I feel fortunate to have stumbled into type design some twenty odd years ago. What a fun mash-up of art and commerce. I seem to be drawn to art forms that have an inherent practicality to them: type design, ceramics is another, and graphic design in general, which is practically all practicality. But type is the ultimate practical art form.
I started working as a graphic designer in LA in the early 90s, and have continued to do mostly web design and advertising work for the past twenty or so years as I’ve added to the Aerotype library. Some of the fonts I’ve designed were inspired by, or created for projects I’ve worked on, others because I thought they might be a challenge, some suited a historical design need. Some just started themselves. I’ve always been drawn to what I would call ‘unique found typographic phenomena,’ - basically finding (usually a part of) a lettering style in the world and creating a font out of it, with whatever natural ‘patina’ comes with it. Classic wood type is the ultimate ‘unique found typographic phenomena’. Creating a high quality digital version of a classic wood typeface is a strangely satisfying thing. But I’ve been doing more stuff with the brush and pen in recent years than ever before. The pen presents an on-going challenge to me, it’s an area that’s fun because there is so much room to grow. I have a lot of ideas for calligraphic fonts, it just seems to take so much time for me to get one out.
At the end of the day the best aspect of type design is the sense of a silent collaboration of sorts with the designer or art director using your font as part of their project. It’s as if they said, “…of all the fonts in the world, I pick: Yours!” It makes it fun to go to the supermarket. How can you not like that?