Postcards from Asbury Park (part one)

Continuing with the previous post on lettering (More on Lettering and Calligraphy), I promised to give some examples of how the draft versions of the Sickel lettering might be used with some of my photos from the Asbury Park photo walk. I decided I would develop a series of postcards, and see which I liked best. Here’s the first example:

The reflection effect was mostly based on an article by Corey Barker in the March 2010 issue of Photoshop User magazine. It involves adding a gradient to the lettering, then duplicating and flippling the duplicate layer to get the reflection, and masking and blending the “reflection” to allow it to blend into the water and disappear as the reflection gets further from the main title. I added the trick of distorting the reflection so that the reflection widens as it gets closer to the viewer.

Doing a self-critique here, I think the Sickel design doesn’t work as well as I’d like for this effect, as the descenders in the “y” and “p” cause the main part of the reflection to be too far from the main title. I might want to change the lettering to an all-caps style, or modify my Sickel design to eliminate these descenders if I were really going to use this design.

Comfort and hope

My wife and I are leaders of an adult church school class called Seekers, and this year we asked the class to think about the question “What resources do you turn to in times of trouble?” The class responded by writing about hymns, scriptures, favorite quotations, and personal recollections, and we decided to make these writings into a book that our class members could have as a keepsake.

Never having done a book-making project, we thought we’d probably want to avoid a binding method that required stitching, so we settled on an accordian-fold binding. No calligraphy here except for the cover, as the entire book ran to more than 30 pages, and we needed to make about 15 copies. But I was still pleased with the way it came out – here’s the result:

Comfort and hope books

I learned a couple of things here – first, I did enjoy the bookmaking process. And second, making 15 copies of a book is really time-consuming! For those who like details, the covers were made from chipboard, covered with Canson paper and the cover was then painted and lettered with white gouache. The closure ribbon was inserted between the chipboard and cover paper for the back cover, and threaded through slots cut into the edge of that cover. I’m sure there are other solutions to making a closure – this is just the one we arrived at without knowing what we were doing.

I think Comfort and Hope would be a good theme for a calligraphic piece. What gives you comfort and hope? If you don’t want to comment publicly, please feel free to send me a private e-mail using the Contact page. Let me know, too, if you’d give me permission to use some of your words.