Type Tuesday: Alphabeasties

Alphabeasties is a new book illustrated and designed by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss of Werner Design Werks. The initial concept for the illustrations began as “The Wonderful World of Typology”, an animal kingdom made of letters that was used for a promotion for the Type Directors Club’s annual competition poster. Sharon explains what happened next:

“The TDC mailed about 25,000 posters and within a day or two, to our surprise, we received two calls from different publishers saying this would make a great children's book. Would we be interested in writing a children's book based on these animals?

Our first response was "we're not authors" and certainly not children's book authors, we're graphic designers. But as we thought it through, we warmed up to the idea. So we decided to give it a try. We did some initial layouts that in hindsight we realize were too clean, spare and far too sophisticated for a children's book and just not very engaging. The publisher pushed us to make them more fun and playful. We went back with a few revised sample spreads and they said "great! ...now do rest of the alphabet."

The entire book from beginning to end took just under 4 months to get to press. We are currently working on a set of flashcards and an activity book to accompany the book.”

The first printing of the book is already out of stock, but a second printing is in the works. I’ve ordered some for the shop and I look forward to seeing the publication in person. The foldout sections look fun and I love the end papers!