Post pobrano z: An interview with James Lewis, type designer
How did you discover typography and decide that it could become your job?
I first came into practising typography at the age of only 14. I was looking for something, anything, to do other than play video games which I had become completely bored of. I begin by learning copperplate calligraphy, then hand lettering, and finally type design and graphic design at University here in Cardiff, UK.
Do you have some advice for a young designer who would like to get started with font design?
I get this question on Instagram almost everyday and my advise is always the same: follow your interest and fully immerse yourself into the process of type design and the culture surrounding it. Read books, take courses, and fall in love.
Where do you find inspiration for new typeface creation?
Inspiration can come from anywhere, you just have to be open to receiving it. I’ve been exploring 3D lettering for over 2 years now and I continually got asked if there were any font’s out there similar to what I was drawing. VERSA was borne to fill that void whilst being versatile enough to be used across a multitude of applications.
You made yourself a reputation for layered font, what do you like about layered fonts in particular?
The layered font gives the user a whole other lever ( pun intended 😉 ) of creative options. Seeing the font used by designers all over the world in creative ways I didn’t even think of during production has been so rewarding.
You recently released Versa, a 3D font family, can you tell us more about it?
Versa is a seventeen layered font family. It’s the first font ever that includes a variable depth, meaning it’s not only 3D but the user can decide just how much they want the word to pop of the page! The 3D design follows a tradition rooted in sign painting whilst its geometric forms allows the font to be very versatile, hence the name VERSA. The font is available in three packages Basic, Pro, & Advanced, each providing a different amount of font files at a corespoinding price making the font accessible to everyone from lettering hobbyists to multinational creative agencies. https://www.versafont.com/
What are the challenges of starting your own type foundry?
There are many challenges to starting your own type foundry. Similar to a vineyard it takes a while to produce just one product and even longer to build a reputation for quality products. It’s definitely a long game but I enjoy the process and find typeface design a great project to work on between lettering & logo design client projects.
And now for a classic question, any favorite typeface?
My favourite font of all time is akzidenz grotesk. Despite being released in the late 1800’s it remains a workhorse of a sans serif and influenced the most famous font ever Helvetica.