This evening I went to the Central PA AIGA event in Harrisburg, Pens & Pints. I took a friend who is a designer for Mile 6 in Elizabethtown. We had a good time lettering with the group of other designers there, many of whom also went to Millersville and know Professor Mata. From what I saw, they did marvelous work! Like it was nothing.
Some of the designers there I am certain work for The Infantree, which I know enough about to know that it is somewhat of a paragon for local designers in advertising and marketing. My designer friend confirmed this by saying, “They’re basically every design business’s crush.”
There was no theme to the event – everyone just grabbed giant sheets of paper and scribbled away with markers. I did a lot of blackletter styling and wispy handwriting. Watching the others sketch, however, was motivating: I would love to be better at calligraphy and hand lettering in general, because it looks so much better than digital type. In fact, I think that hand lettering styles majorly influence new and upcoming typefaces.
Attending this event demonstrated to me how important it is to practice things by hand, even if those things are primarily done digitally. Hand lettering reminds us of how physical typefaces really are, and how intricately they can vary from one another. When you write a word on a piece of paper ten times, it will not once look exactly the same. There are so many variations to consider! I cannot imagine designing my own typeface.
I am not a graphic designer by any means. But typography is a fascinating study!