Type & Lettering Advent Calendar: Day 8

I co-organised an Advent Calendar for my blog, Type Worship, inviting some of the world’s leading type and lettering designers to submit a custom number for the countdown to Christmas. 

My co-organiser, Ryan Gillard, assigned me No. 8 as my contribution. I decided to create a modern interpretation of an illuminated initial, aiming for a warm, opulent feel, I chose the well-know poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, which has inspired much of the festive imagery traditionally associated with Christmas, but more specifically because it introduces Santa’s eight reindeer. 

The illustrated number acts as a dropcap within the poem, demonstrating that decorated type can emphasise the story as well as any traditional image. I’ve taken a number of liberties with grammatical and typographic conventions but strived to maintain the readability of the text. Included are a few sketches for secondary drops caps that I was originally going to sprinkle around the 8 but in the end they seemed unnecessary.