I’m slightly obsessed with looking at typography on Pinterest just lately. I have a board of typographic art if you’re interested. I’m a bit of a late comer to Pinterest (I’d previously assumed it was all cute animals and cupcakes), but that’s probably not a bad thing, because I must have saved myself a huge amount of time, in all the time I wasn’t on it. It can suck hours from a day like the most ravenous virtual vampire. I justify looking at type though as I see it as ‘work related research’. Yeah, it’s great being freelance.
Anyway, looking at lots of hand drawn type has inspired me to do some more. I’ve dabbled a bit here and there – I did a Bladerunner quote as a present for my other half (‘I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe …’) and a few scribbles in a sketchbook, but have never known quite what to write.
Then I bought a copy of The Designer Says by Sara Bader. A little book full of quotes and words of wisdom from designers. So now I have some material to use in order to practice my hand drawn lettering. It will take some practice too I think (this was my second attempt) but hopefully I’ll improve as I do more. I might also use favoured song lyrics or film quotes too, but nothing corny or spiritual – there’s enough life-affirming quotes on Pinterest to send you to the brink of suicide!
If only more of our British pubs employed typography artists for their chalkboards. If only they could afford to and weren’t closing by the dozen every day, but that’s another story.
This is the work of New York designer Dana Tanamachi. Have a look at more of her work here. She makes me want to paint one wall of my office with chalkboard paint and practice my hand lettering skills. It’s a thought! I have often bored my other half while sitting in pubs and criticising the chalkboards, so maybe I should step up to the mark.
Dana used to work for Louise Fili Ltd., who’s blog I have been following. Her studio produces some wonderful designs (see the link in my blog roll) anyone trained under her (see also Jessica Hische) is inspiring to me. And her book on Scripts – Elegant Lettering from Designs Golden Age, was a welcome Christmas present, and a wonderful source of inspiration.
As is this recent purchase:
Typographic Sketchbooks by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico. It’s a collection of private sketchbook pages from leading typographers from around the world. I love sketchbooks and these really take me back to my college days when we were encouraged to keep sketchbooks and scrapbooks like this. Particularly just for type. I had boxes of them by the time I graduated from uni, but I’ve not really kept sketchbooks since. This has inspired me to start one again.
I’ve developed a real passion just lately for hand-rendered type. It has a unique quality and personality to it. It’s amazing how many of the designers in this book claim to be ‘moving away from the computer’. Or at least only using a computer in the final stages, which is how I always used to work, and sometimes still do. Sketching your ideas out by hand is important I think, as you’re more relaxed and loose and able to work ideas through. But I actually think there’s a lot to be said for no computer involvement at all, as Dana’s work shows.