Post-Practical Work

We turned in our type specimen and the “Reflection on Practice” last Tuesday. It was incredible to see all of my classmates work and to see how far we had come. It’s also crazy to think that an entire year worth of practical design work could be displayed inside a 20 page booklet! However, all of the specimens look amazing and I’m jealous of every single one. I’ve been really impressed by all of my classmates work throughout the entire year. When you’re surrounded by great designers who produce stellar work it really inspires you to up your game. I have felt like I have grown a lot here not only as a designer, but as a student as well. I was just telling the head of our department, Gerry Leonidas, about how I have learned so much more than I thought possible. All the brilliant professors, workshops, guest lecturers, trips to museums, libraries, and various countries have made this year incredibly successful and even fun. It’s been very difficult at times, but in the end (of the practical work portion), I think it was an amazing experience and worth every penny. Now all we have to do is write an epic dissertation! Mine will be on the creation and localization of the American Gothics (or Grotesques if you wish). More on this later though.

Like I said above, it’s kinda crazy to cram a year of practical design work into one booklet. Our specimen also only showed our ‘thesis project’, but we created a lot typefaces and lettering over the course of the program. So, I quickly typeset a few random lines below in all the ‘masters’ I designed over this past year in order from oldest, to latest. And as I looked back on the absolute rubbish I created a year ago, I smiled. I quickly realized that I have progressed as a designer just by looking at a timeline of faces I have drawn in the short span of 9 months. Below is the list of typefaces I created from October 2013 through July 2014. I’m not too ashamed of any of them, however, many are still works-in-progress. Hope you enjoy one or two!

* Squarespace does a bit of compression that I dunno how to turn off so be sure to right click the image and ‘open in new tab’. This should make it a bit better; might still look terrible though :P *

MATD Typeface Overview

Future Plans After the MATD

As I said in the last post, the end is in near! My time here at the MATD program in Reading is quickly (and unfortunately) approaching its end. I have just submitted my typeface to the department head, Gerry Leonidas. Now, all I have left to do is finish designing an awesome specimen book and write a short "Reflection on Practice" paper. Once I have done these two things, I will get on a long flight back to ATX. So, on July 25th I will be leaving the rainy, old, beautiful land of Britain to go back to Texas. Really excited for this, but it's honestly quite bittersweet. The program, travels, friends, and even the food will be greatly missed. The amazing libraries and reading rooms where I have had access to unbelievably old, priceless, beautiful manuscripts & books will now only be able to be visited through memories, photographs, and scans. The professors who have encouraged me to create (in my opinion) one of the best piece of design I have ever done will never be forgotten and can probably never be properly thanked. There have been many difficulties, and many more to come, but I believe my time (and money) here has been well spent. Cheers to the MATD! 

I will go back to Waco and hang around with my girlfriend, family, and friends for a couple of weeks then I'm off again to start a new chapter of my life. Some time in August I will be moving to New York City to start a career in the Typographic Arts! I have always wanted to move to NYC, but never felt really prepared until now. Thankfully I have some ridiculously awesome friends up in the five boroughs that have helped my find a place to live and have even give me leads to jobs. Huge shout out to my bros Corey Hale, Jeff Rogers, and Ryan Feerer.

As they say in England, massive thanks to these top lads. Could not be where I am today if it wasn't for their help! 

Friends, Family, Fonts and Future Plans

Over the course of the last 3 months many exciting things have happened. Instead of me flying to the States to see friends and family, the States came to me on two different occasions! My family came to visit for about 10 days and we traveled around South England and went to Paris for a few days. Then about two weeks after that, the Freeman Bros came for a visit. I have known Tanner and Braden Freeman ever since I was a kid, so it was great to catch up with them and travel around Europe together – even if it was almost an identical trip as the one I took with my family only weeks earlier, ha! All in all, we had some great adventures and had a lot of good conversation. Tanner runs a design studio in my hometown of Waco, Texas called Deuxtone. Everyone should check them out. Some really killer stuff coming from that two man studio in Downtown WTX. 

