A is for Animal: Showcasing a Typeface in an Illustrated Alphabet Book

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“A is for anteater” and “z is for zebra,” but in James Marsh’s A-Z Book of Animal Verse, every letter of Sanzibar Pro font has an accompanying two-page spread featuring an animal, image and four-line verse. This 60-page book is printed on Colorplan Mist paper and only 150 signed, limited-edition copies are available for purchase.


According to the James Marsh Art & Design website, the book is “designed in the style of a Children’s Book, reflecting the symbiotic nature between verse, font and images” and “the images have been adapted to suit from a Rare, 17th century scrap-album.” The result is an elegant and exotic illustrated look at owls, monkeys and other selected specimens from the animal kingdom.

Prior to publishing a font, It’s standard practice to consider designing banners by way of presenting it online publicly. This stage is where everything comes to fruition; being the first person to test drive it, so to speak, and in the perfect position to gauge critically the fonts true potential.One banner option I considered was in the form of a children’s book. This afterthought sparked the idea of producing a complete alphabet book as a showcase. To this end, I resurrected an unpublished book proposal from my files, which was dusted-off and re-written to suit the illustrations.I made a conscious decision from the outset, that the main focus should be on the font, keeping the imagery secondary. I achieved this by adapting an early, rare scrap album from my private collection to complete this retro styled book concept.



Related Resources:

  1. Typography 101: Letterform Design 1 – Online Workshop

  2. Responsive Typography: Using Type Well on the Web

  3. Culture+Typography: How Culture Affects Typography