The root word aesthetic utilized in Aesthetic Type developed naturally as a naming possibility over quite a period of time. In a sense the studio/foundry named itself, as one of the guiding principles of the studio and any work prior is aesthetic consideration. The content created for and planned by the studio is rather rigorous in its intent, aligning with values of the studio as a brand. Ultimately, Aesthetic Type allows me to create a library of typefaces that align with my hypercritical preferences as an art director. I’ve found that there is something special in having the ability to shape and direct type, particularly through the lens of my own cultural understanding, for such an inextricable element of graphic design.
As a studio, we design and license contemporary digital typefaces and related content worldwide. Emphasis is placed on authenticity and relevance as it relates to and is inspired by significant subcultures. With an early career background in design and art direction, I prefer the term studio over foundry as we’re not limited strictly to type design itself.
This was shared by a design mentor, not as advice per-se, but it was a very profound concept for me as a young designer. The concept is deceptively simple, but difficult to master, and in the context of design specifically, it is that, everything is a communication. Every element of a design either contributes to and supports the core concept or compromises it. The designer’s role is to manage, control, and ideally refine these communicative elements, so as to remove the unnecessary or arbitrary, strengthening a design’s clarity and intent. This applies to every facet of design, even seemingly minor details and non-choices such as predetermined decisions outside of the designer’s control. Over time I developed a strict adherence to this concept which has guided my work, where I often weigh attributes of these elements against others in an iterative process. Of note here is that if the concept and direction allows, one can actually leverage and embrace the arbitrary, so it isn’t necessarily something to be avoided in all cases.
I have a series of paintings I’ve worked on over the past couple years that are directly linked to my type design work. These are single color gouache on paper works consisting of overlaid glyphs from in-development typefaces. These glyphs are letterform, punctuation, or numeric forms that when combined, create abstract, glyphic, or totemic shapes. I’ve found them to be a refreshing, interesting slant on the more rational and formal type design process. They are fascinating in their functional contradiction and curiously meditative in character. This is an ongoing series that I plan to continue, so once I have them properly photographed they will be available for viewing in the near future.
I’ve been based in San Diego since the late 90s, primarily because of its proximity to various creative subcultures which were highly influential in my youth. Southern California is a birthplace or home, industry-wise, to skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, and streetwear, which are all very forward and progressive. These all tie directly to my early graphic design career, which has greatly shaped my work and perspective. Creatively, my work is imbued with direction and influence from these and other DIY cultures that I’ve lived, all while being filtered through the lens of high level design.
With the recent launch of Aesthetic Type, which was conceived and planned in 2014, we have four to five years of unreleased typeface design work still unseen outside of the studio. Many of these, beyond count at this point, are in mid to late stages of completion, so there is an urgency to methodically finalize each and share them with the world. We look forward to the vision of the studio becoming fully realized and developing over time, as we have many unique, and exciting things to come.
On a personal level, I have over a decade of art and design work that has been largely unreleased. My personal site (arrow key navigation) is an ongoing work itself that is evolving as I make time for intermittent updates. The site will eventually include works from as far back as 2003, and what I have currently posted is a very small percentage of total works slated. This is not limited to personal work only, as it includes past commercial graphic design, art direction, and type design work as well.