As for myself, I have become immune to the effects of caffeine as I stay up late hours to push pixels and pull béziers. I have started a few new projects. Some of the projects are for my program – I am designing a general-use script type family where each weight corresponds to the tool used to draw it and how quickly it was drawn. I have also been given some new freelance opportunities from my wonderful clients and my bud Ryan Feerer. This may sound like a lot of work, but honestly, most of these projects are being filled under "FUN". They give me a nice break from slaving over my MATD type project or from writing my dissertation. Later, I will post WIP shots of some of these projects up on the "Featured" tab of my site. 

The end is in sight though! I will submit my typeface design project in a few weeks. After that I will design an print a type specimen booklet to hand in as well. I am extremely excited to create and design a book with something I created and designed (design inception?)! After those two things are in, all I will have to focus on is writing and researching for my paper and a reflection on my time spent here at the MATD. Oh, and also an adventure! Me and my lovely girlfriend will take a much needed holiday to Switzerland. We will fly into Zurich then head south into the Swiss alps to the small village of Laax where we will find one of my type colleague's families condo. We will have hike and bike trails, ski lifts, transparent lakes, glaciers, and many, many mountains to explore.

In all, the past 3 months have been crazy, but awesome. It's amazing that I have friends and family that would fly all the way over here just to hang out with me (OK, and to see Europe...). It has been an amazing adventure so far and its not even over yet! However, I am extremely excited about what the future holds as well. More updates on that stuff soon. I have a big announcement on my plans after MATD that I cannot wait to share with you all.


MATD > Belgium & The Netherlands

I recently got back from Belgium and the Netherlands. If you dont wanna read the rest of this article I'll sum it up quick: It was awesome. Scroll down for images taken in a hurry.  

Our first stop was to Antwerp where we visited the Plantin-Moretus Museum. We viewed and studied some seriously old books and manuscripts. The sheer amount of books, manuscripts, bibles, presses, tools, and type was absolutely stunning. After an hour in this place your head starts to spin. But it's amazing that there even exists a museum on the history of type and the printers that used it 500 years ago. 

While in Antwerp I also ate more food than the average human being should in 2 days. Brunch at beautiful outdoor cafes, Belgium fries and waffles, Ethiopian all-you-can-eat, fantastic coffees and teas, and the Trappist brews proved how amazing Belgium cuisine is. I don't know if I have eaten that well since I came to Europe. If you've never been to Antwerp go. Even if its just for the cafes and waffles, you won't regret it.

We left for Amsterdam midweek and immediately headed to the Special Collections at the University of Amsterdam. Another place with an unbelievable collection of antiques and rare books that you can hardly believe still exist. The entire list of items we saw can be found here. Gerard Unger was giving us an excellent presentation on the items retrieved from the archives there. He is a great speaker and a refined expert in this field, especially when it comes to Dutch type & graphic design. After that, Gerard led us to an Artists Club where I devoured half a chicken with potatoes and gravy. We had nice conversation and most likely a heated typographic debate. 

The next few days were spent exploring Amsterdam museums, libraries, and bookshops (oh, and pubs as well). We took a day trip to Haarlem where we visited the Enschede Museum. Later we went to Unger's favorite diner in Amsterdam. I had a smoked eel broodje. Yup, you read that right – smoked eel. Your'e all posers until you eat something as disgusting and slimy as an eel (it was actually like, crazy delicious). After that we went to the Rijksmuseum which houses many amazing works by Rembrant, Monet, van de Velde, Breitner, Vermeer, van Dijck, van Gogh, and many others.

The next day we travelled to Den Haag (The Hague) and went to the The Meermanno Museum . After looking at some of the worlds most beautifully designed books, we headed to the KABK to eat lunch and meet up with the type design students. They gave us a seriously impressive presentation and schooled us in Foosball. In the great dutch tradition, they gave us an ice cold Heineken as well so we would all stop talking about type and start chatting about something more normal, like beer. After realising how terrible I was at foosball (even though I love soccer), Riccardo (italian colleague & friend) and I were invited to Gerard Unger's house for dinner. He prepared an absolutely amazing meal for us and then showed us some of his favourite Italian and Tex Avery comedies! What a cool dude. 

