Tea Patterns & Lettering
My lettering work naturally gravitates towards a more illustrative approach. I like to surround the text with related imagery or enclose pictures within words. For this project, I wanted to explore ideas where the lettering took a backseat, allowing the illustrations to become the focus.
I read an article saying that tea drinking is in decline in England and, as someone fuelled by tea rather than coffee, I thought I would show some solidarity with the beverage. Eventually though, the fruitier blends offered more scope to play with ideas rather than my usual builders' tea.
When blending illustration and lettering I find it best if the imagery adheres to a simple pattern, usually involving some symmetry. William Morris advised that “structure is a wall against vagueness” and with this in mind, the overall designs follow an underlying grid.
Principles that I normally apply to my type design, such as rhythm, uniformity and clarity and various sizes all play a part. Indeed, most of the imagery was drawn using the same process and tools as I use for designing type.
I’ve aimed to simplify all the shapes and avoid the curls and swirls or 'over-abundant embellishments’ as described in Steven Heller’s article Cult of the squiggly.