I sincerely cannot believe it's been two years since I started at Hoefler & Co. In that time I've worked, most notably, on Archer Ultra & Operator, but also dabbled in some custom projects. Currently I am working on something very exciting that we cannot wait to share, but you'll have to wait until next year! In the past month I also had a birthday and got married. It's been a wonderful, wild ride for sure. Definitely excited about our future here in NYC and at H&Co. Cheers!
“Puttin’ on the sheriff badge always did give me a sense of pride. Feels good to be back. Doin’ my best to help this here town of Kernsville. Buncha new faces ’round these parts. Lots of ‘em getting lazy, spacin’ out and lettin’ loose. Some nestlin’ up too close even. Back in the day those kinda characters got filed and beat into shape. These days it just takes a quick nudge here and a kindly kern there, and they’re back on the right track. Amblin’ down the smooth road of Fine Typography…”
– Sheriff’s opening monologue
As a Freshman in college I dreamed of living in NYC. I knew a couple designers that lived or worked here and I thought they were the coolest cats in town. As a Sophomore, I traveled to NYC with the ACU design department to check out the museums, do some studio tours, talk with professionals, stare at graffiti, and to learn about outrageous rent prices. I think it was on that trip, sitting in Fette Sau in Williamsburg with some really chill dudes, that I decided I had to live here.
Now it's been a year folks. Does this finally mean I'm a New Yorker?! As the great Brooklynite Mos Def once said "We all have some place where we come from / This place that we come from is called home / Even though we may love, this place on the map / It ain't where ya from, it's where ya at". New York feels like a second home now. It ain't home, but it's definitely where I'm at, and I love it more everyday.
My first winter and six months (!!!) in New York City has been an absolute blast. Adventures to Philly, up-state New York, and trips back home to Abilene and Waco have been needed and exciting. The job at Hoefler & Co. has been wonderful and very encouraging. Recently, I started a couple of new exciting projects which are both challenging and very fun. Maybe I can't share said projects currently, but I can share some photos of the dreamy NYC winter!
However, as early as October I was dreading the winter here in NYC. In the past, I heard many stories from current and past New Yorkers about the dreadful conditions of the sidewalks, the razor-like wind that sweeps through the city, and the months-long depression that hovers above the City. It hasn't lived up to it though. I mean, yes — we had one day where everyone freaked out and sprinted the grocers for potatoes, water, and eggs; but the weathermen got too excited and the wintery mass instead decided to plague up-state and Long Island much more thoroughly than the mere 8 inches that The Big Apple received. Ever since that "blizzard" though, the precipitation and weather has maintained it's seasonal intent though. Unlike Texas, winter is a full 3-4 months here and is honestly quite consistent: sunny in the mornings, gradually becoming grey-er and colder. Some days it mists or lightly snows — nothing crazy; but definitely straight-up winter.
I sincerely don't mind it though. Sure, I miss the warmth of the sun and not sliding around on ice from time to time, but NYC in the winter is quite beautiful in it's own way. Maybe I have this mindset because I'm from Texas and I am used to finding beauty in unexpected places (the desolate expanse of West Texas plus the smell of oil and cattle comes to mind...), but there are some truly wonderful areas and views that are made even more beautiful (or possibly a different form of beautiful) because of the grey sky and snow.
Anyways, enjoy the pics of NYC in the wintertime. If you're in town let me know! Peace.
NYC is a difficult place to live, no doubt. It's dirty, loud, expensive, and crowded. However, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. There so many events here that I am now worried I'll miss something! The longest I had ever been in NYC for was about 6 days last summer. Within that amount of time, I never really saw the grit and/or soul of New York while gazing up at the amazing architecture or taking leisurely strolls around the beautiful parks. However, after two weeks or so, you start to notice the crazy urban wildlife, the smells that just don't go away, and the crazy dudes that try to convince you that the birds are actually your deceased ancestors (yes, that happened). Everyday is an experience; you can never guess or prepare yourself for what is going to surprise you the next day. Some days this is awesome. Other days, its exhausting. Overall though, it has been an absolutely incredible 3 weeks.
