Loading ...

Shifting view: There is a huge rise in typefaces that are throwing sand into the type industry’s ideas about what makes a typeface good or refined. This new rebelliousness against established ideas about quality is something I have found myself spending a lot of time mulling over. On the one hand, a great deal of it is dismissible, but some of it asks worthwhile questions about the previous orthodoxy and offers interesting alternatives. 

Guilty pleasure: I have a weak spot for absurdity in comedy. I like The Mighty Boosh and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. I realize that my taste for this stuff isn’t very widely shared.

Mind-blowing type: Viktoriya Grabowska has an unreleased sans that I found thought provoking. It seems to get the balance right and offers new ways to go forward. It is charming on its own terms, but it also opens up possibilities. I look forward to it going public! I also love Salvaje Display, which can be found at Montréal-based type foundry Coppers and Brasses’ site. Such a compelling design!

Promising creative tool: The Affinity Publisher program, although I am still a happy QuarkXPress user. Other than that, CSS is easier and more flexible to use for typesetting today than any of the traditional desktop publishing applications. I am not very web design savvy, but I know a fair amount of CSS to control type in a way I want. 

Emerging talents: I am in awe of the lettering work by Gen Ramírez! Fabienne Lentes is also someone I expect to see a lot of exciting work from in the future, and I like the experimental typographic print work by Dingpress. In addition, I like the typefaces the Future Fonts platform is putting out; I am a frequent customer on there.

Stress relief: I have a little trampoline in my office. Sometimes, during bad-weather afternoons when I fear that I will snooze at my computer, I put on a fun old song and jump around for three to five minutes.

Favorite social platform: I’m the biggest fan of Dribbble; it actually kickstarted my career as a freelance designer. I like to post shots and get feedback while I’m working on something, rather than post completed projects with tons of renders and photographs. I also love the Dribbble community. It’s not huge, but there are a lot of creative people whose work I admire. 

Productivity tool: LeechBlock helps me fight online distractions during a busy day. 

Inspirational read: Notan: The Dark-Light Principle of Design by Dorr Bothwell and Marlys Mayfield. Understanding relationships between black and white is crucial for all letterers and type designers. This book teaches you a poetic perception of the negative space between letters, and the book contains some helpful exercises on form and counterform with abstract shapes.

End-of-day reward: An evening skate session or hanging out with friends. I like doing sports after a long day of intellectual work; it’s really nice to switch activities to free your mind. I feel so much happier when I’m doing daily physical activities.

Fantastic read: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson is a hilarious and fantastic read. He talks about finding the courage to accept our vulnerabilities as what they are. I couldn’t help but think about how insecure creatives can get in this digital era, when every piece of design is scrutinized on social media. This book can help us feel more satisfied with our work.

Valuable resources: I try to catch the Typographics and TypeCon conferences every year. From the onstage talks to the informal conversations during happy hour, it’s a great way to hear about the developments that people are excited about. Type@Cooper and the Type Directors Club also provide video recordings of their events. 

Growing trend: I’ve noticed a rise in the number of visual designers who utilize coding. The scale could be as small as writing scripts for an existing program like Adobe InDesign or as large as creating a data visual ization tool from scratch. A handful of design software, such as the former Adobe Creative Suite, is the primary method for creating design, and the interfaces for these programs influence how we create typography. 

Splurge-worthy investment: A top-notch industrial espresso machine.

Underappreciated tech: DecoType’s Advanced Composition Engine (ACE). Since the Arabic script has always suffered from Latin-centric technologies, DecoType’s ACE was conceived and tailored for Arabic script. Unfortunately, a lot of politics keeps ACE inaccessible and underappreciated. 

Comprehensive tome: Dr. Titus Nemeth’s Arabic Type-Making in the Machine Age: The Influence of Technology on the Form of Arabic Type, 1908–1993. It’s impressive how Titus eloquently narrates the evolution of Arabic type under the influence of changing technologies. The development of Arabic type—and its evolution from metal to pixels—has not been documented before, and this book provides the first comprehensive report of this history.

Creative fuel: I find a lot of inspiration in magazines and newspapers printed in the ’60s and ’70s from Lebanon and Egypt. When it comes to Armenian type, I love going through the old type specimens of Fred Afrikian and Henrik Mnatsakanyan or walking through the secondhand book aisle at the Vernissage market in Yerevan, Armenia.


With a free Commarts account, you can enjoy 50% more free content
Create an Account
Get a subscription and have unlimited access
Already a subscriber or have a Commarts account?
Sign In

Get a subscription and have unlimited access
Already a subscriber?
Sign In