Alphabet Road Trip | the blog of Iskra Design

Category: Recent Posts

“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.

 

Expressive Calligraphy | Personal Work

Calligraphy and photo collage by iskra design

A Father-Daughter collaboration, calligraphy, photography, watercolor

There are certain phrases and titles of books that I have been going back to for years as a touchstone. Nabokov’s memoir, Speak Memory is one of those. I could design the cover of that book a thousand ways. This version is a personal elegy to my father. Before he became a newspaper reporter he took about eight “art photographs” and put them in a little album which was passed down to me. The flowers are from that album, a tiny little black and white snap from the time of film and sprockets, when dust and scratches made themselves without a filter.

I do adore photocollage, and the infinite ways we can now merge media. Here I have blended my father’s photography with a painting and calligraphy of my own, a script done with a ruling pen and walnut ink. To collaborate in this way is a lovely way to bring someone who is gone back into your life.