Hannah Palasinski


Design & Lifestyle Insights of a Yankee Designer Living in the South

Love and the works of Jessica Hische

I remember the first time I saw the work of Jessica Hische. It was in Barnes & Noble, I saw her designs for their collection of classics.

I first noticed that they were leather bound, like old fashioned books were, I picked one up and ran my hands over the indentations of the type and graphics. Bram Stoker's Dracula actually looked like it was dripping blood and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice made me feel like I was right there in the open field with Mr. Darcy. 


Hische's works evoke movement and feeling. They have a life of their own. I am an avid reader but I often have trouble reading "the classics" because of the language style they are written in. But these books are so beautiful I want to own them for purely aesthetic reasons. 


Jessica Hische really became popular when she started her Daily Drop Cap series. Where almost every day she designed a decorative drop cap letter. She completed 12 full sets of the alphabet before she ended her project. Visit the site to see the entire project. http://www.dailydropcap.com/  

I fell hard and fast for Hische's work and faithfully viewed her website to keep up with her latest projects. While in design school my boyfriend introduced me to movies by a man named Wes Anderson. He was coming out with a new movie called Moonrise Kingdom. The poster was beautifully designed and captivating. I found out afterwards that type was designed by none other than J. Hische!

Moonrise Kingdom is a story of young love. Hische's work for this Anderson film reflects this perfect. The script face is very reminiscent of the cursive we all learned in school.


As a designer, I can relate to a bride when she wants every detail of her wedding to be perfect, down the the invitation. It is everyones first impression of this event that is going to take place. Many people know, first impressions are extremely important. The invitations must be perfect, down to the stamp on the envelope. Who really wants a stamp with a squirrel or the liberty bell on their wedding invitation? That doesn't give receivers any clue as to what awaits them in the envelope. Hische was asked to design a new stamp. A Love stamp. 

This is the perfect fine detail for any bride's invitations. You know something good must be inside that envelope because it's signed, sealed and delivered with love. A side note, one of my designer friends bought these stamps for her wedding invitations, and even if she wasn't my friend (and even if I wasn't one of her bridesmaids) I would keep that envelope FOREVER!


And now for another love affair with books....and color. Let me introduce you to Penguin's Drop Cap Classic Series.


In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, "Hello Lover!" I had viewed these books online multiple times  before I actually saw one in the flesh. Bright, neon colored books with a custom drop cap design on the front, representing the initial of the author. How creative! They really jump off a shelf. After much searching I accidentally stumbled across them while roaming a Barnes and Noble in Atlanta. Penguin Books had a table all it's own and here were these beauties sitting on top. They were released only a few letters at a time. I was disappointed to only be able to view A-L at that time. I craved more!


I was practically drooling on top of them, every one around me was completely unaware of the art at their fingertips! I started snapping pictures and posted them on Instagram so my friends back in Michigan could witness their actual existence! After viewing Hische's website today I saw that she has posted the entire series! And they are breathtaking! The color spectrum mixed with the elegant drop caps is true perfection. Although my favorites are the books in blue and purple.


Another inspiring series was Bing's Summer of Doing. They had a letterer create a search term, something you would do in the summer. Here are just a few of what Hische designed. I love the thick and fluid type of Roadtripping. 


To end this post I want to share the work Hische did for Entertainment Weekly for their special Harry Potter issue. The movie series was coming to a close. She made monograms for each of the main characters as well as a main headline and some ornaments to sprinkle throughout. I loved how ornate the type was, perfect for the movies. They gave Harry Potter the respect it deserved for being such an incredible series. I also am particularly drawn to it because HP are also my initials, so its almost like she design the HP for me....almost. 

Hannah PalasinskiComment