Design Inspiration: 5 Examples of Clever Lettering in Illustration

Handling type in an interesting and appropriate manner is a crucial part of what designers do. Combining lettering and illustration into one piece effectively and legibly can be a tough job, but I think well integrated text can truly yield some of the most playful and clever results. Here I’ve compiled some of my favourite examples of illustrators, studios and projects that I think handle type in a fun, inspiring way.

Kate Prior

I came across Kate Prior’s work last semester when I was doing some research for an event poster I was making for my illustration class. I was so inspired by the way that all of the information displayed on her posters is consistently integrated into the scene that she has created. None of her text is placed arbitrarily. Information is illustrated on things like packaging, and signage that exist within the vibrant, brightly coloured world of her posters. A lot of her work includes posters for bands and events but she has also done advertisements for large companies like Urban Outfitters.



Jessica Hische

Lettering artist Jessica Hische has gained a lot of attention and success for her beautiful ornate lettering and her clever, illustrative designs. Above are two editorial works of hers that are both favourites of mine for each of their unique interpretations of the concept of summer reading.


Landland Studio

Landland is an American screen printing studio run by Dan Black and Jessica Seamans. Their work includes mostly band posters featuring architectural illustrations in which names and information are often displayed as signage. The tour poster above to the left first caught my eye at a show because of its gorgeous use of texture, limited colour and interesting integration of typography.


Thomas Burden

Thomas Burden is an illustrator that works with 3D rendering and animation (he’s even done some cool tutorials on the subject over here). His work features a lot of vibrant colours and use of type that resembles neon signs. Above are some examples of his book cover designs and editorial work.


The 36 Days of Type Project

The 36 Days of Type Project challenges designers and illustrators to create a unique design for a letter or number every day for 36 days and share their creations through social media. The results can be unique and inspiring with each letter encompassing it’s very own story, theme or mood. Above are a couple of my favourites that I’ve come across. The letters on the far left were created Lena La Ballena, a designer and illustrator based in the Dominican Republic, and the letters on the right were made by illustrator Laura Mariscal from Spain.


Type and illustration are both powerful tools for communication and their messages can become more powerful when combined well. I hope you found this post inspiring!

Thanks for reading!