Lettering books suitable for children. Recommendations

Justin_Ch's picture

Can anyone recommend books, either instructional or just good reference material for an eight year-old who loves drawing lettering. He is mainly into skate and comic styles, and also likes copying film and TV logos. Both his parents are artists and their home is full of great art books so something big that obviously isn't aimed at children would not daunt him if there was enough pictures.

In terms of reference material some things I am thinking of are:

Books of skateboard graphics.

Comics or graphic novels with particularly interesting intricate lettering but preferably with not too complicated story lines. I'm thinking possibly Will Eisner for those fantastic 3D logos in The Spirit. Also the recent reprints of Krazy Kat with the lovely Chris Ware covers. Sadly the modern editions of Asterix and Tintin he has seem to have replaced a lot of the original hand lettering with digital.

All suggestions welcomed.

hrant's picture

Before you set him in the tired old ways, show him how notan is a superset of lettering. When my older son was about 5 he noticed that I draw letters. When he wanted me to show him how, the first thing I told him was to try to see beyond the illusional "skeletons" of letters. It was much harder for him to draw an outline of an ampersand than merely the linear body of an ampersand, but I hope I planted in him a seed that will one day become a high-reaching beanstalk.

A great little book I recommend is "Notan: The Dark-Light Principle of Design" by D Bothwell.


Jongseong's picture

Hrant—inculcating young minds with the primacy of the notan!

When I was young, I often used papercutting for lettering, cutting out forms of letters out of construction paper to be pasted onto posters and such. The method forces you to think in terms of outlines, not skeletons. Papercutting might not be for the youngest of children, but as they grow older it's worth encouraging, I think.

Justin_Ch's picture

Thanks for the tips. I'm getting the Notan book for myself.

This is for my nephew. I don't see him that often and when I do we don't always have time to draw together but you've both given me ideas for lessons. His interest is not from seeing other people drawing letters but rather from noticing the lettering associated with other things he is interested in, such as skateboards. One of the first logos he liked was the Disney Narnia one with the lion's tail as a swashy leg of the R.

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