Emily McDowell

October 29, 2012

Be Yourself. Hand lettering by Emily McDowell.
Don't Shush Your Inner Voice. Hand lettering by Emily McDowell.

By Gabrielle.

Emily McDowell sent me a link to her work and I’m so impressed! She left a successful career in advertising to build a new career as an illustrator (scary + brave!). She’s recently been focusing on hand-lettering, creating posters of meaningful quotes. Aren’t they beautiful?

P.S. — I adore hand lettering. I really, really want to take a calligraphy class. Have you ever?

Quote from Joan of Arc. Hand lettering by Emily McDowell.
Quote by Picasso. Hand lettering by Emily McDowell.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miss Lindsey D October 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

Absolutely loving these. Such powerful quotes presented in such a bright fun way. Beautiful!


2 Emme October 29, 2012 at 10:34 am

I DID take a calligraphy class and I loved it!!! You should try it! It’s so fun to use for invitations now (even when I cheat and use a calligraphy pen instead of actual dipped ink)!


3 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Oh! I must do it. I wonder if I need to wait until we’re back in the U.S.


4 Caroline October 29, 2012 at 11:54 am

Oh I LOVE that !


5 Ceebee October 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Funny – I was going to write and say that I loved this post and felt like it was a quintessential “Gabrielle” post, when I looked back and saw that Gabrielle had indeed written it! :)

I ordered a small poster because I can’t get enough of the colors and design, not to mention message. Thank you for always directing us to great new finds!


6 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I’m glad you recognized my voice!


7 Emily McDowell October 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Thank you so much, everyone! (And, of course, Gabrielle!) :)


8 jenny also October 29, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Wow!! So great! I love the “be yourself” poster and the “scale” one on her website spoke right to me. I’m right at the half way point of 40 lbs of weight loss to celebrate my 40th b-day coming in March. I think I’m gonna buy that poster to celebrate being half way there!


9 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Jenny! What a fantastic goal. I love number goals that match number days! (Like when we climbed a 14er for our 14th anniversary.)


10 Artchoo October 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

These are so so so so wonderful! Such a unique style, and you really read the quotes so differently than you would in normal type. There’s so much more feeling behind them. Love it.


11 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I agree! The presentation makes a strong quote even stronger.


12 Heidi October 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Love these! I too love hand lettering – I used to spend hours as a kid doodling different fonts and practicing calligraphy.
Thank you for sharing this lovely artist!


13 Jenni Bailey October 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

These are beautiful! I love hand lettering, it’s something I never have tried but am absolutely sure I wouldn’t be able to get the hang of so I LOVE when artists offer it up in such beautiful way.


14 Amanda October 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm

I took a calligraphy class when I studied abroad in China. Of course, this isn’t the same as Western hand lettering, but it was so much fun and very relaxing!


15 Blair October 30, 2012 at 8:17 am

Hey! I know Emily…well sorta, I went to school with her but was a couple of years behind her (and was a friend of her sister’s.) I feel abnormally proud.
Go Emily! Your work is just beautiful, but knowing how talented an artist you were in high school I suppose it is no surprise. Must go order something right now.


16 Anneliese October 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Lovely work! I love the handmade quality. The computer is so fabulous but sometimes I just crave handwritten and hand-drawn!


17 Azra October 31, 2012 at 7:02 am

Beautiful! I love words of wisdom.


18 Angela DeMuro November 1, 2012 at 6:45 am

I recently decided to not use a graphic designer and typesetting for my children’s books. I am now hand lettering them. The reaction from the first one to hit the book shelves here in PA. (“The Boy Who Loved Halloween”) was such a positive warm reaction. Adults and children seemed to like it better, Mom’s said it feel warmer, and like part of the illustration. I have never taken any type of class, I am lucky that my hand writing is fun and legible:)


19 Angela DeMuro November 1, 2012 at 6:45 am

…ps and Emily’s work is fantastic!!!!!


20 Laura November 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Hello, Gabrielle! I am a calligrapher and heartily encourage you to take classes if you’d like to learn. It is such a meditative kind of activity… fun to do and good for the soul, you know? I imagine there are workshops taught everywhere, but I am more familiar with learning opportunities in the U.S. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like more information about resources!


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