MyFonts just mailed out their November Rising Stars newsletter and it featured a familiar ‘face’ that you might recognize: Ondise! To say I’m excited & honored is an understatement; the fonts and designers included in this edition are just incredible. I mean, Charles Borges de Oliveira? Jeremy Dooley?? I’m pinching myself! As many of you know, I fell into font design almost by accident so to have one of my fonts mentioned alongside heavyweights like Le Havre, is pretty incredible.
It seems pretty crazy how far I’ve come since creating my first font, Vermandois. My background is in hand-lettering and graphic design; in early 2011 I was designing a project with a large amount of text that needed to be written in calligraphy. Lettering the piece by hand would have taken eons, so I figured I should try to turn my writing into a font. Easy, right? Well, no. (Stop laughing, typeface designers.)
Teaching myself the nuts & bolts of font design turned out to be a whole lot like teaching myself Japanese – exponentially complex and totally confusing – but it was also rewarding and addictive! (Ganbarimasu.) People, making a functional end product is hard. Every single letter of the alphabet (and then some) must be designed and harmonized with every other letter in the same alphabet. Unlike calligraphy, however, the characters can exist only in a straight line & must appear balanced no matter how they’re arranged. (No hand-lettering tricks allowed!) There’s spacing and kerning to contend with, connections must be designed to blend seamlessly and of course Opentype coding. All of these aspects make it sound like the medium is very limiting but honestly, once you really start mucking around you see that the real challenge is actually infinite possibilities. The most difficult part of transitioning from calligrapher to font designer has been developing the logical side of my brain so that I can recognize them. Folks, there is as much strategy in a font as there is design.
And Ondise is really the culmination of all of this self-teaching. She’s a much more robust font than my earlier releases, and I guess that shows – Ondise was released in late September and in that short time she’s rocketed to the top of MyFonts’ Hot New Fonts list. Right now, she’s the 15th best seller on the site. (Say what?!) I feel like I’ve hit my stride with this one, and am really, really proud of how much I’ve grown. There is so much more to come from my burgeoning solo foundry, Lovelies! Stay tuned…