by Victoria Whincup
What makes you choose to draw your type by hand?
Hand rendering gives a word a tone, it tells the viewer how to interpret it on a subliminal level. It’s like music in a horror movie, you might not notice the music, but it makes the scene much more convincing and sets the tone on a subliminal visceral level.
When I was a child I had learning disability, a form of dyslexia. When I read my eyes would jump all over the page so instead of seeing what the letters represented, I would just see a mix of weird forms and shapes. I thought of letters as objects rather than what they represented.
When you are hand drawing type, do you think about drawing the word itself, or do you articulate individual letters?
I would say “words” for the most part. Most of my hand lettering is part of a bigger family. I think if I focused on making each letter very unique, it would be almost too stylized and distracting, but there are always exceptions.
When drawing a word, is the meaning and context always important, or just how it looks?
Both … sometimes the word can look conceptually like something the word is about .. and other times it just sets a mood … how to interpret the word, happy, sad, energetic, etc
How important to you is the interplay of text and image?
Very important, I like mixing lettering with imagery. I think they balance each other out, because imagery is very organic and letter forms are very mechanical so it provides a nice contrast. Both, Imagery and text, can provide information the other cannot.
Do you think fonts are improved if they are hand drawn?
It all depends what your objectives are, there isn’t one solution for everything.
Why is there more hand lettering in design today?
Probably because it’s a response to the high-tech boom in the 90’s where everything was slick and highly polished. Now the pendulum has swung the other way. Eventually it will return to the middle and both the ”high-tech” look and “hand drawn” look will just be another tool for designers and illustrators to achieve specific objectives.
As the world becomes smaller because of globalization, people crave things and experiences that are not from a template.. things that make them feel like their life is special and they are a unique … I think that is why the following are on the rise.. hand drawn type, non chain restaurants, limited edition silkscreens local beers, DIY, local coffee shops, handmade books, self published music/writing, etc ..