ten questions with ian brignell

1. You have created some of the most recognizable logotypes in the brand landscape. Which is your proudest feat and why?

I think one of my favorites was the EsteƩ Lauder Pleasures script, because it was the first truly international mark I created. It was also a brand new fragrance for EsteƩ Lauder in a market (younger women) that they hadn't really competed in before. I was thrilled that it sold extremely well for them. I can't take all the credit, of course, but it made me very happy just the same. I also liked Burger King, because that's when my kids actually understood what I did for a living!

2. Is it old fashioned to call a logo that is made out of letters a logotype?
Nope. People use the term logotype, wordmark, logo, or mark interchangeably. I don't get too hung up on the terminology, unless I really don't understand what someone's talking about.

3. Are you from the old school. or the new school?

Well, I guess I graduated from the old school, but I like to think that I exist in an ever-expanding new school. Every new style that comes along gets added to the universal toolbox, and I feel very open to that evolution. In terms of approach, I believe in craft above all, which might be defined as old school. It doesn't matter if the lettering is drawn by hand on paper or created on a computer, the care that goes into the work is the same. Curves are either drawn properly, or they aren't. The word is balanced, or it isn't. The word communicates what the client wants, or it doesn't.

4. What is your process for creating a new font?

Most of the fonts I produce are commissions from clients, so the process often starts with an existing design as a reference. For example, the Naturalizer font (created for Naturalizer Shoes) started life as Serifa. The client liked the way it felt overall, but wanted something with softer shoulders and a slightly more feminine voice. Sometimes the client needs me to do a style exploration, much like I would do for a logotype, and then chooses the one they like best. After the style is chosen, I usually design the lower case first, because I find that those characters have more variety and personality. This makes them harder to do, and I like to do the hard work up front.

5. If you could be any letter in the Alphabet, who would you be and why?
I would be an S, because of the variety in direction, just like the exploration process.

6. What is your most despised font?

I don't despise any font, because no font has harmed me in any way.

7. According to you, when was the Golden Age for Typography?

I think it's always been golden, in the sense that through the ages there have been a lot of very talented people producing great work. I do find a ton of inspiration in the work of the 19th century, though, especially in the packaging. So much variety, invention and richness.

8. I just adore your “Share a Coke” typeface. Especially it’s font name “You”. How important or unimportant is the name of a font?

I'm not sure how important it is, but I'll tell you this: for some clients, the high point of a font project is when I ask them what they want to name it. Many of them reply “you mean, we get to choose?”. They're thrilled, and I think it must be a little like naming a baby.

9. To punctuate or not to punctuate, that is the question.

Why not? Someone went to the trouble of drawing all those characters!

10. Creative V’s Commercial. Is it good versus evil – or evil versus good?
I'm very clear on why I exist in this business, and I wouldn't exist without a client. So as long as existence itself is not a moral question, commercial is not evil, and neither is creative. My point is that I'm not an artist expressing himself for the world to see, I'm a designer who determines how his client will appear to the world. So sometimes there's a struggle regarding how something should appear, and the client's commercial reasons win out. That's life as a designer.

visit www.ianbrignell.com to view more of his amazing work...


Post a Comment