Alex Savakis interviews AG’s Lettering Design Group, Part 1

Today I post a series of interviews with the design wizards of American Greetings’ Lettering Design Team. I submitted the same questions to each designer. Today Linda Price kicks it off.

Your name and title? Linda Price, Lettering Designer

LindaPrice_lettering1What’s your educational background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.? 2 yrs. college, 5 yrs. Cleveland Institute of Art

Who or what inspired you to pursue calligraphy or hand lettering? General interest in calligraphy, typography, graphics.

Was lettering for a greeting card company a pursuit? No, not on the radar.

What was your job or career before you became a lettering artist for American Greetings? Freelance graphic artist, mother.

What’s your approach/process to creating a lettering design for a greeting card? At work, mostly a client-based approach – meeting the requirements set out by the card planners while satisfying space limitations, importance and style of the lettering, visual balance, and quality letter forms.

Productivity: how many finished designs do you create per day/week/month/year? Over 200 designs per year of varying difficulty.

Every member of the team has a signature style, how would you describe your style? How much latitude and range do you have? Conventional, contemporary, naive to formal using brush and pen tools.

Preferred tool(s) and medium? Preference is brush lettering with ink.

AG creates proprietary typefaces for use on its products. How many typefaces have you designed? Talk about the development of your favorite typeface(s). What’s your part during the typeface design process? What’s the timeframe to create a typeface? I have a new font in progress currently and previously have created three others. Time to produce the font depends on the volume of normal work coming into our team.

What other lettering and design opportunities are presented to you at American Greetings, i.e., signs, annual report, logos, etc.? Logos and occasional opportunities for designs for other departments like Licensing and Innovation.

What keeps you going throughout the day, i.e. music, video, books on tape, silence, etc.? Silence and listening to everyday chatter around the department.

LindaPrice_lettering2

Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, mediation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.? Family, hobbies (photography, jewelry), music, movies.

Do you create art outside of AG? If so what types of work? Have you exhibited, if so, where? Mostly photo-based artwork. Four exhibits – at the company and in Indianapolis.

Who or what are your influences or muses? All members of the Lettering Team at work.

How has the computer impacted your approach to calligraphy and hand lettering? Revolutionized it.

Any advice to young designs and illustrators coming into the job market who have an interest in lettering/calligraphy? Take some time to learn good lettering skills, then branch out.

LindaPrice_lettering3

To preview work of AG lettering designers for upcoming posts please visit my photo album at http://picasaweb.google.com/handletteringcite/AGLetteringDesignTeam

Thanks Linda!

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5 thoughts on “Alex Savakis interviews AG’s Lettering Design Group, Part 1

  1. Alex,

    Interesting interview. I used to recruit for American Greetings and now
    fill creative positions on a much larger scale. As a adjunct professor at
    Kent State, could you recommend more avenues for students who
    have an interest in hand lettering? Where can they learn from a master in our area? And perhaps what other companies still look for this skill?

    Thanks,

    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,
      Attending an international calligraphy conference is a very good start. Many popular and highly skilled lettering artists and calligraphers conduct workshops there. The workshops move around the country. I attended one in Ohio a few years ago. Worth the time and money. In NE Ohio contact the Western Reserve Calligraphy Guild or Scripts and Scribes (www[dot]neohiocalligraphy[dot]org) information regarding classes. Occasionally one of the lettering artists at AG will conduct lunchtime workshops with interns and anyone who’s interested. I don’t know if it’s open to the public.

      Greeting card companies still use lettering designers. Ad agencies hire per project. Wedding and event planners hire. From my observations lettering as part of illustration is greatly appreciated. I’ll post links to lettering artists I prefer and admire.

      Thanks for your interest.
      Alex

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