I have spent the last 17 years working in front of a computer, creating things on a computer screen. The mouse is my paintbrush, it is my tool to create my art. As a graphic designer with almost 2 decades under my belt, I can make the click or swoosh of a mouse into a logo or a marketing campaign. I count my self lucky to get to be creative every day.
My passion for art and design started a long time ago though before the mouse and screen became my medium.
Sitting in Art Careers class in grade 12, I remember working on a watercolour illustration for a magazine cover. My teacher, Mrs. Faulks was instructing us to hand draw the cover text using only french curves and a pencil. “The typography on a cover is as important as the picture itself” Mrs Faulks would say.
I didn’t understand what was important about good typography that day in class. But those words and her voice still play echo in my head to this day. I hated hand drawing typography, it was difficult getting the serifs so precise. But those weeks in class taught me the basics of what has become my favourite design subject. Typography, the art of designing with type, the use of type. I love designing with type.
I love that typography has balance and structure and rhythm. It can be big and bold. It can be soft and sophisticated. It can make you laugh, it can make you think. Typography can bring words to life and draw attention. The subject matter is so broad, it’s everywhere we look. On billboards, greeting cards, book covers, t-shirts and tv screens, it’s everywhere.
Can you see why I love typography so much? Do the above examples make you feel something? For me, the above examples make me feel alive! They make me smile, laugh, remind me of the past and the future. I feel all the feelings.
Fast forward from that grade 12 classroom to my first week of University. I had a course called the Autonomy and Art of Typography. I remember thinking, “A whole entire course for typography? You can’t be serious, this is going to be awful”.
I made my way to the classroom and grabbed a seat. My professor walked in and set up at the front podium. “Welcome to typography class! My name is Karen Hodgson and I’m going to make you fall in love with type!”
“Good luck lady, ain’t possible”, I thought. Over the next 3 years, karen shared her passion and proved my bad attitude wrong. I studied the art of Typography and I indeed did fall in love with the design of type.
Fast forward to present day and things haven’t changed. My passion has grown. I’m drawn to typography. My home’s walls are full of art featuring typogrphy. The logos I design for clients are often typographic. The art I make is in my garage with wood, nails, string and paint is typographic. Typography has become a part of who I am as. designer and part of my design brand.