Only So Many Hours

“Why are you still in here? Come help move stuff into the garage!” My father clearly didn’t understand the importance of these promotional graphics… Why would anyone want to come to our garage sale if our signs weren’t eye-catching and compelling? Okay part of it may have been to avoid the grunt work, but once I got started on drawing type by hand I couldn’t just scribble words in Sharpie and slap the thing together. There were crucial design decisions to be made. I may not have known the proper terminology at the time, but I had to decide if I was going to draw in serif or san-serif. Would I use all caps, sentence case, lower case? Would the letters be bold or thin or skinny or short? And Lord help me if the signs didn’t all look like a set, it was game over.

If I ever teach a foundational design class to non-designers, typography will be the first thing I cover. I know that people say good design goes unnoticed, but I think that’s even more true when speaking about typography. In school, I would often start rewriting my notes if I didn’t think the look was up to my standards, or if you could clearly see where my polish trailed off as my interest in the lecture vanished. I often gravitated towards pens with a thicker tip, to help provide myself with a consistent stroke weight regardless of how fast I was writing. I didn’t have the snazziest handwriting, but it mattered to me.

I could write about typography all day, sexy Swiss principles, grid structures and layout, but this is more about play. I love freelance projects and designing things for friends and family, but rarely do I do things for myself…not solely for my enjoyment anyways. To give credit to this recent inspiration I’ve got to give a shout out to one of my favorite sites to creatively peruse, Brit + Co. But more specifically, I need to credit the artist, Joshua Fortuna. He’s a badass designer in Texas and the post I read from Brit was all about him and his lovely coffee typography combos. Billy Joel’s classic Vienna has been particularly inspiring as of late, and who doesn’t need one more cup of coffee when it’s for the good of a photo shoot? 

I think I want to try this concept with more drinks and foods besides just coffee, but the process was insanely easy. Draw some fun type, live trace it in Illustrator, fill it with a white stroke, put it on top of a stellar picture you quickly snapped in the kitchen at work and kaboom! Coffee art. I also rearranged my office at home to help stir up some creative juices. Sometimes I’m convinced that I subscribe to Communication Arts just for the instant coffee table decor. Kidding, their work is amazing too. I can use all the inspiration I can get. 

You’ve got so much to do and only so many hours in a day, so play. 

Samantha NovakComment