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Trend sourcing: I usually attend conferences like ATypI, TypeCon, Typographics, the Letterheads and TYPO Labs, which is the place to get in touch with people, ideas, information and news. But for the ordinary, everyday updates of what’s new and who did what, it’s Instagram.

Inspiring reads: Gerrit Noordzij’s book The Stroke: Theory of Writing; Mathieu Lommen’s article “Wat is de O. Moeilijk!” and Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s book Good Omens.

Fascinating shapes: I find a lot of inspiration in strangers’ handwriting—there are so many unique, innovative shapes and weird ligatures and connections that I can transform into new characters. Most people hate their handwriting, yet I find it fascinating.

Mind-blowing work: I’m always stunned by the work of James Edmondson of OH no Type Co., Ondrej Jób of Setup, Irene Pereyra of Anton
& Irene and Mika Melvas of Melvas Type Design.

Cultural inspiration: I’ve been interested in incorporating more Brazilian cultural references in my work and digging through articles about graphic memory. These studies often point to amazing ephemeral printed materials that celebrate our diversity, history and way of life. I am especially fond of the ’50s and ’60s, with the emergence of the neo-concrete art movement and the tropicália music movement.

Crucial skill: Knowing how to write your own Python scripts is essential and can save hours of work on trivial tasks. It can be helpful as a part of the design process too. It takes time to get comfortable with code, and I will admit that it hasn’t been natural for me, but it’s so powerful that it’s worth the trouble.

Promising platform: Future Fonts is doing astonishing curatorial work and bringing all my favorite designers into one place. This might sound biased since I am part of the family, but this was the main factor that inspired me to contact cofounder James Edmondson to “force my way in.” I am also always on the edge of my seat for beautiful new versions of Inga Plönnigs’s Messer and Philipp Neumeyer’s Theodor.

Ideal work environment: Our sunny, colorful, creative workspace. I filled it with quirky furniture and plants, painted a mural, and stocked it with every art supply I could think of.

Go-to planning tools: My team and I would fall apart without Google Calendar and Trello.

Valuable networks: I got my start on Tumblr in 2012, and now my main following is on Instagram. But honestly, getting my work featured on big design and lifestyle websites has been the number one thing that’s generated new business, both directly and indirectly. It’s a double win; my work gets wide exposure through the site’s audience, and I get the credibility boost of saying I’ve been featured on that website.

Hidden gems: Jason Carne’s Lettering Library and a Flickr account I stumbled across called Art of the Luggage Label by Tom Schifanella.

Guilty pleasure: Blasting emo music from high school while working on a frivolous creative project.

Creative fuel: Old ephemera, as well as more modern type from studios like Non-Format, Hort, Studio Feixen and RoAndCo Studio. The bridge between modern and classic is what constantly moves me. I’m driven by what I do not yet know how to achieve, and I’m obsessed with the journey.

Dream collaborators: Bono. I’ve loved U2 since I was a kid. Brandon Sanderson. My biggest dream is to be a fantasy writer, and Sanderson is at the top of the fantasy world. I almost worked on a cover for him, but it has yet to pan out. And Craig Ward. Jessica Hische, Erik Marinovich and Alex Trochut were the biggest inspirations for me when I first got into lettering. Also, Disney and Marvel. I’ve always loved Disney, and now that they own the entire world, including Marvel, why not? Marvel comics got me into illustration and design, so working on movie logos or the opening or end credits would be a dream.

Guilty pleasures: Marvel movies. Marvel Contest of Champions. The Legend of Zelda.

Unexpected resource: JSTOR has been a great resource, especially with some of the non-Latin type work that I’m doing. I’ve found it helpful to look through research from people who are studying manuscripts and ancient forms, and read about things like social structure and cultural context, which are so well covered by anthropologists and sociolinguists. When it comes to non-Latin type work, we’ll all be better with more collaboration between the fields.

Eye-opening experience: I wrote an article on Typographica about the politics of type design, where I suggested that using a typeface by a Nazi was a bad thing. Some of the responses, especially from people in the field whom I looked up to, were really disappointing. It’s pleasantly grounding to know that there aren’t any utopias and that you have to pick a side no matter where you go.

Emerging talents: I’m excited by the promise of fresh, non-White faces in the type industry. I actively follow people like Tré Seals, Ayaka Ito and Potch Auacherdkul, all of whom are doing exciting work. I’m also excited by the new wave of interest in type back home.


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