Friday, May 14, 2010

Retro Custom Book Plates for Teacher

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With school ending soon for the summer, I thought I'd design some personalized book plates for an end of school teacher gift. I chose this awesome book of poetry from 1963 as my inspiration. I love the line drawings, use of color, and funky type style.

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For this recipe you'll need:

A retro style font: I liked this one called EastMarket from Font Squirrel
Some retro flower illustrations: I could find any I liked, so I drew my own. You can use your drawing program to create simple shapes for your bookplate. Or you can download an eps or pdf of my drawings to use for your own book plates. For personal use only please.
A retro color palette: Direct from the book cover I chose a bright red, mustard yellow, olive green, and black.
Full sheet sticker paper to print your bookplates on.

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To make these bookplates, first download any fonts or elements that you might like to use. Open your software program of choice (I used Illustrator) and set up your document size for 8.5 x 11. I set my bookplates up so that I can fit four to a page and set up guides so I can design in one square and then just copy and paste the finished design into the remaining squares for printing.

I started with my text box frame and using my illustrations, just layered them around the box to fill the space. I started with just the black and white illustrations and then colored the finished design after all the elements were in place. My last step here was bringing the text box to the front of all the elements.

Once I had my main design, I went to work on the type inside the box. I chose the EastMarket font for this design. For the word "book", I created the text as individual letters, typing, sizing, & adding them on top of each other until I was satisfied with the results. Each line was type set individually to fill the space.

If you don't want to make the custom version of these book plate, you could omit the name and just add a line to be filled in by the recipient.

After completing the personalization of the text, I added the frames around the illustration. Using the book cover as inspiration. I layered boxes with different widths and colors of frames to make the border.

Now just select and group your whole design together and copy and paste into the other squares set up on your page. Ta-Da! Finished custom book plate. Print on sticker paper and trim them out for a cute teacher gift. You could also save or export your finished bookplate template as a pdf, burn it to a CD, and include it with the printed versions. That way, the teacher can print out as many more as she needs for her classroom library.


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  1. What a great idea! And how cool are you to give gifts to your kids' teachers!

  2. Love this! I totally think I'm going to do this for the teachers this year - perfect timing!


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