James T. Edmondson / Type & Lettering

Hattery

I worked with the fine designers at Hattery to create their hand-lettered logotype, as well as a custom typeface for their branding.

When we started work, the team was still in the finishing stages of deciding what the brand actually was, so the initial exploration was extremely vast. The company was designing and building their new workspace, so every time I went over there for a meeting, there was some new development to check out. The construction on their studio was happening in tandem with the construction on the logo, and everything started coming together in this weird, poetic, and sort of beautiful way.

The superb attention to detail from the designers at Hattery is worth mentioning. We talked a long long time about kerning, as that double T proved to be one tricky S.O.B.

The logo that we landed on actually came along very early in the process. It was based on some lettering I found in a Currier & Ives book of illustrations my father gave me, and did a good job evoking the feeling of craftsmanship and quality. The forms are incredibly rigid in overall appearance, but close inspection reveals each corner is just barely rounded off.

Hattery Script

The typeface was a whole other beast, and also took a while to get nailed down. In the end, I reworked Wisdom Script to lean back on a less severe incline, and maintain lower contrast throughout.

To get connections happening smoothly in a somewhat bold script—without having clunky areas where the joints occur—is a challenge. To aid in this, I broke the lowercase alphabet into three groups.

  1. Letters with straight left sides (like h, n, or m).
  2. Letters with curved left sides (like a, c, or d).
  3. Letters with left sides that started higher up (like r, s, or v).

Then I created a lowercase alphabet designed to flow nicely into all three of those types of letters. I created one more lowercase alphabet or letters that were designed to finish a word.

With some help from OpenType, everything connects beautifully.


For more information on this work, you can watch this video. Photography by Dan Schwartzbaum and James Buyayo.


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This was one of those projects where you learn how to go fast.

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Character set for Hattery Script

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Animation showing the four different types of letters.

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Sign by Wood Thumb.