Remember those phonics songs from elementary school that helped teach the alphabet? "A is for Apple, B is for Ball"? London-based illustrator Marcus Reed does, but his tastes run more toward beautifully drawn illustrations of animals for (we're hoping) adults as well as kids.
The alphabet features animals in creative poses that take the form of the first letter of their names, from a penguin bending over to feed its chick (forming a capital letter P) or a mob of meerkats standing on their adorable hind legs (forming a capital letter M). Interestingly, according to Reed, U is not for Urchin or Uakari or Umbrella Bird, but "Unau," which turns out to be another name for the two-toed sloth. The more you know!
Reed favors minimal colors and strong gradients in most of his work, which you can check out on his site, and the style really lends itself to this animal alphabet. One quibble: the alphabet seems to stop at W is for Walrus. Some suggestions for the remaining letters: X is for Xenops (a small bird found in Mexico), Y is for Yapok (an aquatic possum (!)), and Z is, of course, for Zebra.
Prints will go on sale some time next week at marcusreedprints.tictail.com.