I'm not usually one to get hyped up about the latest trends, but one trend I am loving right now is the Chalkboard lettering trend! You see it everywhere- on walls, art prints, even fabric! The artistry and skill of some of these chalk calligraphers is amazing. I've tried my own hand at some lettering techniques, and while they came out ok, it was anything but perfect. That's why Dana Tanamachi's new book DIY Type really intrigued me.
There were some mixed reviews about this book, so I decided to check it out for myself. Dana is an accomplished, iconic chalk artist who has been commissioned by big wigs such as Google, Yahoo!, and Nike. She's also created custom cover art for HOW, Time and O, The Oprah Magazine. If anyone knows what they're talking about when it comes to beautiful lettering, this is the person!
The book is beautiful in person. I knew it came with a set of lettering stencils, so that wasn't a surprise. But what was a surprise was how very little other content this book really contains. There is a grand total of just 9- yes, NINE- pages of instruction or writing on how to actually hand letter. And while the full-color pictures that accompany these few pages are pretty, the instructions are quite vague. Maybe its because I am used to a more step-by-step approach (ala The Pioneer Woman's cook books?), but the writing and instruction in this book leave me want a whole lot more.
Lack of instruction aside, the stencils in this book are fantastic! There are actually two sets- a larger one and a smaller one. Each letter is cut from heavy cardstock paper and can easily be removed from the binding of the book. The larger letters will be great for making banners or monogrammed T-shirts. The smaller letters will be great for trying on a chalkboard or other art project.
Overall, this is a fun book. The stencils are basic, but coupled with Dana's embellishment techniques, they could be very helpful in creating some beautiful and original designs! However, if you are looking for more of a step by step guide to lettering, you might want to look for something else. Honestly, I'd love to see a book just full of her designs and artwork! You can purchase this book HERE if you are interested!
Though I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purposes of this review, the opinions are my own.