Alison Carmicheal

Alison Carmichael is known for her hand lettering style. London based, Alison Carmicheal studied graphic design at Ravensbourne collage of Design. She was encouraged to pursue this style of typography by one of her lecturers. She began working in the late 1990 s when digital technology was replacing handcrafted typography. Masters of this style were at retirement age and generally the view was that the handcrafted style was too old fashioned. Believing there would always be a market for hand lettering and that this was her strength she persevered. Alison Carmicheal is now an award-wining typographer with global ad campaigns that she has made both charismatic and memorable. 

Working style:

The majority of her commissions are from advertising agencies, and branding consultants, It is her job to interpret their vision and put it onto paper.

My work can vary from hand drawn and crafted lettering pieces, right through to scribbled calligraphic hand writing styles. If the brief is the former, I tend to pour through reference material and create a mood board, which inspires the tone, weight, and finish of the work. With the hand writing briefs, it is much more like getting into character. For example, I might have to create a number of hand writing styles supposedly belonging to different characters. To achieve this, I have a variety of hand writing samples that I can dip into, as well as a good selection of pens and writing tools which help me to adopt different styles.

Alison’s work is known for its variety and diversity. A recent advertising and branding job was creating typography using seeds and grains. Another was an exhibition piece created on 96 sheet posters featuring type made from cake decorating “sprinkles.” Other work includes pop promos, embroidered lettering, body art painting, and even full sized crop circles. She also produces her own line of hand lettered products that she sells on line

Alison believes there is a trend for this form of typography.As more products are seeking the personal touch for their branding she believes her style conveys a very specific voice or personality, which isn’t as achievable using purely digital fronts.

I think that the combination of hand crafted style, together with technology like digital animation and 3D is huge at the moment. I think this marriage of styles has the scope to keep growing and evolving.


One thought on “Alison Carmicheal

  1. Hi Kathy,
    Your blog is very informative and I really love Alison Carmichael’s use of mixed media, particularly her food/art fusion. Interesting work. I also like that you used Instagram as a link. This has inspired me to look up same. Thanks for sharing, Gitta


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