Daily Donut Nameplate Lettering and Illustration

New Nameplate for The Daily Donut

The Daily Donut is the internet's best source for original vegan donuts, illustrated. This publication deserves nothing less than an original nameplate with exclusive lettering and illustration. I've always wanted to design a newspaper nameplate, so I founded The Daily Donut and commissioned a nameplate from myself. It's a personal project, mostly for the amusement of my friends and family.

My Role

Art Direction



Daily Donut blackletter sketches by Katie Wasserman
Daily Donut blackletter sketches by Katie Wasserman
Daily Donut blackletter by Katie Wasserman
Daily Donut illustration by Katie Wasserman
Daily Donut nameplate type and illustration by Katie Wasserman

Designing a Newspaper Nameplate

Most newspaper nameplates are blackletter type, so I kept with tradition and went with a blackletter. Jim Parkinson created original blackletters for many American newspapers including the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune. Parkinson's blackletters have even stroke widths and minimal calligraphic details for a distinctively clean and modern look. This was the stylistic direction I chose, because I didn't want my blackletter looking like Nazi Germany or '80s hair metal.

I did some image searching and found that European newspapers sometimes have a shield or crest in the nameplate, but American papers never did. American papers have woodcut or engraved illustrations. A lot of these papers had their motto on a decorative ribbon as part of the illustration. I decided the Daily Donut's motto should be "All the Donuts Fit to Eat." I loosely translated the motto into Latin and drew it in condensed roman type on a ribbon that wraps around a heavenly donut in the clouds. My vector illustration has cross-hatch shading like an old woodcut. The condensed roman is original vector type with a hand-drawn look.

Successes and Achievements

The blackletter works well as a stacked logo and as a horizontal nameplate. The illustration is intricate enough to be interesting at large sizes. At small sizes, the intricate details merge to form a solid gray in the right places, so the illustration looks like a simplified but still identifiable donut.

Lessons Learned

I started drawing the blackletter with Albrecht Durer's proportions, but these produced a very tall and condensed blackletter, so I knocked out two units of height and started over. I made the horizontal stroke widths 90% of the verticals for a modern and streamlined blackletter. Blackletters are easy to sketch on a grid and relatively easy to vector. I look forward to designing more in the near future.

gallery next