In that amount of time I have eaten some amazing meals, saw a street fight, went to the U.S. Open qualifiers, spent too much money on fancy coffee, went to a exhibition showcasing type design work on road bikes, seen a man covered in pigeons, gotten lost [only!] a few times, saw a guy deliberately hit another car with his, mastered the subway, saw a bird vs squirrel battle in Central Park, doubted myself at least half-a-dozen times, spent countless hours in magnificent libraries, and made a ton of progress on my MATD dissertation. I hardly even had time to start looking for a job! Thankfully, I was contacted by two amazing firms. In the end, I went with what I felt was best for me at this time in my life.
In saying that, I will be starting a new job in September at the world-renowned design foundry of Hoefler & Co. in NYC as a type designer. The designs created by H&Co. influenced my work as a student and a professional and also partially inspired me to pursue type design and lettering as a career path (check out the amazing discover typography site). In saying that, it is a huge honor to be given an opportunity to work there. Cannot wait for my first day!
None of this would have been even remotely possible without my amazing professors at ACU who encouraged me and taught me almost everything I know about art & deign, my amazing friends and family who believed in me and never stopped pushing me, my brilliantly supportive girlfriend Emily, and of course, my fellow colleagues and the staff at Reading University's MATD program. You guys freakin' rock.
I am excited to start a new chapter here in New York, but also will greatly miss all of my friends abroad and at home in Texas. If you're ever in NYC, give me a ring, ya hear!
My girlfriend Emily was in Europe for the past month tagging along with her parents who semi-annually teach as study abroad professors. Mr. and Mrs. Tell are both (extremely talented) professors of music at mine and Emily's undergraduate university, ACU. Mad props to them both. Anyways, one week Emily had nothing to do in Leipzig, Germany (where her parents teach) and so she flew over here and spent a bit of time with me here in lovely Reading. We also ended up taking the usual day trips to Oxford and London, but nothing really compares with our adventure to Switzerland.
We were only in the Confoederatio Helvetica for about four days, but it was absolutely wonderful and a much needed holiday for me. We flew into Zurich and took a train into central Zurich and just wandered around for a bit. We walked down the river and enjoyed the brisk air, passing lovely (expensive) shops and cafes along the way. By the Rathaus (Town Hall) there is this bridge that goes over the river. From there you can look South and see the gigantic Zurich lake. We walked down these tiny streets (honestly more like corridors) and stumbled upon the Cabaret Voltaire (birthplace of Dada) and so we had to go in. After hanging out for a bit we took a 2 hour train that more or less went across the country to Chur – a smallish city in the South of Switzerland. After waiting for a bus, we finally arrived in Laax. We spent the next few days relaxing, cooking, riding bikes through magical forests, and gazing upon some of the most spectacular and majestic views I've ever seen. Every few minutes seemed to be a 'photo-op', but hey, that's just how awesome Switzerland is. In Flims, a town thats a 20 minute walk from Laax, we rented bikes and rode to the Caumasee (a beautiful loch) and the Rheinschlucht (Swiss Grand Canyon). Really amazing stuff, you guys.
After our stay in Laax, we ventured back to Zurich where I said goodbye to Emily in the train station. She went back to Berlin to meet up with her family and I stayed in town for a bit longer since my flight wasn't until later. I spent my time designing by the Zurichsee and relaxing.
Well, anyways. Enough of that – go to Switzerland! Even though its expensive, I think it was my favorite trip in the entire year I've been in Europe. There's even lil goats! Check it out!
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.
All who have not been to Ireland must go! It's a beautiful country and besides the copious amounts of rain, terrible hostels, and rude bus drivers, it's a very nice place to vacation to. Me and my friends Helen and Lisa went on a weekend trip to The Emerald isle a few days ago and I thought I should post some pictures. If you ever wondered why its called the Emerald Isle, just scroll down and look at the grass in the photos. I mean, its like green. Anyways, we stayed in Dublin and took a day trip to the Wicklow Mountain National Park where we say Lough Tay, some epic mountains, The Upper Lakes, and cute little Irish villages. Enjoy.
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!