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Meet two type nerds. From the studio they share in San Francisco, typographic artisans Jessica Hische and Erik Marinovich formed Title Case, a business and workshop dedicated to the love of the letterform. Here the two artists seek to perpetuate and spread their love of type both in their own work and by sharing it with others through the workshops they offer. While they obsess on their freelance projects, they're equally gratified by spending countless hours drawing letters on their own for the sole purpose of furthering their art. Jessica and Erik talk about the importance of just looking at type—to learn and to practice each day. Follow Title Case as they put pencil to paper and ink to brush in pursuit of the letter that's uniquely their own.
(music playing) Jessica Hirsche: When we first thought about getting a space together, we definitely didn't think that we would end up with a storefront. It was just kind of a thing that happened because it was the best space at the right time. So we thought we'd really take advantage of the fact that we had a storefront by finally being able to hire some sign-painting. So Erik and I designed the actual title for the window, and then had New Bohemia Signs, a really awesome sign-painting shop here in San Francisco, install it for us. So it's not a vinyl sign; it's legit gold leaf on the window, so we will have to fight it out when we actually leave.
Erik Marinovich: Cut it out actually. Yeah Jessica Hirsche: Yeah, cut it out and then fight it out. (music playing) I had done a trade earlier with a friend who is an architectural steel fabricator in Oakland, and I always wanted bookshelves for my house, if I owned one. And seeing that that's in the future, I thought I could cash in on the trade for the both of us and have him build custom bookshelves, also custom desks and as well as custom benches.
Jessica Hirsche: It was sort of a big task to think about what your dream desk would be if someone was fabricating a desk for you, but what I did want to do is to be able to customize a few of the things that I knew were going to be always on my desk. So when I put the plans for my desk together, things were pretty simple. What I definitely wanted was some sort of place to put pencils and things that were going to be at the ready all of the time. So we had Phil design this system where the pencils would be inset-- the key ones that are used all the time. This one isn't exactly true to my form. That's more of my key pencil. And then an actual this pencil holder for the bulk of everything else.
And then for the other side of my desk, I always use the same sketchbook, so I really just wanted a way to keep a sketchbook at my desk but not have to have it be on the surface and falling over, and just taking up a lot of general area. So I had him build this little area here where I can kind of slide my sketchbooks in and they just hang down there. So, they are at the ready, but don't take up a lot of space and definitely have a space on my desk that is devoted specifically for them. Erik Marinovich: Well, I needed more space to actually work because I work a lot more by hand.
So one of the crucial things that I have known for a very, very long time is that I wanted a kind of custom-built tracing roll that is always by my side, because a lot of the times when I work, I am toggling between my sketchbook, and then if I have an idea right away and my sketchbook is not around, I will just go to my handy tracing paper, which is always here. It's a roll that's inserted into the desk, and it's always available for me to draw, and it's just like a stream of consciousness. I am always using it, and I am always putting next to it like really inspiring publications, And a lot of the times when I am working, I'll just find a page that I really, really enjoy and have it open to inspire me.
Even though it might not be related to my work, it's just something I see, and that really motivates me to do better work. Since I use a lot of paper, I have a lot of different tools, and as you can see, like my pencils, but then within my bigger pot here, I have brushes that I got from Japan, mechanical pencils. They all kind of suit a different need for whatever I am using. I've got my handy erasers. And then also I couldn't do anything if I didn't have a scanner, so I knew I needed this general area to just fit this scanner because, this is pretty much a permanent fixture on top of my desk.
Now, as you can see, I am currently working on some experimental lettering with these blocks. So this is very, very crucial for me kind of pushing the boundaries of my own work as far as experimental lettering. Jessica Hirsche: So the way that this space is configured right now is more for our own personal use. This is actually my table, which we put in the center of the room, just because Erik and I tend to spend more time collaborating on stuff if we do have this communal area to go to. So I actually bought 20 chairs from DWR that are folding chairs that we use when we have lectures, and we figured out a good way to actually cram twenty people in here, but still allow people to be able to move around the space.
When we do workshops, we tend to take Erik's table over here and put that into the middle of the room as well. So if we are having a workshop or any sort of roundtable that has less than twelve people, we keep the tables together like one long dinner table. And then if we have something that has twelve people or more, we do the tables separately because we can fit more people around it. So having this sort of modular system allows us to be able to work with different formats and really make this space feel new every couple of weeks when we are sort of bored with having all the desks against the wall or having them all in this L formation.
Erik Marinovich: Yeah. Seeing your apartment and my apartment, it's like a hybrid extension of our both apartments, and your workspace should just be an extension of you and your own personality, and we have been really able to mold that into the best of all the things or the best things that we both like. Jessica Hirsche: Yeah, and I think Erik and I both feel most comfortable having a workspace that just feels like a comfortable living room that you want to hang out and work at. Erik Marinovich: Hence, us having our studio moccasins. Jessica Hirsche: Studio moccasins. Erik Marinovich: It's another thing to like come to work and actually feel comfortable. So it's a morning ritual that we have where we come in, take off our shoes, and get down to work.
Jessica Hirsche: This was Erik's ritual, but he dragged me into his ritual and I think it's probably the best thing that has happened because of this collaboration: studio moccasins. Erik Marinovich: And now, I am much more jealous of hers because they look legit. Jessica Hirsche: Yeah, I could like take over the Arctic with these. Erik Marinovich: You could.
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