Tiffany Wardle is a
"Typegirl," a typographer and graphic designer currently living and working in San Jose, California. After graduating with a BFA with an emphasis in graphic design from Brigham Young University, she worked in magazine design in New York City. However, the drone of the rat race was too much and the call of teaching was too strong, so she returned to her native Utah to teach as an adjunct professor in graphic design at BYU. After a few years, she detoured again when she was unable to resist the lure of graduate school and promptly moved to Reading, England, where she earned a MA in the theory and history of typography and graphic communication. She hasn’t looked back since. Her words have been published in STEP Inside Design, Interrobang, Indie Fonts III, and TypeCulture.
Happily Looking at Type
If you have a degree in what field is it? I have a BFA in graphic design from Brigham Young University and a MA in history and theory of typography and graphic communication from University of Reading.
Which designer (or design studio), other than yours, do you most admire? That list is very long and I don’t think I can choose.
What’s the strangest request you’ve received from a client? To copy someone else’s work. I had a visceral reaction to it. That client is no longer a client.
If you weren’t working as a designer what would you be doing?
I like to think I could’ve become an architect. But the math scared me away.
What well-known identity is most desperately in need of a redesign? I love Dwell magazine. But I have to say their typeface choices, as of late, have left me cold.
From where do your best ideas originate? When I’m not searching.
How do you overcome a creative block? I go do something that’s the opposite of what I’m trying to do.
What’s your dream project (not client, but project)? Consulting on a typeface design. If I’m looking at type I’m happy.
Do you have creative outlets other than graphic design? I’m learning Portuguese and I’m experimenting more in the kitchen. Those count, right?
What’s your approach to balancing work and life? Prioritizing family, friends and life in general as equally important, if not more so.
What product/gadget can you not live without? I’m a late adopter to the iPad. So there’s that.
What’s your favorite quote? I collect quotes. So my favorite quote today is, “If an opportunity scares you, take it,” from Tina Roth Eisenberg’s (Swiss Miss) talk at TYPOSF this year. Fear is no one’s friend. It keeps us from becoming the best version of ourselves.
Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Don’t let something that you are afraid of keep you from trying it. Worse case scenario is that you’ll discover you don't enjoy it. Best case scenario is that you’ll find what you love to do.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? How important computer science and math courses would really be.