Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.
We are The Letterettes and we love type! The jobs we decide to take on as a group include some kind of live element; whether that be painting a mural in public, or customising cards and prints onthe- spot for customers. We’re excited to see how far and in what direction we can take it!
Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?
All four of us have a background in graphic design, although we’ve each dabbled in various jobs and courses before arriving here! Between us we could sell you some clothes, sing you a song whilst serving you a beer and deconstructing a little neoclassical art. Each of those respective experiences has brought us together and, we believe, helped make The Letterettes a lively, lovely, and well-rounded group!
Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them?
In no particular order The Letterettes are: Wanissa Somsuphangsri, Kate Pullen, Eliza Svikulis and Carla Hackett. We share the group’s design, promo, admin and general running tasks evenly. We love Wanissa for always bringing along an array of snacks and wet wipes (for our ink stained hands). Kate always has the good vibes and dance moves and ensures we don’t take ourselves too seriously with our “punny” Instagram captions. We love that Eliza will go to any length (and any corner of Melbourne) to ensure we have all the tools we need, and will show us that no deadline is impossible with enough coffee. And Carla shows all the left-handers out there that they, too, can achieve their lettering dreams. We all motivate and inspire each other both within The Letterettes and in our individual work. There is a lot of love in this group.
Tell us about any collaborations you have been working on.
Using our design skills to assist charities and social enterprises with their causes is something we really care about. Currently we’re sketching up a range of mondegreens (misheard song lyrics) for gift cards in collaboration with Bec Scott co-founder of STREAT Melbourne. These will be letterpress printed by Saint Gertrude and will help to raise money for STREAT’s new youth facility in Collingwood.
What has been your highlight since you started out?
Our first major gig together was for Disney Princesses (a live activation at a Toy Fair) and it was an absolute dream come true. We created twelve designs, each based on the different princess personalities. Over four days on site, we each painted our lettering onto a mural backdrop, and took turns adding customer names to bespoke prints. It was also the first time we whipped out our matching ‘ettes shirts and bandanas, and got to show off some synchronised dance moves; all to the soundtrack of our favourite childhood Disney tunes! Being picked up for representation by Jacky Winter has also been a huge highlight. What started out as a bit of a wishlist item – to join forces and live letter our way around Melbourne – has very quickly grown into more than we’d imagined!
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Be confident in yourself and your abilities. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, so trust in your training, and your instinct. By the same token, don’t take yourself too seriously. Be open to suggestion, accept constructive criticism, and always strive to learn. How you behave on a job or with a client is just as important – if not more so – than the work itself. Think about it, no one likes to hang around a disorganised meanie 24/7! It’s just as that image that constantly floats around the internet says: work hard, be nice. Know that it’s alright to say ‘no’ sometimes. If something doesn’t sit quite right, try and work out why, and don’t feel guilty about turning a job down. Pat as many kittens and puppies as possible!