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.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Hand Lettered Illustrations for Nebianax plus Journaling Addict

I was excited to work on this challenging job for Mass Agency, creating hand lettered illustrations for a brochure for Nebianax, a new treatment for Cystic Fibrosis.

Attention to detail and constant revision helped me build up a series of word as image illustrations to get across the problems related to the illness. 

The restricted colour palette and clean design work well as a foil to the intricately expressive imagery. You can see the rest of illustrations, along with a larger detail view, on my portfolio.

Journaling Addict

Since the beginning of year, I've been enjoying playing around with imagery in a series of journals, which I post sporadically on my dedicated RR Mapmaker FB and IG pages. A chance to flex my hand skills and experiment with new media, it's great fun and an opportunity to hook up with people with similar interests. Head over to my online accounts if you'd like to see more of the work ...

Monday, 30 January 2017

Ruth Rowland Mapmaker - Equality Map for National Parks Magazine

It was a privilege to be asked to create a map by the National Parks Conservation Association.

Remembering Birmingham's Fight for Equality was a difficult subject to illustrate but a rewarding one. With the help of the Art Director, I researched the key elements that were to make up the illustration and thought about how I could approach the subject of the proposed Alabama site.

My first thoughts were of the colour palette, I decided to keep this muted, to reflect the serious nature of the subject but still light enough to suggest the positive outcome of the struggle leading Read on ...

Ruth Rowland Mapmaker

The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have added the descriptor Mapmaker alongside Lettering Artist on my website. I’ve always enjoyed working on maps, so much so, that this year I have enrolled in a course at the British Library to explore their fabulous collection and study the whole concept of maps, from the most literal to the more cerebral.

So far it’s been fascinating and I look forward to sharing my discoveries with you. In the meantime, I’ve set up dedicated Facebook and Instagram accounts focusing on my interest in maps, travel journaling and illustration. If this is something that interests you then head over and follow my journey. 

If you think you have an interesting map-related project, whether it’s mapping a journey, an event or an idea, feel free to get in touch, I’d be happy to talk it through. You can browse more examples of my work in the maps folder on my website.


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Meadowhall & Gloucester Quays Christmas lettering but most importantly, naughty or nice?

I was delighted when Ledgard Jepson asked me to develop some lettering for British Land’s extensive indoor shopping centre in Sheffield, UK.

With 25 years experience of working with market-leading brands, Jepson Ledgard has designed an eye-catching series of campaigns to showcase the centre’s many attractions. With an eye for detail as well as the big picture, the creative team suggested bespoke lettering with a loose and contemporary feel, to complement the fresh photography and stylish designs across the site.

It’s always encouraging when a client understands a designer’s creative vision and the result has been a series of stylish campaigns, marking Meadowhall out as a premium shopping centre.

You can see the heart-warming Christmas campaign Read on ...

Christmas Lettering for Gloucester Quays

It was great to be asked by FKC London to work on their Christmas campaign lettering, Experience More Magic, for Gloucester Quays this year.

The brief was to create lettering that was stylish and contemporary with a festive feel. I focused on crisp Didone letterforms combined with celebratory stars and flourishes to add some magical Read on ...

And Last but Not Least ...

Today is my last day in the studio before Christmas, I'm back at the drawing board in the New Year on the 3rd January. 

A big thank you to all people I've worked with this year, I've had some fabulous jobs and I look forward to teaming up with you again next year. If we haven't worked together yet but you'd like to - please feel free to email me with you thoughts on potential projects.

So, the big question - have you been naughty or nice? However your year has been, I hope you're at the top of Santa's list ...
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Lettering for Kate Bush's Live Album - Before the Dawn

I was thrilled to be asked to work on the new album lettering for long-time musical hero, Kate Bush.

Before The Dawn was recorded during the extraordinary run of 22 shows performed by Kate at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, 2014 and released November 2016.

Earlier in the year, I was asked by renowned music industry designers, Stuart Crouch Creative, to develop a range of hand lettering to work with the CD cover photography and inner booklet pages. I immediately immersed myself in Kate Bush’s music, from the early albums that influenced my teenage years to the latest magical performances from the 2014 shows.

I decided to develop some loose brush work, not too formal but still legible with a striated, textural ebb and flow that complemented the richly-coloured photography taken from the showRead on ...

Limited Editions Prints

I've added a small selection of limited edition prints to my site.

Seen here is Cathy Print - an evocative quote taken from Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Cathy's heartfelt words as she yearns for the days of her youth spent with Heathcliff on the moors. 

One of the perks of my job is being able to play music in the studio, so you can easily imagine what was playing while I was working on this piece ...

Friday, 28 October 2016

Lettering for Simple Minds Acoustic Album

It was great to be asked to continue my work for Simple Minds with some lettering on their latest album, Acoustic.

Taking the acoustic guitar as inspiration for the album design, Stuart Crouch Creative asked me to create the track list in a combination of scratched and marker lettering styles, harking back to the punk era. Read on ...

I was delighted to see the mesmerising videos created by Able Media using my lettering. There are five videos, focusing on different tracks on the album. Here's the lead single, featuring a collaboration with KT Tunstall. 

There’s just something magical about watching the lettering create itself ...

Happy Halloween!

It's that time of year again, I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a bit more hairy lettering to celebrate Halloween - hope you all have a scarily great time!

If this makes you smile, you can see more of my ballpoint pen sketches on Instagram.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Hold Fast to Dreams Lettering for Scholastic Scope Magazine & Pinterest Update

It was great to work on this project about American poet and social activist, Langston Hughes for Scholastic's Scope, The Language Arts Magazine. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City and this short play is an introduction to his life and poetry for students to read aloud in class.

The title for the piece, Hold Fast to Dreams, a quote from one of his poems, is drawn in a loose, fresh, brush style Read On ...

Online Update: Pinterest

I’ve just set up a folder of lettering sketches on Pinterest. It’s an eclectic mix of pages from my sketchbooks, featuring ongoing obsessions and late night scribblings. Head over there to take a look if you'd like to see some of what’s going on behind the scenes in the studio ...