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Creative Inspirations: Doyald Young, Logotype Designer
Illustration by John Hersey
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Lunch with Stefan Bucher


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Creative Inspirations: Doyald Young, Logotype Designer

with Doyald Young

Video: Lunch with Stefan Bucher

(Music playing) STEFAN BUCHER: I was never Doyald?s student in school, but I very much consider myself a student now. I first met Doyald through mutual friends at Art Center and wasn?t even that aware of his work. I just liked him as a person. I liked his outlook on life. And then it sort of dawned on me, over a period of a number of years, what an amazing gravity-defying person he is.

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Creative Inspirations: Doyald Young, Logotype Designer
1h 41m Appropriate for all Oct 29, 2010 Updated Sep 29, 2011

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From humble beginnings in a small Texas town eight decades ago comes legendary typographer, logotype designer, author, and teacher Doyald Young. As elegant as his script fonts and as wise as his set of Oxford English dictionaries, Young set the standard for his craft. Friend and designer Stefan Bucher describes Young as "someone who could easily have done what he does in the Renaissance, and could easily do it 300 years from now." In this installment of Creative Inspirations, we enjoy a window into the life of this accomplished artisan as he works with joyous focus in his favorite spot, his drawing table. We follow Young to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he shares his talents with tomorrow's designers. He recalls the hundreds of iterations he went through in creating the logo for Prudential, and he puts pencil to tissue creating the pages for his book about script lettering, Learning Curves. Young's story is compelling, captivating, and most of all, inspiring. lynda.com is honored to host this tribute to his work.

Join us in Bonus Features at a tribute event held at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where Doyald's friends and colleagues speak about their relationship with the gifted designer and Lynda introduces a scholarship fund set up specifically in his memory.

Subjects:
Design Typography Creative Inspirations Documentaries
Author:
Doyald Young

Lunch with Stefan Bucher

(Music playing) STEFAN BUCHER: I was never Doyald?s student in school, but I very much consider myself a student now. I first met Doyald through mutual friends at Art Center and wasn?t even that aware of his work. I just liked him as a person. I liked his outlook on life. And then it sort of dawned on me, over a period of a number of years, what an amazing gravity-defying person he is.

He could have easily done what he has done in the Renaissance and he could easily do it 300 years from now. There?s just something very particular what the man does that nobody else can. DY: Hello, Stefan. How are you? DY: Good to see you. SB: Good to see you. DY: Have a seat! Have a seat. SB: It?s lovely to see you, Doyald. How are you? DY: The same here. SB: What are you working on right now? DY: What am I working on? I?m working on a book as we speak. I?ve done all the caps for the books.

The hand drawn caps. And now I?m almost half way through. I?ve just finished the J. And the lowercase. And I had a wonderful-- Jean Larcher is a calligrapher in Paris that I met in 2000. He is a true calligrapher. He teaches the English roundhand and he is a remarkable book, with all of these drawings in it that explains all the parts of the letter.

I sort of want to put that in the book, but I don?t know if my editor will let me. Because it?s writing and what I do is draw. Two distinctions there. SB: You also write. It?s your book. DY: Well, okay, but writing, for instance, calligraphy is truly if you go to your dictionary, the definition of calligraphy is beautiful writing. So I do not write with a broad pen, which is a chisel, or a pointed pen.

I draw letters meticulously. I sketch them just like that. There?s the distinction. Although the calligraphers disagree with that. They say I?m a calligrapher. SB: I want to quickly ask you this. What do you like in terms of lettering in typography, where you?re see other people do good stuff? DY: Well, I greatly admire Frank Blokland in Netherlands. He teaches at the Hague, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the Hague.

He has a foundry call Dutchtype library. He's very much of classicist. He truly is. So I?m very fond of that. I like some of Hoefler?s work. He's very big these days. Jill Bell is a great favorite. Jill does a lot of brush script. She started out as a sign painter of all things. And I was in a book store downtown on 2nd street, April Greiman had a new book, and Jill comes up to me and says Doyald, I want you to get to know me.

(Laughter) So anyway, we?ve been great friends. SB: I like that. DY: So, we?ve been friends for 10 years now. And she did the logo for Nora Jones' first album. So I?m very fond of that. SB: And our friend Mariam. You know, she throws out rules, and at the same time, you make and build the rules. DY: Well, I truly admire her work. I think that Mariam is truly one of the innovative designers I?ve encountered.

I'm always surprised at what she does. In fact-- and she is not timid. In fact, I called her intrepid. Because she throws all the rules out and she says, to hell with that! SB: Have you and Mariam actually ever done a project together? DY: No. No. SB: Really? That seems like a tremendous oversight, doesn't it? Doyald: Well I tell you what she did. She did a Valentine for me last year. It was all laser cut, gorgeous piece.

So I gave her a ?Thank You? note, as fancy as I could make it with all the curly cues. And it was just a pencil drawing. So that?s the extent of our collaboration. SB: That seems like a cosmic wrong that needs to be righted. So you?re getting an award at TypeCon on Saturday? DY: You know it?s always surprising. I never thought that somehow, with what I doo, creates new things for typography. The world of typography.

What I do is really very restrained. Maybe TypeCon? I don't know. Maybe they see my publishing effort and my teaching effort. Maybe that?s one big package. I don?t know. They haven?t really told me. SB: My theory is that they would want to be around a Jedi Master. But that?s just me thinking that. I don't know. What is the award called? DY: I think it?s called a SOTA award. Society of Typography Aficionados.

SB: All right. Doyald, it?s been so great to see you. I?m so glad you invited me and thank you for taking the time. And I'm looking forward to seeing you on Saturday. DY: Well, it'll be great to see you. There will be a whole mess of people there, but barge through and say hello. SB: You know I will. DY: All right. Goodbye.

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