Growing up, I enrolled in many of the art classes offered in junior and senior high school. My father worked in a typography shop in Hollywood where I was occasionally employed. There, I started to develop an understanding and awareness of fonts, typesetting and printing. Then I attended a few semesters at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA before choosing to be a sign painter/maker. I graduated from Los Angeles Trade Technical College’s Sign Graphics program in 1979.
In 1981 I relocated to Spokane, Washington, where I currently reside. Over the last 30 plus years I’ve has operated a one-man sign shop, producing thousands of signs. During that time I developed a deep, sincere love of and fascination with letter styles and well-designed layouts. I’ve said, “I’m able to enjoy a fine layout and drink it in just as much as watching a beautiful and captivating sunset!”
In 1984, while reading the print trade magazine “U&lc.” I saw an article with accompanying typographic illustrations which affected me significantly. It was about the graphic designer John Langdon and was titled, “His typography talks.” Langdon’s layouts forever changed my creative direction. What was uniquely interesting to me was that these clever, stark, black and white designs provided insight into the meaning of a word simply by the way the letters were laid out; there was little or no illustration.
It turns out that the origins of this innovative way of achieving captivating layouts are to be traced back to master graphic designer Herb Lubalin 1918-81. He inspired a generation of typographic creativity due to his never-seen-before styles which evolved in the 1950s and 60s.
Over the years, when ideas showed up in my imagination, I doodled layouts on hundreds of sticky notes, napkins and handy scraps of paper. I always hoped to someday see them in print for others to enjoy. My graphics website features this work at www.illustratedwords.com