From The Art Director’s Club:
Just like last year’s Photography Month and Illustration Month, ADC Typography Month features a daily Typography Spotlight, highlighting ADC Members and Young Guns who love working with words and letters. Some of the names are already famous within the design community, while others will be new for you to discover, but all of them are card-carrying ADC Members from around the world.
We wrap up the second week of our Typography Spotlight with a Barcelona-to-Brooklyn superstar designer and ADC Young Guns 6 winner Alex Trochut.
Where did your interest in typography begin? It’s generally not something kids in kindergarten aspire to be. When did you discover that you could actually make a living out of it?
I started getting into illustrated typography in design school. I’m not a great figurative illustrator but i found a comfortable space mixing the typography and illustration.
How much of your ability is self-taught versus through schooling?
Most of the lettering i learned was just by looking at things I liked and then translating them in my own way. As you can imagine there are a lot of mistakes involved in this methodology but I’m also grateful for them because many of them lead me to happy accidents and less conventional results. Lately i’ve been attending to some of Ken Barber’s workshops at Cooper Union, and that has been a great experience, to finally understand the foundation of the lettering from an academic point of view.
How would you best describe your style? How did you foster that style? Do you tend to lean towards one type of lettering?
I try to have more than one style and always force myself to try new things, in the end there is of course a way of doing things that unifies everything, so even if you try to do everything different there will be a “hand” behind all your works, but the more techniques and styles you can collect the more able you’ll be to adapt.
Walk us through your usual type design process.
Depends on the project and the result i’m seeking, if its a lettering I would start using pencil and tracing paper, if its something more geometric or modular based I would just start with the computer. But I also try to change methodology often, this way there are more possibilities of stepping into a unexpected results and avoid routinary formulas.
What is your favorite ‘practical’ font, one for everyday use?
Gotham, it’s like a close friend to me, one of those you can trust and bring into any crowd with the confidence that it will just fit.
Do you have a favorite letter of the alphabet when it comes to experimenting with design?
No, when it comes to experimentation i prefer to do my own.
Who wins in a fight: serif or sans serif?
Every situation/project demands something different. Having a preconceived preference would be a bad start.
The obvious difference between an illustrator and a letter or typographer is that the latter works mainly with words and letters. Name a not-so-obvious difference between the artforms, one that certainly applies to you.
I actually like to look at both things as similar as possible; that helps me to create more harmony between letters and illustrations.
What other artistic passions do you have? Where else do you find inspiration?
Looking at art and hearing other artists speak about their individual truth.
Which professionals do you look up to the most in the typography/lettering world?
Ken Barber, Mario Hugo, Jonathan Zawada, Sean Freeman, Matthew Tappia, Jessica Hirsche, Luca Ionescu, Sagmeister & Walsh, ROIDS MSK, Felipe Pantone, Non Format… and many many more.
What is the most challenging thing about your career?
Keeping yourself evolving.
At the end of the day, what do you love most about being a typographer or letterer?
Letters are a 100% human creation. They don’t exist in nature, therefore their nature and form are in constant change, driven by the steps of their creators. Every moment and place in history has its translation in letters. I like the mutable qualities of typography: abstract shapes that contain meaning, their forms are like non verbal communication, almost as important as the meaning of their message.