Playing with Type: Ransom Note

As I mentioned recently, I've been working on a new logo and business cards. I've got a bunch of sketches taped to the wall next to my desk where I can look at them a bunch of times a day and make tweaks here and there. I've been playing with different fonts, trying to find just the right ones that are a perfect fit for me and my blog. That led me to researching about fonts and the history of typeset, which led me to the library, which led me to checking out Playing with Type by Lara McCormick (affiliate link here and below).

I fell in love immediately. Playing with Type has 50 challenges that relate to typographic design. Each is explained clearly and illustrated with beautiful examples. I read the book from cover to cover, stopping only to put a post-it flag on the activities I absolutely want to try. As you can see, a lot of the challenges appeal to me! I'll be sharing each as I complete them.


Challenge: Design a ransom note using found type. 

  • magazine 
  • scissors
  • glue
  • paper

I started by tearing the titles, headlines and other large print out of a magazine. (I used FamilyFun.) Only after I'd made a pile of all the interesting words did I decide what I wanted my message to be. 

Life is too short for all work and no play.

This is a message I need to hear. Often. I enjoy working and love being productive, almost always at the expense of relaxation. Once I decided on my message, I cut out the letters I needed from the pile of words, made some adjustments until I was happy with the balance of colors and sizes, then glued each letter in place. Now it's hanging at my desk. 

What a fun project! I'd strongly encourage you to play along. If you do end up making a ransom note, inspirational or otherwise, please share it with me! I'd love to see it.


  1. Being creative is playing too! LOVE your ransom note!

  2. Great message! Love that you created a home made version of it and that it's hanging in your creative space!


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