Urban Animal Alphabet

I had to design an alphabet for my typography class. I had many ideas, such as a hair alphabet, and a face alphabet, but the professor liked my drawings of animals.

There are a lot of alphabets based on animals, but I tried to base mine not on exotic jungle beasts or zoo animals or farm animals or anything like that, but on the pets and pests we have in New York City. Originally, I used a human as my Z, but my professor insisted I keep my alphabet "consistent".

Sometimes it was tempting to get a bit uncommon, with bats or red-tailed hawks or owls, but I restrained myself. The least urban animals I included were a chipmunk for C and a pet ferret for N. I regret not saving a spot for a roach, but they're not very evocative of any particular letter shape. It was hard enough coming up with a different animal for each letter (though I did include 3 dogs).

The animals are, in order: Rat, pigeon, chipmunk, possum, hornet, dragonfly, squirrel, raccoon, millipede, grasshopper, mantis, mouse, spider, ferret, earthworm, moth, bulldog, house fly, cat, tern, centipede, chihuahua, ant, two-winged thingy, Asian long horned beetle, and spaniel.

Inking this was a bit tricky, because the figures are so small. I usually use a two-tipped marker to do everything, but this time I needed to switch to a micron for the finest details. I used the finer point of my marker for outlines and thickened my micron line for features within each figure's body that could use it, like mouths or tails. I was inspired by the original guy who did Spy Vs. Spy, who I heard created varying line widths using nothing more than an unvarying technical pen.

This is a Xerox of the original, which I have to mount on matte board tomorrow.

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