Local artist/children's book author, Stephen Savage is teaching a new class at School of Visual Arts called ILLUSTRATE LIKE A DESIGNER. Course description: "These days, artists are expected to wear many hats. That means that Illustrators often are required to act as their own graphic designers and typographers. In this course, we'll hone your design sense in a series of type based assignments: a poster, a logo, a book cover, a tattoo, a sign and a children's book/graphic novel spread. You'll learn how to integrate type and image... and even create your own personal font."
Steve asked me to send him some examples of my art and lettering for his class and give him a brief description about what I think about the subject.
My years of illustrating and designing comix comes from growing up reading comix, a multimedia narrative where image is text, too. In comix, words and titles and sound effects are as important as the art, if not more, in order to insure the clarity of story. In my late teenage years, I studied under the influences of Howard Chaykin and Walter Simonson on American Flagg! and Marvel Comics' Thor (respectively), two comic book creators who worked closely with their letterers, Ken Bruzenak and John Workman, to create a seamless hybrid of art and letters. I consumed the likes of Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, and Will Eisner, especially Eisner, who often turned fonts into landscapes on the splash pages of his Spirit comics. Many of our best cartoonists consider the power and impact of text as image and the subtle magic of proper placement so as keep the reader immersed in story.