A piece I did for MnArtists.org has been published, a profile of fontmeister Chank Diesel. Rereading it, my pedantic tendencies are striking. Hopefully readers will machete through to the better parts.
Even if you don’t give a flip about typography, Chank’s art-from-everyday philosophy is inspiring. Here’s an excerpt:
Putting the tools of type design into the hands of students and professionals is part of Chank’s M.O. He enlivens his regular speaking engagements with font-making workshops to engage his audience in a hands-on way. In a typical workshop, Chank assigns each participant a character, then they all gather source material from the immediate environment. This summer, Chank and the Las Vegas chapter of the AIGA created Atomic Vegas Seasnakes, a font made from twisting strands of glow-in-the-dark plastic jewelry. “Cheap Chinese imports like these flow into Las Vegas. And they look like neon.” At a summer workshop in Northern Minnesota, designers built letters from found bits of nature with inspired results. “People were using flowers, leaves, sticks. I didn’t know if it would turn out, but it ended up very Victorian—fancy and frilly.” For another Minnesota workshop, Chank had students sculpt an alphabet from the region’s most abundant resource: snow.