Typography – Working with Depth

For the last few weeks I have had the wonderful fortune of having my husband home with the kids! I’ll miss our lunches and the lifestyle.

Kate O’Sullivan at Houghton Mifflin Books for Children has asked me to work on a book! The text is simple and beautiful and lends itself to images of Fall wonder. I am over the moon to be working on this project. She is giving me the creative freedom to play with trim size and text layout.  She even sent some books from their list for examples! Working with text is something I have been playing with… whether to integrate it using paper, either in the foreground or background or to lay it over in Photoshop. Let me know what you think… here are some samples.

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Other news – I revamped my website finally. If you have a chance, check it out: ellymackay.com  Eventually this blog will be over there too.

My last full studio day… pot of tea, CBC and brand new supplies. Giddy.




  1. Your experiments with text look like they’d all work in different contexts! I especially like “Slumberland.” One thing I find enchanting about books that are predominantly visual is when the text becomes part of the picture somehow. So in one of your pictures, of the trees, I imagine the one in the foreground to have text carved in it… or a handwritten note or carved wooden sign nailed to it. I know that’s not always possible but it heightens the engagement for me. Can’t wait to see what comes next for you!

  2. Hi Elly, I just wanted to say Hi and I love your work. I wrote the fall book. When Kate sent samples of your art, I felt so very lucky. With your art, the story will be new to me, too. I can’t wait to see it! Thanks so much for adding this to your already busy schedule. I’m so excited! Loretta

    1. Thank you so much Mercedes, Danee, Jennifer and Loretta. I replied earlier but it hasn’t shown up. It is so kind of you to stop by and give me your input. And Loretta!… I am so delighted to meet you.

  3. These are all so spectacular!! I must say that I agree with everyone else, I especially love ‘Hello’ and ‘Slumberland’, where you have integrated both type and image, they are so enchanting and I wish I could just step into your little worlds!
    I also like the last hilltop text trial where the strip of colour is a slightly transparent blue/green, I think that it combines the text and image beautifully without being too overpowering and will be good for when there is more text. Perhaps if the text was in an earthier colour rather that black (like a dark brown from one doors the houses?)
    The type for “you can pet your purring cat…” is also adorable!
    I cannot wait to see your book!! I know that whatever you do it will be magical and beautiful (like always.) :o]

    1. Hello Carina,
      Thanks! Yes, it is a challenge to figure out how to work with a large amount of text. I think you are right… something like brown would be less stark and perhaps balance nicely.
      So great to have your input too.

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