Dec 17, 2008

Victor & Susie: a snail tale made of type

Posted by Mark, 15 December 2008

Victor and Susie is a new children’s book from design studio Brighten the Corners, illustrated entirely from type. The story concerns Victor – a snail with a hole in his shell – and Susie, who decides to help him get better…

“The main idea was to stress the images and text equally,” explains the book’s author, Billy Kiossoglou of BTC, “and play with the fact that they’re both made out of the same ‘ingredients’, which are simply arranged and subsequently read differently. Children’s books often treat text and images like they belong to altogether different worlds and we wanted to avoid that.”

Kiossoglou also wanted to create a narrative that evoked the sense of rhythm and pacing found in comic books. “I didn’t want to rush the story,” he says, “but allow time for dialogue, and let Victor & Susie have the odd exchange about little things that weren’t really crucial for the story.

“Keeping the conventional third person narrative in the text, as opposed to speech bubbles, meant a parent could read the story to a child, while at the same time, the text treatment was sufficiently unobtrusive, not to annoy a ‘trained’ adult comic reader.”

And as for the type used in the book: “There’s quite a bit of Futura, for its good circular Os and Cs, VAG for it’s rounded edges, a few Greek letters when I needed them, and anything which suited the shape I was looking for,” Kiossoglou explains.

Victor & Susie is a pocket-sized 72 page edition, printed on recycled paper. The comic book is available in bookshops or from the Brighten the Corners online shop (£5).

Designed and published by Brighten the Corners
Written and illustrated by Billy Kiossoglou
Typography by Frank Philippin