Through his recently launched San Francisco type foundry, OH no Type Co., James Edmondson tackles the typefaces that no other designer will. Case in point: He revived the psychedelic Hobo, a typeface so detested that it inspired a Tumblr called I Hate Hobo. But Edmondson embraced the challenge and Hobo’s je ne sais quoi and human-seeming lack of right angles. There is business sense behind his madness: “As long as I steer clear of saturated markets, I know I’m delivering the best thing out there.” As a budding designer, Edmondson was afraid he didn’t draw well enough to go to art school, but he eventually gathered the courage to enroll in the California College of the Arts, followed by the TypeMedia master’s program at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague, Netherlands. “I am very pleased to report art school is full of people who can’t draw.” With three years of professional experience, he now avoids rulers and measurements. “I’m also not so interested in straight lines, and I do my best to ignore geometry. For me, that is super boring. It’s like the bumper sticker that says, ‘Drum machines have no soul.’” Thanks to Edmondson’s off-the-beaten-path approach, his foundry has plenty of soul.
A New York illustrator’s fascination with textiles and architecture gives shape to her art.