David Explains

The hole in this b’logue and my truancy from TypeCon since 2009 has clearly left me with some ’splaining to do. I went back to school; this after years of considering myself done with it. There to welcome me back to the design program we had begun together was the graduating class of seniors. With a flush schedule and an abbreviated program I finished up a year behind them. Friends pictured below interspersed: Regan Johnson, Joey Lasko, Miriam Altamira, Colin Pinegar, & Rory Bruggeman.

Above: page out of <em>Meet Your Type,</em> a very well-put-together resource for the young discoverer of typography.

Going away to school again I took the opportunity to change my life around some. I had had it with doing good work. Great work was the stuff I now hoped to busy myself with and getting to it came with a sense of urgency. I pursued the hard stuff; stuff I found particularly challenging, like writing well about art & the humanities, making sophisticated use of color, designing in themes or material with which I had no experience. With individual projects I stuck to the rules:

Let it be something you haven't tried before
about which you care
& let it be fun

The highest highlight was making lots of new friends and reconnecting with plenty old ones. It was great to see Jed Henry again. He's now moved on from animation and become a children's author & illustrator. Designer Chris Mann is consistently good. In his work each piece takes full ownership of the elements from whence it is made. Additionally, it was my pleasure to study letterpress printing and typography under fine printer & private publisher Rob Buchert. Rob asks his students to keep a photographic journal of surprise letterforms they encounter.

Above: F.

A particularly fun project required showing up to class with a pair of scissors; We were not told why. The student was to take one large press-sheet per letter in his name, and go to — cutting out the letters. ‘Don’t draw on it, just cut.’

This served as a base exercise for the text face I'm presently working on during my short apprenticeship with Mark van Bronkhorst. More on this soon.

And if you can, why not print a card in seven spot inks?

Above: Four-bar correspondence cards. The seventh spot ink, rubber-base black, turned out to be a bad idea; That's why you don't see it here.

No matter how good the school is, his education is in his own hands. All education must be self-education. Let him realize the truth of this, and no school will be a danger to him.  Robert Henri.

I'm now working a short apprenticeship in type design & production with Mark van Bronkhorst, to whom I respect no small lot, and upon whom I dryly put the title ‘master,’ for effect.


Congratulations on your degree and your internship. And good luck!