This week we asked Dominique Falla, typographer and author from Byron Bay, Australia for an exclusive interview. Her doctoral research has led her to create pieces of tactile typography for commercial clients all over the world such as google and wired to name some. Here are the 10 questions we asked her.
1. How did you came to type? What is your artistic background?
Many years ago, I studied Graphic Design at university and practiced as an illustrator and branding designer. In the last six years I have developed a passion for illustrative typography out of those two early loves.
2. Why do you love typography?
I love the written word, beautiful handwriting and calligraphy and so typography is a natural extension of that. I cannot think of a better way to communicate than to write beautiful words beautifully.
3. Can you tell us about your way of designing?
I used to respond to project briefs that I set myself and so it was a case of letting particular materials inspire me. These days, I receive many sting typography commissions which are more labor and less creativity. Usually there is a brief and I work closely with designers, art directors and project managers to create something which reflects their brand and concept. I like to write in my journal and tap into my subconscious as a way to create new ideas, but the materials inspire me as well.
4. What tools do you use for the design process?
I always start with a notebook. Pen and paper is where I always begin, then I usually move to the computer to visualise the idea and then I make the piece by hand in the studio.
5. Where do you get inspired of?
Anything and everything. The materials, colours and textures I find inspiring. No matter how many string pieces I do, they always turn out different, which is exciting. Working with different creatives is also inspiring and I enjoy travel, so installations on location are particularly fun.
6. What is your favourite typeface?
I used nothing but Helvetica for a year to prove the typeface doesn’t actually matter. It is how you use it that matters. These days, I love hand lettering and creating custom type.
7. Please finish the sentence: “In an ideal world, typography to me would be…”
a key to unlock creative freedom.
8. Did you ever had crisis or problems in your daily design life?
When I worked at a branding agency, there were often deadline related crises. These days it’s a lot easier to control because I am in charge of the process when I work with clients. I have a good idea of the process so I can usually prevent problems before they happen.
9. What is the most joyous or most attractive part of typography for you?
I love the start and the end of a project. The start because I am excited about the possibilities and the end because I can stand back and admire what we created. The middle is usually fairly boring because my pieces take a long time. With other people’s typography, I just love to see how artists interpret the same words and letters. There are only 26 letters in the English alphabet but I have seen so many versions of them that I never get bored of the written form. I also love seeing other languages because you can appreciate the beauty of the form without being distracted by what it says. I really enjoy putting the Typism Books together because of the variety of submissions.
10. What comes next?
I have a few book publishing projects in the pipeline and I hope to travel for more installation projects in the future. I am also working on the third Typism Book and online summit as well as a major Tactile Typography book project in 2017.
Thank you Dominique for the great insights to your work and way of creating. Usually a work should begin with a paper and a pen but most of the designers out there are only watching and starting in their machines. Although the design process with start and ending is still to all the most attractive point. We always hope to inspire people and the best way is to learn from our idols.