typographers & designers

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Exploration into Typography









  • Typographersand



  • House Industries WRITTEN BY HANNAH CHI

    House Industries is an internationally known prolific type

    foundry and design studio based in Yorklyn, Delaware. The company was created on March 1st, 1993 when Andy Cruz and

    Rich Boat quit their jobs and set up Brand Design Co., Inc. in

    the space of Richs apartment in Wilmington, Delaware. Despite

    its garage startup, the company has manifested into making

    a considerable impact on the world of design as its fonts are

    widely spread throughout billboards, greeting cards, consumer

    product logos, and mainstream mediaa few which include

    VH1s Best Week Ever, Mission Impossible, Nickelodeons TV

    Land, Anne Taylor garment bags, Lucky Charms, and etc.

    Behind the apparent success of House Industries is a team

    of impassioned House artists who have mastered a large

    cross-section of design disciplines that acts as an infrastructure

    for the mesh of cultural, musical and graphic elements within in

    the mastered typography. From early forays into distressed dig-

    ital alphabets to sophisticated type and lettering systems, House

    Industries work transcends graphic conventions and reaches out

    to a broad audience.

    Within the realm of House Industries broad clientele is a

    wide variety of an unconscious House aesthetic of the studios

    blue-collared designers. As House designers draw from an

    exposure of areas in the American sub-cultural phenomena of

    unsophisticated yet incredibly formative graphic design, despite

    the big names of their clients, House designers ultimately create

  • their own projects of design and illustration. Each House

    Industries project attempts to administer a component of an

    art history lesson of sorts by using their font collections to

    provide an opportunity to draw attention to the impactful

    and under-appreciated art genres that were a huge influence

    to the designers during their impressionable years. The

    consistent element of art history embedded into the House

    aesthetics has inevitably created a style that audiences identify

    House Industries with. In accordance, because of the twentieth century metal type

    inspiration and the diverse references to popular cultur-

    al imagery, invariably, retro is always brought up when

    discussing Houses work. Regardless of the indifferent

    categorization of House aesthetics being retro, as the

    term is thoughtlessly used to describe anything that from

    the past few decades, House designers focus solely in the

    craft of everything they do. House Industries finds creating

    artwork by traditional means to be more direct and efficient

    so ultimately, the hands-on approach preserves the charac-

    teristic production techniques while drawing from personal

    interests, which gives a unique flavor of making the House

    Aesthetic one of a kind.


    Jessica Hische is a Pennsylvania-born, award-winning letterer,

    illustrator, and graphic designer. Known for her Daily Drop

    Cap project, Should I Work for Free flowchart, and beautiful

    type design and lettering skills, Hische is currently based in San

    Francisco and works alongside friend and designer Erik Mari-

    novich. While shes not in her studio space creating and working

    on designs, she can be found traveling the world attending and

    speaking at conferences, finding ways to help others do what

    they love.

    Having worked for wonderful clients such as Wes Anderson,

    American Express, and Penguin Books, Hische continues to

    work independently from her studio, designing for advertising,

    books, weddings, branding, and companies, while still finding

    time to work on fun side projects for herself. One of her biggest

    projects included designing book covers for a 26-book classics

    series with Penguin Books; each with an elegantly-designed

    letter that pertained to a classic author, and another working

    with Wes Anderson to create film titles for Moonrise King-

    dom. Hische is also greatly acclaimed, having been listed in

    Forbes Top 30 Under 30 in art and design twice, nominated as

    GDUSAs person to watch in 2011, and featured in many major

    design and illustration publications. She is greatly admired and

    respected by those in her industry and lettering-aficionados.

    Her hand-lettering skills have been carefully practiced and

    trator to develop a general skeleton and adding decorations and

  • ornamentations later on. While Hisches work for her clients is

    incredibly expansive and ample, her style is a common element in

    all of her lettering and illustrations; her work can be described as

    both whimsical and sophisticated, as she finds inspiration every-

    where she goes and through all the wonderful people she meets

    around the world. Just when you think you figured it out, you

    find some better way of doing things. The key is to always keep

    trying to be better.

  • Michael BierutWRITTEN BY JOHN LUNA

    The Ohio-born Michael Bierut is a highly awarded and famous

    graphic designer that is attributed with the creation of designs

    ranging from the environmental graphics for the New York

    Times building to the development of a new brand strategy for

    the packaging of Saks Fifth Avenue. However, his work does not

    only result from his ability to design but also his identity as a

    designer. He describes the difference between those who design

    and those who are designers. The designer is also a participant in

    the design conversation and, as a designer; Bierut is a leader in

    creating a design community. He has served as the national pres-

    ident of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, acted as a senior

    critic at Yale School of Art, and is a founding contributor for the

    Design Observer. His works and didactic contributions have af-

    fected the language of typography and the field of design overall.

    With his book, Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design, Bierut

    hopes to create a community for design conversation, which, he

    comments, was fairly unavailable to a majority of designs de-

    spite the universality of design in the world. He complains that,

    in the 1970s, there was only really one, inaccessible, conference

    for designers to attend and that paid subscriptions to publications

    tended to be costly creating a very isolated world of design. He

    grants insight to the importance, especially due to the ubiquitous

    nature of design, of the graphic and of the associated text. Men-

    tions of his mistakes and experiences during his design career

    inform him and allow him to offer readers advice on spurring

    conversations about design and challenging the established

  • design normative. In Bieruts essay published in the Design

    Observer, he mentions that design is about making connections

    between objects. Despite appearing to be an aggregation for

    essays on design, he also comments on other topics such as

    politics or business. He mentions, Design is not everything.

    But design is about everything. Bierut praises design for always

    being about something else. These connections allow designs

    to become a universal entity that has driven Bieruts inspirations.

    As a result of his contemporary advice on breaking the design

    standard, Bierut has become a major, and powerful, contributor

    to the entire design community.


    Herman Zapf is a German type designer who was born in 1918 in

    Nuremberg during the German revolution and is still alive today

    at age 96! He is married to a fellow typeface designer, Gudrun

    Zapf von Hesse. Zapf grew up with an interest in technical sub-

    jects; as a kid he experimented with electricity and even built an

    alarm set for his house. At a young age, Zapf was already getting

    involved with type, inventing cipher-text alphabets to exchange

    secret messages with his brother.

    He left school in 1933 with the ambition to pursue a career

    in electrical engineering. However, Zapf was not able to attend the Ohm Technical Institute in Nuremberg due to the

    new political regime in Germany at the time, so he took up

    an apprenticeship position in lithography where he worked

    for four years. During this time, Zapf attended an exhibition

    in Nuremberg in honor of the late typographer Rudolf Koch. This exhibition gave him his first interest in lettering and he

    began to teach himself calligraphy. In 1938, he designed his

    first printed typeface, a fraktur type called Gilgengart. One year later, Zapf was conscripted into World War II and sent to help reinforce the defensive line against France. Not

    used to the hard labor, he developed heart trouble in a few

    weeks and was given a desk job, writing camp records and

    sports certificates. Due to his heart trouble, Zapf was dis-

    missed early from his unit and shortly thereafter began training

    as a cartographer. After his training, he traveled to Bordeaux

  • and became a staff member in the cartography unit where he

    drew maps of Spain. Zapf enjoyed working in