Last Saturday was the typography workshop that Lisa Kirkham and I ran for SCBWI members. After a hairy drive through central London, when my Tom Tom lost the plot at a critical moment, sending me the wrong way up various one-way streets and landing me in a bus lane - we arrived at a very peaceful venue in a secluded church building. The group was a talented one and we had a great discussion about the typographic design of the books we'd all brought along - admiring Charlotte's Voake's hand done typeface and the way Emily Gravett's hand written text in Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears was very much part of the illustration.
There's a lot of typographic fun and games going on in picture books today. We loved the girly type whenever 'girl pirates' were mentioned in The Night Pirates by Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright
and it was interesting seeing things from a professional typographer's point of view. Lisa is always thinking in terms of the movement of the reading eye; she spotted that 'Up, up up' on this page was in fact going down the page despite the decreasing size of each 'up' creating the perspective of going up.
We found some books where the typographic design was over - the -top and didn't appear to have evolved with the image and text instead was arbitarily placed on the page.
The workshop ended with a hands -on activity and then looking at the dummies people had brought along where a lot of thought had gone into the placement of text and image and the creative use of typeface .