, evoking 'the personal touch' for these hand-picked regional artists.

Experimental Brush Calligraphy

If you're interested in abstract mark-making then you may enjoy the orientally-inspired brushwork I'm currently posting on my Instagram and Facebook accounts after attending a recent inspirational workshop.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Lettering for Four Four Two Magazine Messi Issue

It was great fun working on the hand lettering for the July issue of FourFourTwo Magazine with guest editor Messi


The work extended beyond the double cover to the opening article title lettering and can also be seen throughout the magazine in the form of smaller playful notes and jottings.


Guest edited by celebrated footballer, Messi, the design team at FourFourTwo wanted to give the magazine the personal touch with casual handwritten elements to complement the bold design.


As with all magazine work, the timings were tight so I worked closely with the Deputy Art Editor as the copy evolved and the design was finalised, both to the satisfaction of the design team and Messi’s sponsors, Adidas. 
It was a fast and furious job but a satisfying one - plus, I know a lot more about Messi than I did at the start of the project!

If you'd like to see more of my lettering and illustration for magazines, head over to the editorial folder on my portfolio site where you'll see an interesting variety of commissions for different publications.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Latest Welcome Campaign at Heathrow Airport

I have to confess I was pretty psyched to see the wonderful Tim Peake standing in front of my lettering at Heathrow … This is one of a series of large format posters for the latest Heathrow Welcome Campaign featuring my hand lettering. 


The posters can be seen looming large across the walls at the airport’s arrivals and departures areas and is one of the jobs that people tend to mention to me most, normally seen when returning from holiday. 


As with the Tim Peake’s poster, real people rather than models were used and a zoo keeper, a town crier, a Red Arrows pilot and even Santa (yes, he’s real!) amongst others, stand alongside the famous astronaut. See the full set of posters on the advertising page on my portfolio site.


I was commissioned by Chaos Design to create different styles of hand lettering to capture the personalities of the featured people as they welcome travellers to London. 


As you can imagine, the Welcome Campaign at Heathrow Airport is always a great project to work on but the added excitement of Tim Peake's inclusion made it an extra special commission.


Monday, 24 April 2017

Isabelle Broom Book Title Lettering plus Brush Lettering Demonstration

Having worked on the title for Isabelle Broom's debut novel published by Penguin Michael Joseph, I was delighted to be asked to work on more of her books.


Loose brush lettering was chosen to work with the atmospheric background imagery of the first novel, My Map of You and we continued in style with flowing lines and textures to draw the reader in. 


If you're an Isabelle Broom fan, there's more to look forward to, as I'm currently working on the next in the series ...


If you'd like to see more of my book cover lettering, click through to the publishing folder on my portfolio website.


Brush Lettering Demo at the SSI Lay Members' Day, London

I was thrilled to be asked to demonstrate and talk about my lettering work in the graphics industry at the celebrated Society of Scribes and Illuminators' Lay Members' Day on Saturday 29th April, 10am to 1pm. As time is short, I've decided to focus on a couple of my ongoing jobs - Country Living Magazine and Heathrow Welcome Campaign. I'll be bringing along samples of these jobs and a selection of my other work to show and discuss, while demonstrating brush pen lettering.


If you're interested in attending or would just like to see what's on, you can see details on the day's events here. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Spring forward with Country Living plus Paper Mapping

The start of British Summertime means the clocks have gone forward an hour here in the UK, so with lighter evenings and the promise of finer weather, Spring-inspired news seems in order. 


Few magazines do Spring better than Country Living, so here’s an update on some of the work that I’ve been producing during my ongoing project with Country Living over the past year.


If you’re familiar with the magazine, you’ll be used to seeing my tonal watercolour lettering throughout its pages. Designed to work within the page layout, the bespoke brush lettering complements the elegant typography but is still bold enough to sit across a photographic background. The work itself is produced by hand, scanned and dropped onto the page for fine tuning. This kind of attention to detail ensures the lettering perfectly matches the article’s colour palette and remains legible over any background texture.



Aside from pullquotes, I also work on logos related to the magazine. Generally these are looser and more expressive, while still being carefully designed to fit within the space available - a fine balance between freedom and control.


If you’d like to see more of my magazine work, click through to the editorial folder on my website.


Paper Mapping

Since attending a creative mapping course at the British Library earlier this year, I’ve been enjoying exploring handmade books, playing with paper and experimenting with folds - see below my London map fold.


If paper is your thing, you can see more of this experimental work on my Mapmaker FB and Instagram pages.