When we came across the beautiful picture book À La Sieste! (Naptime!) by Iris de Moüy, we knew we had to bring it to an English audience. But there are lots of things that go into making a picture book that the average reader might not think about. In the case of Naptime!, all the text in the book was hand-lettered to match the illustrations. We knew that to make the English translation as beautiful as the French version, we had to hand-letter our text too.
Groundwood Art Director Michael Solomon was up to the task. He let us document the process, and gave us some insight into his thoughts. Have a look!
I’m about to attempt the English lettering for our edition of Iris de Moüy’s Naptime!. The text will print as a greyscale layer in the final production, and I wanted to match the dark and light tones of the original as much as possible (it’s not a solid black). I assumed I would need to use a transparent coloured ink or watercolour, but I couldn’t find any that were dark enough or that pooled the pigment in the right way. Finally I settled on this Windsor and Newton India: less black than Pelikan but strong enough in the heavy strokes and then yielding a nice grey when the brush runs dry or the pressure is less. Perfection! (The ink, not me).
The original. Ours will be a conventional jacketed picture book, not a board book. But it will print in these four yummy spot inks.
I am going to need complete silence.
The weapon of choice.
Silence, I say! Mmmm… smooth white card stock…
I’m lying. I want to have a nap. Right now.
Excess feathering and other irregularities: Photoshop will see to that!
Destination: page 5
And the final result!