ds videosfontsgraphic design + illustration

video interviews: 5 min with 3 type + lettering designers

by Grace Bonney

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.

Suggested For You


  • 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

  • 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!!

  • 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

    • 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 :)

  • 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!

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

    nice interviews :)

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

  • 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!)

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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)

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