Every so often a typographer arrives on the scene with their finger firmly on the contemporary pulse and a seemingly unstoppable imagination. Joanne Hewitt is that designer.
Her enviable script and brush collections practically burst with originality and bright ideas. Fonts like Hide Away, Featherly and Humble Hearts lead the way with tempting possibilities and a genuinely eye-catching sense of fun. The detail in her work is equally awe-inspiring. As Joanne joins the ever-growing HypeForType family, we caught up with this inspiring font fanatic to get the lowdown on where she’s from, where she’s at, and what the future might hold…
So, Joanne, where did you train and when did you start leaning towards typography as a passion?
I studied a Graphic Design degree at Glyndwr University in North Wales but I’d always loved lettering and typography design. My GCSE Art projects were designing sweet packaging and a book cover. A calligraphy pen and ink were never far away. After I finished my degree I worked for a publisher designing magazine layouts, which I loved because it encompassed everything I’d learned. I could spend hours raking through thousands of fonts on my Mac to find just the right one for the headline and layout. I soon realised how much I was missing designing logos, which was my real passion at the time. Browsing the web, I found that many designers were creating pre-made logos and earning a good living from it, so I joined them! In my spare time I created logo designs, some of which involved creating hand-lettered initials. After many months I found I had a complete alphabet and decided to make a font from it. It was a daunting prospect but also something I’d always wanted to do. So here I am now, here are my fonts, and I’m loving every minute creating them!
When you sit down to bring a new font to life, where do you begin, where does the inspiration come from?
I can find inspiration in anything! Two fonts I’m currently working on are inspired by my Galileo thermometer – the very tall, thin shape of the casing and the floating liquid-filled balls inside. Once I’ve found my inspiration I grab a pad and loads of pens and start writing. Sometimes the paper texture isn’t right for the job so I’ll change to a different pad – the same goes with the pen. It’s all experimentation to find the correct style for the lettering that I want to achieve. That’s the really fun part!
How do you make sure to keep evolving and learning as a designer?
I’ve found Instagram to be a great source of knowledge. It keeps me up to date with the products and technology that’s out there. I’m buying pens, ink and brushes every week because I see people lettering with them on Instagram and I want to try them out myself. All of the new tech and artist products help me to evolve and improve my skills. Reading blog posts on relevant websites (including this one!) are also great to keep me up to date with the latest trends.
What advice might you give to any young designers wanting to make a mark in the world of typography?
I’ve had a few people email me saying that they want to create their own font but are scared that they won’t have the software skills. I was the same but I wanted it so much that I bought the software and just went for it. If I can do it, so can you!
Why is HypeForType the right platform for you as a designer?
HypeForType really focuses on fonts and typography, which is exactly what I’m all about these days. So it makes sense that I become a part of it!
We’re really excited to showcase Joanne’s work at HypeForType. Discover her fantastic range of fonts right here ›