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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) Erik Marinovich: Within letterforms, there is so much room for exploration that it never gets old, where you constantly want to push the boundaries of your own capabilities. And most people look at that like, doesn't that get tiring? I never see it as tiring. (music playing) Jessica Hirsche: The biggest thing about educating yourself in type and lettering is just knowing to look.
You have to teach yourself to want to see those details and once you teach yourself, then really, you could learn from everywhere. You can learn from sign-painting, you can learn from terrible design, you can learn from amazing design; but unless you are really looking, you can't learn. (music playing) Erik Marinovich: You start side projects not necessarily ever meaning for them to be bigger than the idea.
It was just you have this itch you need to scratch and you don't really think of it any further. So for me, Friends of Type was honestly a place for my friends and I to push each other. By them posting something and me posting something, it just encouraged all of us to keep learning more about the craft and seeing what else we could do with it, and it was the right place and the right time. A lot of people wanted it. They started visiting the site, and I did my client work from 9 to 5, albeit it was freelance, and then anything after 6 o'clock was lettering time. And for about two years, I was up until 3 or 5 in the morning just generating this content because there was nothing that made me more happy to explore this field that I had always admired, but now developed more as a lettering artist.
(music playing) Jessica Hirsche: When I first graduated, I sent out a promo to Louise Fili, who is an amazing designer that I was completely obsessed with as a student, and I worked for her for two-and-a-half years and at the time when I was considering leaving my freelance work was just completely overwhelming me.
But I knew that I wanted to keep doing a lot of this lettering work. So I instead of just like hoping that the work would come along that was lettering-based, I instead started a project called Daily Drop Cap, which Daily Drop Cap was a means for me to make sure that I was creating letters every single day. But it ended up starting this real flame in my career that I had been getting a lot of consistent work, but I hadn't really been a personality within the design field and people really started to care about me and started to care about my career. And the more I worked on this project, and the more people saw the lettering that I was doing, the more lettering work started to happen.
So in a way, it really was a way for me to show the world the kind of work that I wanted to get, so Daily Drop Cap was a wonderful thing for me to do in order to be able to make myself better at lettering and make myself experiment and push myself and do things that I wouldn't be able to do if I was relying entirely on client work for it. (music playing) Erik Marinovich: When Jessica moved to San Francisco, it was probably one of the best days for me and a lot of other people. And as I can remember, we were at dinner and she was like, I am moving to San Francisco, you are getting the space with me, and that's pretty much how it all unfolded.
We definitely talked about having workshops, and it just became this great space for us to share what we love with a community we know that is really hungry and eager to learn the things that we love. Jessica Hirsche: The workshops are really fun for me because there is very few moments where you actually are forced to stare at a letter for that long a time, and it really takes someone else making you do it in order to actually look. And in the end like, people were just so grateful to have that sort of interaction, to be able to actually connect with people, to be able to get encouragement to start doing projects, and that's really kind of what we are into-- through the workshops, through the lectures, through everything that we do-- is just getting people amp to do their own thing, getting people amp to start things within the community, and to really make San Francisco into this like massive design epicenter, which it has so much potential to be.
(music playing) Erik Marinovich: For each problem, either it's a client or something that I just want to do on my own, I look it as just finding a new way to draw a letterform that I've probably drawn a thousand times, and to me, that's what keeps me going. Jessica Hirsche: I think a really good way to choose the kind of career that you want to end up in is to not look at the title, not look at the career as a whole, but to look at the actual things that you are doing day to day in that career, and that's really how I ended up doing what I am doing. I like to do the nitty-gritty stuff.
I like to spend eight hours drawing one letter. And don't make your career a statement to other people; make it a statement about yourself. Choose the career that really suits the kind of work that you enjoy doing at the end of the day.
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