Anyways, since I have now bored you with all the details, here are some crappy photos taken with my iPhone while walking around. Enjoy!

Design, Travel, and TV

If I haven't been busy designing multiple typefaces and rewriting my dissertation proposal I've been hiding out in my flat watching House of Cards or True Detective (amazing stuff, really). The past couple of months have seen my typefaces and designs completely evolve. Hopefully that evolution is for the better. There is so much 'behind the scenes work' when all you want to change is, for example, a curve on the shoulder of the "n" or how the descenders look. When you modify one little thing you have to do it to all the glyphs over 3 masters (Thin, Regular, and Fat) and to the italics (which also have 3 masters)! But the design is in the details, so changing tiny things have made big differences. All that to say, I am enjoying my designs and my education (and also that True Detective... wow).

We recently had a week of design with Gerard Unger and a Adobe FDK (Font Development Kit) workshop with Frank Grießhammer from @kioskfonts. Both sessions and designers gave me really great feedback and also strengthened my ideas on the direction and use of my project. 

I only have one more week of class until our Spring Break – which is an amazing five weeks long. But before then, I have to send in a revised disertation proposal and I also have to present my project for the final critique of the semester. During the break, I will be visiting Dublin and maybe some of the Irish countryside. This past week though, I have been in Antwerp, Amsterdam and The Hague visiting museums of art and typography, eating delicious food, and hanging out with some really cool kids. More on that in the next post though. Hope you enjoy the designs below!


We are now approaching the end of the first term here at Reading University MATD and I (would like to think) have made progress on my practical work! While I have been developing my typefaces, I had been working on other projects as well. You can see some of these designs in the "Featured" tab above.

For the first of my typeface projects I have created a friendly, versatile serif family that will be accompanied by extreme weights (thin and FAT) that can be used for editorial or general use. This project will probably be my main focus throughout the year, since it will have many weights and styles. I also believe this typeface has the most potential of the bunch because I do not know many on the market that are similar. I drew inspiration from humanistic imperfections in writing, and the aesthetic qualities of brush lettering. You can see this typeface in the first 3 examples at the bottom of this article.

But even before I drew my first "a" of that typeface, I started creating an "italic" that wasn't even first thought of as an italic. I drew this font first as brush lettering for a project at Cisneros Design. I looked at it one day and thought to myself, "hmm, that could be neat as a typeface!" So, in reality, it is a italic with no regular. I thought about adding a regular to it, but maybe it's more of a lone wolf and can get along just fine by itself! Some thought I was crazy at first, but this idea of creating an italic before the regular is quite fun and will hopefully lead to even more exciting discoveries. You can see this font in the fourth string of text below.

I also was roaming around the intertron (yes, technical term) one day and stumbled across an old type specimen by the Ludlow Typograph Company in Chicago that dates back to 1958. However, inside the specimen there are typefaces that were punched and cut in the 1920s. A few of these designs caught my eye with their brilliant, unique, vintage feel and I wondered if anyone had made digital drawings of them. After perusing around some nerdy typography sites, I found nothing. So, I decided to start digitising revivals of my own! Obviously though, my drawings are not direct revivals, but merely inspired revivals. Not only have I been able to learn more about this company and the designs, but I have also enjoyed every minute (or countless hours) of reviving the type. This project is no where near complete, but I plan on working on it when I have some spare time. This font is shown on the last line below.

Hopefully something in these typefaces will catch your eye. These are works in progress, but feedback and critique are greatly appreciated. Enjoy.


First Day of Grad School, Michael Twyman, and 19th Century Posters

Today was officially my first day of graduate study here at Reading University. The previous week I have been preparing for my classes by eating lots of delicious food, watching Doctor Who and frequently traveling to London (there will be another post on my first week in the UK later.) But unlike my first week, today was actually educational and was spent in the classroom listening to Michael Twyman talk about his giant collection of 19th century posters.

