Typographics Round Up

I was invited to participate in a panel about the Cooper Type program at the launch of the Typographics Magazine. Stephen Coles was the moderator and along with the four other graduates (Lynne Yun, Graham Bradley, Kyle Read and Greg Gazdowicz), we discussed “screwing up”. The result a fun and light conversation where we shared our experiences as type design newbies.  


My participation at typographics

Thursday: Typographics, The Magazine
Friday: Typelab, Analog to Digital (Demo)
Saturday: Typelab, Alphabettes Variety Show

Isabel UrbinaComment
Always Hand Drawn

I've been really interested in teaching for a while, and after TA-ing a few classes at Cooper Type and teaching a workshop at SVA I was eager to have my own class, focused on giving students a beginner's approach to hand lettering and sketching. But most of all, I wanted it to be a fun experience and affordable for people who are starting out. After a lot of planning, I finally got the ball rolling! The setup is simple: sessions are small (6 ppl max) and short (3 hours long), you can either bring your own materials or get them with your ticket. Cheese, charcuterie and wine will be served!


JUNE 12TH, 2016
4-7 PM



I hosted an awesome group of students last weekend! I couldn't be happier with the results and can't wait to see what these guys come up with next!

Check out the photos below:

Isabel UrbinaComment
From Random House to Freelance

After working in Random House for almost 3 years, I decided to change things up and go freelance full time. I hope to continue working in book covers, keep developing my lettering work and take on more typeface design projects. If you want to work together, collaborate, chat or say hi, get in touch! I'd love to hear from you!

Isabel UrbinaComment
Ciao, Suerte


I love to support a good cause or an independent endeavor whenever possible and I try each year to save some of my time for those smaller projects. In 2015, I had the opportunity to work on a pocket size (4x6in) cover design for Nouvella Books, an indie publisher dedicated to novellas. Founded by #GirlBoss winner Deena Drewis, Nouvella Books is investing in publishing emerging authors. This was an exciting job to be a part of. The cherry on top: the cover was featured in Buzzfeed's Most beautiful bookcovers of 2015 along with some really lovely work.

Isabel UrbinaComment
PRINT New Visual Artist 2015: 15 Under 30

I'm really excited to announce that I've been named a New Visual Artist by PRINT Magazine as part of this year’s list. I’m a long time admirer of this selective accolade and I’m quite humbled and proud to be part of this small group of really talented professionals. This year, the judges decided to feature only 15 people (it’s been 20 under 30, since 1998) in order to cover a bit more of each one of us. Also, they asked all the selected artists to design a cover for the issue, which was quite an amazing opportunity. Here’s my take on it:


Can’t wait to get my hands on the printed issue!!!

Isabel UrbinaComment
New York Times | Best Book Covers 2014

I'm quite thrilled to share that my cover for Dinaw Mengestu's All Our Names was selected as one of the twelve Best Book Covers of 2014 of the New York Times. It's featured along with the work of some pretty amazing designers, such an honor, I really couldn't be happier!

Here's the full piece, in case you didn't get the paper this weekend.  And the cover below


This Girl: Suzi Sadler

I've had the pleasure of working with this awesome girl, who is not only über lovely, badass, and smart but incredibly talented. We shoot my portfolio images featured all over my website and I recently used one of her beautiful photographs in the book cover of Christian Jungersen's, paperback novel, You Disappear.  

Photo courtesy of Suzi Sadler © 2014

Photo courtesy of Suzi Sadler © 2014

If you are looking for a photographer for any kind of project, hands-down, this is your girl. 

More of her work here

Isabel UrbinaComment
Introducing Letra Type & Galea Display

In 2011, I decided to go back to school and do Cooper Union's Cooper Type  Extended program in typeface design. The program, as some of you might already know, is a year long program in which you will make an original typeface and a revival. It was an extremely exciting and intense period and it made me soooo much better as a designer and letterer.

Once the program was over, I was really pumped about adding some finishing touches and releasing my typeface, Galea, right away. For those who are not aware of how much work goes into typeface design, well, it took me an extra couple of years of on and off work to finally get it together and release it in May this year.  I've started a(nother) project called Letra Type, under which I will to offer fresh, well-crafted designs and hopefully promote the work and participation of other young designers. 

I couldn't be happier and the most exciting part is seeing it out in the world!!! 

Check out, license, or simply test Galea Display here!

Lettering and sketching

I used to be pretty self conscious about drawing in front of people and even though we had to take eight semesters of drawing in art school I was never a big sketcher. Every teacher would always lecture us on the importance of sketching an idea before going to the computer, how it really made a difference in your design process, how it made you understand space. I couldn't bring myself to do it, though. It felt forced and I just wanted every little line in the sketchbook to be pristine. Well it wasn't and it took me a lonnnnngg time to understand that sketching doesn't have to be perfect and let go. 

Today, sketching is a crucial part in my design process. Sometimes, I spent days sketching and tightening up the lettering before going digital. Others, I just need a rough idea of layout. In any case, no one will convince you that you should sketch more, but in my experience the quickest and most effective way to get better at lettering is sketching, sketching, sketching. Also, it allows you to observe your progress in time and it is soooo gratifying to work with your hands.

Here are some of my sketches. I've included a variety of rough, bad, detailed, good and pristine. Enjoy!