Thursday, December 14, 2006

MyFonts.Com interview with Type Designer Jeremy Dooley

Blue Goblet

From MyFonts.Com: A short interview with type designer Jeremy Dooley.

Jeremy, please tell us a little about your background and experience.
I was born to a military family in the United States, and spent most of my childhood overseas. My family did a lot of traveling, and I am sure that my exposure to other cultures has given me a broader perspective on design that many do not get to experience. I completed an undergraduate degree in graphic design, and still wanting to hone my skills even further, I was accepted into the graduate program at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I completed a master’s degree in graphic design there, and then moved to Atlanta, Georgia to work for a small medical lab startup as the communications coordinator. For the past few years I have been designing fonts in my spare time.

How did you get started in font design?
I would say I had an epiphany while working on my undergraduate degree in graphic design. I was working on a poster project; the requirements were basic – it had to feature a typeface, and use only characters or components of characters from that typeface. I chose Univers. At first, I struggled with the project, but soon stumbled on the idea to use part of the U as brackets to frame the piece. I was amazed when studying that simple U form; just one point in either direction would have made for a much less effective design; it was perfection. After that realization, I wanted to work with type till I too could design forms as well as that. I started small, trying to complete a typeface design per project to develop a more original and effective solutions. Eventually, I released some of these through MyFonts.

You’ve just released two very popular script fonts that have a Middle Eastern feel to them. How do you decide on the kind of typeface design you want to develop?
Sometimes when I am out driving around town, walking through a mall, I see just brief flashes; starts of ideas that are unique and interesting. I write these inspirations down, and they eventually become typefaces. Some of my typeface ideas have come from reading about how the dyslexic mind works, a sign seen from the wrong angle, and theories from art history.

Can you tell us the process you go through in designing a font?
Once I have the basic idea, from one of the “flashes” I mentioned above, I sketch out just a few characters. Through a process of abstraction, erasure and addition, I eventually have the forms I need to start developing the other characters. I set parameters, or rules for the design, (rounded forms, a specific tail, etc.) and go from there. I find that I like to keep the forms as simple as possible. You can even see this in my script face, Yevida.

You started out as DooleyType but just recently re-invented yourself as Insigne Design. Can you tell us what led you to make this decision?
As my typefaces have grown in popularity, I have tried to increase the quality of my offerings and work towards launching a full time operation. The change in name from DooleyType to Insigne is a way to signify this new, more intense focus. There is something for everyone at Insigne, but right now, I especially want freelancers and other self-employed design professionals to be able to use our unique, high quality typeface designs. As such, all of our faces are very affordable.

What happened to the font Jon Cary?
A casualty of the “reinvention” above. It just didn’t fit with where I wanted to go.

What typeface designs are you working on now? When can we expect to see them at MyFonts?
I have a list of ideas that I keep. I reorder them based on criteria like what the market is looking for, but primarily, I try to look for new challenges and break new ground. So far, my offerings include sans serifs, serifs, futuristic looking faces, grungy faces and a few scripts. I don’t like to do similar faces or ideas back to back – I want to work on new challenges, and return to ideas with new knowledge learned from those other projects.

What’s your favorite typeface, and why?
Ever since the poster project I mentioned earlier, I have been a huge fan of Adrian Frutiger. Of his typefaces, I like Frutiger the best, but am also a fan of Meridien and Vectora.

What font do you never, ever want to see used again?
Well, there are many overused (but still amazing) fonts that I was going to pick on, but I guess I will have to jump on the bandwagon and go with Arial. Arial has few redeeming qualities and it’s an easy target.

Do you work full-time as a font designer?
On December 5th I will be leaving my job in a medical laboratory to design typefaces full time. Expect more high quality designs from Insigne, and a lot more of them than in the past.

Thanks, Jeremy! We look forward to seeing your new typeface designs soon!

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