Past Art Exhibit ~ Jeanine Colini

Eckstrom-Columbus Library invites you to view artworks by Jeanine Colini this June! Visit the Library from June 1–June 30 to see her work.

Artist Statement:

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with letterforms and alphabets. So it’s no coincidence that I’ve spent 25 years enhancing the written word as a publications designer—working with so many words made up of so many letters.
I took mechanical drawing in junior high school, the main attraction being the hand-rendered block letters that accompanied each drawing. Each letter was meticulously drawn with a wood pencil. In my high school art class, we were given the assignment to hand copy an entire alphabet. I chose a ’70s-era lettering design, carefully drawing the beautifully swirling shapes and then filling them in with India ink. I was hooked.

For my illustration thesis at Pratt I created an illustrated alphabet where each character is a different animal. The design process involved coaxing animal shapes into letterform shapes in such a way that both creature and character appear natural and comfortable. The final artwork, titled “A to Zoo,” is rendered in watercolor and ink.

“Art of the State” is my type-inspired map of the United States. Inspired by ’70s design motifs, each letter is hand drawn and organic in nature. In this design process, the geographical shape of each state is formed by the letters that spell the state’s name—topography emerges from typography!

“AtoZ Cactus” alphabet is inspired by the cactus in the Sonoran Desert—from the majestic Saguaro, to the ubiquitous prickly pear, to the charming hedgehogs with their brightly colored blooms. Each letter is an original design, hand-drawn and rendered in watercolor and ink. My whimsical interpretation shapes cactus into letters in unusual ways that are sure to make you smile 🙂

Upon moving to Tucson in 2018 I became inspired by the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert and continue to expand my Naturescapes watercolor collection of flora and fauna.


Jeanine Colini is a Tucson-based artist and graphic designer whose work has been exhibited internationally in numerous juried shows including the San Francisco Center for the Book, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit in New York City; and the MEWO Kunsthalle in Memmingen, Germany. Her work has been featured in such prestigious design publications as Print, HOW, and U & lc typography journal.

Jeanine’s type-inspired artwork includes “A to Zoo” animal alphabet, “Art of the State” USA map, “What’s Your Sign?” astrology signs, and “AtoZ Cactus” alphabet featuring cactus of the Sonoran Desert. “A to Zoo” celebrated its 40th birthday in 2021. The Los Angeles Zoo licensed it for their annual “Beastly Ball” fundraiser. Jeanine gifted her original artwork to James and Gloria Stewart, long-time supporters of the Zoo. “A to Zoo” has also appeared in the television series Dynasty and the movie Three Men and A Baby.
Jeanine serves on the Art Gallery Committee at Saint Philip’s in the Hills in Tucson, Arizona. She taught graphic design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and typography at Woodbury University in Burbank, California. She earned her bachelor of fine arts in communications design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 1981.
Jeanine’s art is available for purchase on her web site ( as prints, custom name artwork and note cards. Her cards are available in local retail stores and have sold internationally on the American Apparel web site. “Art of the State” has been licensed for use on a ceramic piece and sold in HomeGoods stores. “A to Zoo by the Numbers”— a counting book for children—features the “A to Zoo” numbers and limericks written by the artist.