Alphabet Road Trip | the blog of Iskra Design

Design Brief: Custom Typography, Clearly Handcrafted. In a Hurry.

Identity design for packaging can be creative and exciting work, as long as you don’t allow yourself to be attached to a final product. Probably 90% of ideas generated for packaging are never used. It is an exacting process with many rounds of negotiations between creative, marketing, and client. In spite of the fact that so much of the effort goes purely into development, it is often my best work. There are always puzzles to solve, and the teams of people involved are smart and fun and don’t hesitate to offer me a challenge. This was a rush project done mostly in one day. If it had gone further the curves and edges would have been finessed except for the rustic version, which is intentionally rough.

typographic reference for logo project

Custom Rustic typography by Iskra Designhand lettered logotypes finessing details for legibility, by Iskra Design

expressive calligraphy by Iskra


Hand lettered typography by Iskra, process case study by Iskra


Hand lettered typography case study by iskra



This last version was my favorite. It might not read easily from ten miles away, but it makes the most of some limited options for ligatures. I am not a fan of what I call the “dental floss school of lettering,” in which every wild and frivolous opportunity to make a flourish is followed, at the expense of being able to make sense of the words. It is rare to get an arrangement of letters where the forms will gracefully interlock. Most letters are lazy: they’d rather sit proud in their natural, beautifully proportioned forms, and as a designer I never want them to look like they are working hard to make a relationship. In this case, particularly, the name feels like it has dignity. It may be high proof, but it’s sober.

As mentioned in the intro, in packaging many are offered, but few survive. Nonetheless, a great chance to work with lovely letters. You can see more snapshots of work in progress on Instagram or Facebook.