Alphabet Road Trip | the blog of Iskra Design

About Alphabet Roadtrip

Welcome to Alphabet Roadtrip, the blog of Iskra Design. Alphabet Roadtrip is a hybrid of design and fine art. Here you will find my newest work in design and lettering, process notes, and writing on the subjects of design and visual culture. To see my work please visit the portfolios in the navigation menu above. If you are already a fan of Alphabet Roadtrip you may have saved links from my old website. This is the NEW(!) site. Please do update your bookmarks so we don’t lose touch.

 

New Inspirational Quotes from Iskra: Be Happy Why Don’tcha?

If like me you have been reading and watching news obsessively for far too many months, you may want to go rogue for a minute and just think about pleasure. Cake, for instance. Maybe you are planning your wedding, or someone else’s. Maybe all you want to think about is frosting, and satin kitten heels, and how many bubbles you can fit in a champagne flute before it just becomes air. Maybe you want to feel giddy and strew ribbons around the room and you don’t want anybody telling you otherwise.

I stumbled upon this wonderful quote by Nigella Lawson and it made me unreasonably happy. Experimenting here with new styles of calligraphy and hand lettering and lots of color. Yum.

 

Iskra quotation calligraphy Guilt and pleasure

Pleasure the British way, dapper and a bit buttoned down.

Nigella Lawson calligraphy quote by Iskra

Or maybe better in French? Luxurious. Plush. Of course if you are going to obsess about cake, that leads inevitably to champagne, and going a little bit crazy with pink.

Iskra-Calligraphy-Poster

 

Drink champagne and dance all night calligraphy by Iskra

 

Champagne and dancing quote by iskra

There are so many ways to work with color in custom lettering design. Each color twist gives a different feeling to the words, elegant, playful, a cheap date or something luxe. It’s all in the subtle detail.

More new work in the pipeline, coming soon! To see the latest you can always follow me on Instagram, or Facebook. Drop me a note if you have a project in mind.

 

“The Things We Love” Watercolor Calligraphy and Illustration

A recent illustration and calligraphy project for the Washington Post. I was given a general direction and a list of images to work with, some of which were more workable in my watercolor style than others. The gummy bear, rubber spoon, and trivet were a little bit tricky. Here is the evolution of the process.

iskra design watercolor calligraphy valentine

Iskra Design Watercolor calligraphy

Iskra Calligraphy and icon illustration

Iskra Calligraphy and watercolor

 

 

 

Iskra WAPO calligraphy Illustration

To see more watercolor calligraphy and illustration take a look at my expressive watercolor calligraphy and lettering portfolios.

 

The New Workbook Portfolio Design | Iskra Design Calligraphic Icons & Logos

I am excited to see big changes at The Workbook, where I have been part of the illustration and design community for many years. They have just launched a dramatic redesign of their online portfolios, and I am very impressed. Take a peek at my portfolios at Workbook.com.

Here are a few pages of icon designs I put together for my new portfolios that show how calligraphic thinking can lead to unique ways of looking at archetypal symbols.

 

butterfly icon by Iskra

 

butterfly icon process by iskra

 

Above, a small part of one of my favorite projects, created for Neiman Marcus for their spring fashion catalog. Each butterfly represents a different personal style of fashion.

treble clef icon designs by iskra

When I created a logo for the University of Washington School of Music I did probably 50+ variations on the treble clef. This is one of my favorites, in a set that mixes colorways and media to evoke the experience of music.

 

Panda icnon development by Iskra

 

How many times have you seen a cute panda logo?? There are still new ways to visit this little guy. Some of the many approaches I did with sumi ink, showing how personality and a unique line quality can revive a familiar symbol.

 

iskra design icon process for seahorse identity

 

This client had a last name starting with S, and a passion for seahorses. These are some of the different ways I looked at incorporating the two elements.

 

These days when virtually all design and illustration portfolios are shown online, having a beautiful platform to show work in-depth is essential. The platform itself can inspire new ways of thinking. I can’t wait to see how designers and creative directors respond to the new Workbook design.