Edward Carvalho Monaghan at Pick Me Up.

It feels like ages since the Pick Me Up exhibition in London (it is!), and I’d kind of forgotten about it. However over the last weekend, I was having a look through the photos I took there and was pleasantly reminded that none other than Edward Carvalho Monaghan’s work was literally the first thing you saw as you walked into the exhibition!

For those of you that follow this blog, you might recall that I featured his psychedelic fruit pastille-esque work about a year ago when it was showcased in the 2013 Central Saint Martin’s degree show. I’m sure you can guess how happy I was to see his work getting the Pick Me Up seal of approval!

More of Edward’s work can be found at edwardcarvalhomonaghan.co.uk

A great guest article over on the Typeworship blog by the mighty Rob Clarke. Feature some fab archive pictures from the early ’90s design world of Spiekermann and Brody among other things…

typeworship:

Recently the Type Worship blog reached a milestone of 150,000 followers. To mark the occasion we have invited a selection of creative leaders to guest blog on the subject of their choice. In the first of these posts, Rob Clarke describes a pivotal time in his education that led to his career in lettering and typography, and offers his advice to aspiring designers.

Why a career in type?

I’m often asked why I got into such a niche career as typography. Back in my student days there weren’t many opportunities or information on a career in type design or lettering. I didn’t even think you could make a living purely out of playing around with type. In the early 90s I studied an ordinary graphic design degree course and loved the work of many contemporary designers of that time including Neville Brody, David Carson, Jonathan Barnbrook, Emigre, Why Not and 8vo. However it was Erik Spiekermann who really caught my attention. He had recently co-founded FontShop and was proving an inspirational speaker. 

With Brody at the helm FontShop developed ‘the magazine for the future’ entitled Fuse. In each issue four designers were commissioned to create a font and poster based on a theme. The designs rejoiced in pushing the boundaries of legibility and creativity. It was this experimentation with type that I found most inspiring at that time. I only have a couple of Fuse issues but now I wish I’d bought them all.

I had the pleasure of meeting Erik in his MetaDesign studio in Berlin in December 1992. I was hungry to learn and this short visit would prove incredibly important to my future career decisions. At this time MetaDesign were working extensively with Berlin Transport Services (BVG). I was lead through the process of designing fonts and bespoke type in order to suit the needs of a particular project. I was also given a copy of Erik’s book entitled ‘Rhyme and Reason – A typographic Novel’ – a light-hearted look into the world of type and well worth a read if you can get your hands on a rare copy.

Berlin Map Sketch
 
When I met Erik, 1992

The revelation of my trip, however, was being introduced to an emerging East Berlin design collective called Grappa. They were originally established in 1987 and were pioneers of the Mac – embracing both its capabilities and limitations. Prolific poster designers for dance, theatre and music, I found their work so expressive and engaging. With a minimal and inventive style they created an unpredictable relationship between type and image. They were not traditional typographers and went with their gut instinct. Co-founder Andreas Trogisch told me they wanted their work to stay fresh and experimental. Their supplies were limited and budgets low therefore creativity was essential. Andreas was both warm and passionate and continues to champion freedom in design today. Grappa became Blotto in 2002 and recently Andreas left to form Troppo.

Andreas Trogisch talking through his process 1992
 
Grappa1
 
Grappa2

Meeting these guys had a lasting effect on me and I couldn’t help but be hugely inspired. To see how they worked in the real world and getting physically involved proved to be the real inspiration. I based my thesis on the emerging graphic design scene in Berlin and it heavily influenced how I would look at and treat type in the future. I still had no idea that I would end up concentrating purely on type and it wasn’t until I got my first job alongside a calligrapher that my education really started.

My advice for students/aspiring designers today: If you don’t ask you don’t get. It’s all too easy to send a generic email to a designer you admire, in the hope of receiving some magical inspiration. You have to dig a little deeper than this. Without becoming a stalker, try and meet your idols – go to as many talks as possible, you may bump into them in the pub afterwards. If this isn’t possible look at websites, like Dribbble, I’ve found this a great place to get feedback and virtually rub shoulders with all levels of designer.

We all had to start somewhere and my experience is that us designers aren’t a bad bunch and most are willing to help. 

Image Credits:
Above from top left: Neville BrodyJonathan Barnbrook, EmigreTypography Now2 (Why Not Associates), Fuse Packaging, Fuse poster by Neville Brody.
Images 7-10 & 12: Rob Clarke, December 1992, aged 21.
Image 11 Eye Magazine Winter, 1991

Typographic Portraits by Sean Williams

Some smart work here by seanings, a Type Designer based in Edmonton, Alberta. Each piece makes use of phrases and words related to the subject, including lyrics and quotes.

I like his ‘house style’ that tips its hat to the typography found in the psychedelic gig posters by the likes of Rick Griffin and Stanley Mouse.

You can find more of Sean’s work at seaningsdesign.com.

pinartfolio:

Typographic portraits by Sean Williams (aka Seanings)

(more)

A Picture of Yew by Rosie Gopaul

Vancover based designer rosiegopaul brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘Wooden Type’ with this experimental project in which she has created a real world alphabet from card stock and peeled yew tree bark.

It’s always nice to see typographic work that exists in the real world, rather than being a creation that derives from software, especially when it takes its cues from nature. And I don’t believe that I’m BARKING mad when I say that.

See what I did there?

The full set is over at Behance. You can also check out more of Rosie’s work at rosie-gopaul.com.

uglytype:

A Picture of Yew

by 

E’s are good! E’s are good!

Reeeeeeeeeeeeks is an on-going project curated by Dutch designer Peter Palland.

He invites other designers to create a letter ‘E’ in a style of their choosing, and then appends each one into an on-going ‘chain’ of E’s.

I’ve featured my favourites above, but the greater set can be found over at reeeeeeeeeeeeks.nl. It’s worth noting that the first one (by Koos Breen) is an earlier version of what appears on Reeeeeeeeeeeeks - I featured this simply because I prefer it to the final!

Liquid Calligraphy by Ruslan Khasanov.

I love the ephemeral brevity of these letterforms! I think these impressive lettering animations have been knocking around for a couple of years now, but I’ve only just become aware of them.

There’s more of this lovely set over at ruskhasanov.com.

kirkwa:

Animated Liquid Typography

Gifs from Russian digital artist Ruslan Khasanov

Kinecdysis (Grapheme) by Sougwen Chung.

Sougwen Chung’s work straddles a wide spectrum of disciplines. Employing sculpture, drawing and performance among others, she explores form with multiple layers of sound, light and space, developing complex structures into spacial experiences.

With Kinecdysis (Grapheme), we find a colourful and vibrant alphabet that takes its cues from Ecdysis - the process of the moulting of the cuticula in many invertebrate organisms, which Sougwen adopts as a metaphor for the written form.

I’ve only included a few examples here, however you can find the full set over at kinecdysis. Sougwen also has a more general Tumblr at sougwen as well as a website at sougwen.com.