Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Easy as A-B-C

Letters/typeface have been having their moment in design for a while now. In small doses I think the effect can be very graphic and modern; however, when used in abundance, I think it can start to look like you've gone a bit nutty with a label-maker. That being said, I think the trend does work very well in a child's space as it merges nicely with a parent's impulse to plaster his or her offspring's name all over the nursery. [For an example of someone successfully pulling this off in a modern nursery, see domino's November 2008 spread on Jenna Lyons' home here.]

By embedding the child's name into a jumble of letters, MadebyGirl's ABC posters puts a fresh spin on the practice. What's particularly great about these posters is the level of personalization: you're not just limited to selecting your child's name, you have the option of selecting from several colorways or customizing your own, and the poster comes in three sizes to fit your space. Prices range from $50 to $65, depending on the size, which seems imminently reasonable for customized artwork of this size.

Here are two examples I threw together using her website for two of my favorite people under the age of 5:

I love how graphic and colorful these posters are and how they manage to tow the line successfully between cute but not cutesy. I think they would also have a lot more longevity than most children's art. There's nothing "nursery" about these prints and they could easily work in a tween room provided the color scheme isn't too sweet and is a lot more appealing to parents (I'd imagine) than a poster of Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers or whatever else that "kids these days" are into. Goodness, I feel so out of touch.

While writing this post this morning I found (via decor8) the new-to-me British design team of Bold & Noble and I absolutely love these two screenprints for children's spaces:

Birds A-Z (£30)
Alphabot (£30)
Love, love, love the hot pink. It'd be such a nice departure from pale pink in a little girl's room, don't you think? And I think the Alphabot (cute pun) is such a creative take on the lettering trend for a boy's room. In addition to the two shown above, I love their Ark (as in Noah's) print as well, which resembles German folk art.

And while I readily acknowledge that these last two prints have been around for a while (and featured in numerous magazines and blogs), I don't think a post on hip and modern alphabet nursery art would be complete without the posters made by
Binth and Tara Hogan, each of which has a great retro vibe in colors that are a nice departure from the standard baby's room.

Binth Alphabet Poster ($85)

I remember seeing this poster in an old issue of Blueprint (RIP) and loving it then. I think this color scheme or orange and pale blue would be so lovely and unique in a boy's room. It would coordinate perfectly with Serena & Lily's Ben collection. [Side note: I swear that I'm not stalking nursery catalogues -- Serena & Lily's just happened to show up at my house a few months ago and all the furniture, bedding and accessories were so lovely and so well-designed that I couldn't help but bookmark them.] Binth also makes single letter 5"x5" prints available in this style and I think it would be really fun to spell out your child's name with them -- unless of course your child's name is Sebastian, in which it wouldn't very economical at $24 a letter.

Animal A-Z Poster ($45)

Tara Hogan's work (particularly her letterpress) is just so lovely and well designed and I think the soothing colors and style are particularly appropriate for a child's space. Love it.


Patch said...

Have you seen "Helvetica"? If not, Netflix it -- I think you'd love it!

Averill said...

I haven't! I'll have to check it out! I also need to get around to actually signing up for Netflix (I know...I'm so behind).

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