Animal Wood Blocks

When I take my portfolio to designers they often refer to my handcrafted work as being refreshing and a joy to behold. My guess is it's a relief from graphics and illustrations generated digitally. In truth although much of my work begins as a drawing it nearly always relies on the computer at some stage in its development. So I tend to see it as a tool in the box rather than the source of my creativity. 
This job relies on the combination of both.

In colaboration with Kelvyn Smith at Mr Smith's Rules, a Letterpress workshop, Jim Sutherland had already made some very nice prints. His next idea was to make a book based on animals and the noises they make, but mixing them up, so the elephant goes EEK! Jim asked me to design the animals he'd chosen and we had them laser cut from wood to the depth of standard traditional type. This meant they could be inked and printed alongside the letter type noises. 

When the drawings were finished I traced them in pen and scanned them to make a vector illustration. I do this as it gives me a little more control over the line. With size details the typecutter can then work from a pdf of the images to create the 3D pieces.
When they've been printed several times the animals look like any other piece of type.

Here are a few of the proofs in laid out in the workshop:

Jim's book is still in production.

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