Jack Standbridge

On Refining Pieces (Feeling Good)

So in the process of lettering, producing pieces isn’t the only thing to do. Sometimes it’s necessary to revisit older pieces, or just work on them over an extended period of time. This week, I wanted to share with you an example of a piece that I have taken a little further than the old ink-on-the-page stage. The Feeling Good ambigram I produced several weeks ago was a hit on Instagram, getting featured by several popular typography curation accounts, and it was something that I wanted to develop a little bit more by taking it into a digital setting.

Here you can see the result of the vectorisation process, which is a stage that is used to iron out all of the little inconsistencies that occur when producing something by hand. Of course, some letterers make these inconsistencies part of their style, and see it as the appeal of hand lettering, and while that can work for some, and certainly fills a particular niche in the design world, my style is one that focuses on precision and high quality, robust letterforms that will function well at all sizes, display a high level of consistency across the board and survive the test of time.

The great thing about taking an ambigram into a digital setting is that once you have refined the letterforms on one half of it, it’s simply a matter of flipping the design to create the other half, ensuring absolute consistency across the design. This piece was always almost mathematical in its approach, even when it was still just ink on paper. The exact curves of the G/D combination in the ambigram are taken from the perfect circle and oval of the O’s between them. The ovals in the Copperplate letterforms are all informed by the same geometric shape, which has been refined in this digital version of the piece, conforming precisely to an exact standard.

Here’s a little look into what happens under the surface, where you can see what goes on with the manipulation of Bezier handles:

Going forward, my goal is to steadily accumulate more of my pieces in digital versions that will be ready for production as letterpress prints, posters, or t-shirts, depending on what seems most appropriate for each piece. If you’re interested in owning a copy of this piece, then the chances are that you may see it become available in the future. Then you, too, can feel good, no matter which way up you are!