video interviews: 5 min with 3 type + lettering designers

No font day would be complete without some inspiring words of advice and expertise from designers specializing in the word of type, font and lettering design. Last week, I set out with my camera to interview some of my favorite local artists who work with letters. I was thrilled to sit and chat with Louise Fili, Jesse Ragan and Jessica Hische. Each artist speaks to a different area of font/type/lettering design and I was so happy to get each of their unique perspectives on camera. And, because they all had so many great things to say, I decided to run them each as separate videos so I wouldn’t have to smoosh them into one five minute clip. Whether you’re considering font/type design as a career or just love the skill that goes into the letters you see on the page (and screen), I hope these interviews will inspire you. Especially because we have a fun contest coming up next for which a little font inspiration will come in handy . . .

Thank you again to Louise, Jesse, and Jessica for taking the time to chat with me last week. I hope you’ll enjoy their stories of how they got started, what inspires their work and what their design processes are like as well as their advice for aspiring font/letter/logo designers. xo, grace

*Click here to see more Design*Sponge videos (DIY, cooking, interviews, decorating and more).

Video above: Interview with Jesse Ragan

Interview with Louise Fili. (My apologies for the sound. I didn’t notice it sounding echoey in person, but it did on playback. Sorry!)

Interview with Jessica Hische.

  1. eva.lu says:

    those interviews were all so insightful and inspiring. I love Daily Drop Cap and it was such a treat to hear Miss Hische go through her design process. Thank you for the lovely post! xo

  2. Thank you so much for posting these interviews. They were a huge help!

  3. Amanda G. says:

    SO INSPIRING!!! Thank you so much for posting :) i seriously love font day!

  4. Jen says:

    This post is amazing! Great interviews, very insightful.

  5. These are amazing — thanks so much! I am LOVING font day. :)

  6. Amy says:

    Wonderful! I am a huge, huge fan of these ladies and I’m glad to meet the man behind Archer…it’s been a coveted font at work for awhile now. I looovveee font day too!!

  7. Claire says:

    Hi there! [You don’t have to post my comment. ]

    I think the videos are great. If you want to cut down on the echo and just get overall better sound quality, you can buy a cheap clip-on mic (it plugs directly into your camera) and ask the subjects to thread the wire under their shirt or hide it behind their hair. It makes a huge difference and actually isn’t that noticeable in videos. Sorry if you have already considered that idea, but I thought it was worth a shot. Keep ’em coming! Claire

    1. grace says:

      thanks claire!

      i’ve been thinking about that, or just getting a better camera. i’ve not been in love with my handheld- i heard such great reviews but it’s been kind of disappointing. but a mic is definitely a necessity. thanks for the rec!

      grace :)

  8. Kate says:

    Thanks for these amazing interviews! I am a GINORMOUS Archer fan, but never knew where it came from. In fact, I just used it for a card I designed for a charity.
    And coincidentally, I emailed Margaret at paperpastries today (inspired by font day) to find out what font she uses for her nav bar and when I looked up Buttermilk, seeing that Jessica Hische is the designer made me more excited to watch the interviews. (And I can’t believe she does Daily Drop Cap too!!!)
    As a font-enthusiast and someone attempting to self-educate in graphic design these interviews were absolutely enlightening!

  9. James says:

    a couple of the jessica questions got mixed up and i was like “wait, whattt” then i was like “ahhhhhhh”

    nice interviews :)

  10. Michelle Alvarez says:

    Am I the only one have problems viewing these videos?

    1. grace says:

      michelle

      can you tell me whats happening when you try to view them? can you view other videos on youtube?

      g

  11. rebecca reich says:

    As a current graphic designer, this post was very enlightening and inspiring. Sooo jealous you got to meet all of these very talented folks! ;)

  12. Thank you for pointing me to the wonderful Great Art site.

  13. Great interviews, Grace. Very talented bunch.

    1. grace says:

      thanks chris! so great to bump into you in the elevator :)

      grace

  14. Susan says:

    Thanks so much for the videos, they’re very inspiring.

  15. Jesse Ragan says:

    Thanks for the kind words, folks. To clarify: Archer was a studio project of Hoefler & Frere-Jones. I helped to flesh out their prototype under H&FJ’s direction, as their employee. After I went off on my own, their team continued developing the family for the retail release. Many talented hands contributed. (Sometimes it takes a village to raise a typeface!)

  16. Jen Preston says:

    I think font day was the best idea ever. I was so inspired (especially by these videos) that I started designing my own font last night! Excellent Design*Sponge day.

  17. Thank you for this post! Louise & Jessica are two of my favorite designers! I saw Jessica speak yesterday for the second time (I have a huge girl/design crush!) and I studied with Louise for in Italy for 2 weeks with an SVA workshop this summer. I was not familiar with Jesse and am happy for the introduction! I’ll be sharing this post with my students of Advertising Art Direction. They’ll love it!

  18. martina says:

    I really enjoyed these interviews. Thanks! I love interior design but as a graphic designer I’m always thrilled when I see more graphic design oriented posts on here. Great work, Grace!

    1. grace says:

      thanks guys! so glad you liked the interviews :)

      g

  19. Stephanie Makris says:

    wow! just happened upon this post, jessica was a year before me at Tyler School of Art, she is an unparalleled & extremely driven designer, and she’s always willing to share some tips to help others, which is awesome considering her schedule! also, kathy– hope you are well! (small world this design scene is)

  20. elle says:

    great interviews! would be really lovely if you could interview some great illustrators to! would love to hear about sanna annukkas creative process :)

LEAVE A COMMENT

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.