Michael Twyman established the Graphic Communication & Typography program that I am now apart of here at Reading University in 1974. It was the first of its kind in the entire world. He is well known for his writings on the theory of graphic language and his epic collections of printed design. He retired from full time teaching in 1998 but still continues to gives lectures to us post-graduate students once a week. 

Every Monday Professor Twyman brings a small portion of his huge private collection and gives a talk pertaining to what he has brought in. Depending on the topic he will bring posters, books, pamphlets, advertisements, magazines, or various other kinds of ephemera. Today Professor Twyman brought in French letterpress posters from the 19th century for us to "ohhh" and "ahhh" at. All the posters were beautiful and preserved very well. Many of the posters are administrative documents or play bills. Others are advertisements, for sale signs, or even proclamations from the king.

Enjoy the images, but let's first thank Michael Twyman and the other brilliant people who archive and collect past works. If it was not for them, we wouldn't even have the chance to see these amazing designs.



I decided to start a list of reading material after a student asked me what books on type/typography I have been reading lately or which books were most influential to me as a type design student. Of course this is not a complete list, but it is a list full of articles, magazines, books and blogs that have inspired me. If you have any suggestions, please add them in a comment below. Hope you enjoy!



Simon Garfield, Just My Type. Avery, 2010

Ellen Lupton, Thinking With Type. Princeton, 2010

Steven Heller & Louise Fili, Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design's Golden Age. Thames & Hudson, 2012

Steven Heller & Talarico Lita, Typography Sketchbooks. Thames & Hudson, 2012

Steven Heller & Philip B Meggs (eds), Texts on Type: Critical Writings on Typography. Allworth Press, 2001

Rob Roy Kelly, American Wood Type: 1828–1900. Da Capo, 1977

Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style. Hartley & Marks, 3rd Edition, 2004

Walter Tracey, Letters of Credit. David R Godine, 1987

Gerard Unger, Theory of Type Design. nai010, 2018

Hyphen Press

Robin Kinross, Modern Typography. 2nd Edition. 2005

Gerritt Noordzij, The Stroke: Theory of Writing of the Pen. 2005

Fred Smeijers, Counterpunch: Making Type in the Sixteenth Century; Designing Typefaces Now. 1996


Typography Papers (Distributed through Hyphen but the site is down currently)

Eye Magazine and also the Blog – Type Tuesdays is also great

Codex Magazine



John Boardley’s I Love Typography. Definitely read the Type History Series, including The First Roman Fonts, and pay more attention to the designer interviews; start with Seb Lester’s.

Stephen Coles’ Typographica. Great collection of type reviews and articles. Read anything that sounds interesting to you. It's all good!

C.A.S.T Foundry’s Medium. High quality writing here from Riccardo Olocco and company. Definitely read his interview with Gerrard Unger

Peter Bil’ak and Johanna Bil’ak-Balusíková’s Typotheque

James Edmonson’s blog at Oh no Type Co. The “Process” and “Teaching” tabs have some real gems in there.

Graduate School

As my recent tweets suggest, I will be attending Reading University's Masters in Typeface Design program this fall. I have only recently secured this position and obviously I am very excited. I have known about Reading (30 minutes west of London) for a while now, but my interest grew whenever I attended the Pencil to Pixel exhibit in NYC this summer. Dan Rhatigan, James Montalbano, and many other designers convinced me that this was a fantastic career opportunity and that I should take it. I also reached out to many professors, alumni, family members, and of course, my girlfriend for advice. We all decided this was the perfect time in my life to pursue such a crazy endeavor. 

The program will last for one year and will cover the history, practice and creation of fine typography both Latin, and Non-Latin. Some activities will include handwriting, calligraphy, etching, stone carving, letterpress printing, drawing, and of course, typeface design. The course will also award me with a Masters of Arts which I will use to teach many typography hungry students someday in the distant future. More information on the course is here

I will be using this blog as a weekly update on what I have been doing at the Reading MATD. I will be posting articles and pictures of my travels, sketches, assignments and probably a few selfies. Hope you enjoy!