Options for getting a job with type?

Lewis_Bullock's picture

Hello all,

I'm nearing my conclusion of a BA Graphic Design course and I'm wondering what scope there is for a heavy type-related kind of job. Although my course hasn't been overly focused on typography I've gained one of those passions for it that sometimes get you labelled for it—"him? oh, he's the 'type' guy". I've considered freelance (general) graphic design, publishing and even further study (Reading MA!) but I wondered what the professional (and non-professional) opinion is on how to earn your keep via the lovely lovely world of type.

I already know it's not a high-salary line of work. I don't mind that :)

For reference (and a bit of self-sell) I've done experience at an advertising firm in London and a small publisher. I have one typeface under wraps that's been accepted into the typodarium 2011 calendar and another experimental one underway for my graduation project.

Cheers and thank you!

Don McCahill's picture

I recommend NOT going freelance right out of school. Do a year or two at a good design place where you will be mentored. You will discover that you learn as much in those two years as you did in school, if not more. You CAN learn the same things as a freelancer, but it will take you 10 years, and the learning will be more painful.

You can always keep designing type as you work in a conventional graphics job. Who knows, one day you may hit the big time and be able to make a living off type alone. (Very few people do).

blank's picture

I would recommend that you try getting a job with a firm that does web design and publication design so that as print publications evolve into complex digital publications you don’t get left in the dust.

aluminum's picture

I suppose it depends on the specific type of gig you are looking for. Are you wanting to focus on print design? Branding? Web design? Type design?

Lewis_Bullock's picture

Thanks for the responses and extra to Riccard0 for re-posting those threads. Some informative reading that I've only just managed to read through fully!

I understand experience is necessary when coming out of education and freelance is definitely the hardest working routes available. If I could get in with groups like Underware and House Industries it'd be a dream come true and I'd be overseas like a shot. In a less rosey-tinted view of the future however I thought there must be some type firms in the UK?

A publishing-firm was my initial 'real-world' route, and as you say James, one with strong connections into digital counterparts/supplements would ensure innovative practices to learn of that'd prove of massive benefit. I'd definitely work for an agency within the more general scope of graphic design however (without rambling) branding isn't an interest of mine.

I guess this means that I've set myself two steps: Firstly I'll search out the dream type-riddled job and see how applicable a route that is for me via application and feedback. Secondly, I can 'settle' (in terms of aspiration) for a broader graphics/publishing job and implement type as much as possible in both working and personal (freelance) areas.

Is there any UK-specific type-heavy jobs? A MyFonts or FontShop UK office? I know this is a long shot and may not even be possible but I feel I must aim high and be unsuccessful, before I start lowering my sights.

Thanks again for the advice thus far.

Nick Cooke's picture

You're setting out on a long road, but I would follow the advice offered by James; start in the design industry and let people know of your interest. I think I saw another of your posts where you said you're known as 'the type guy' - that's a good start. You can always design type in your spare time until you have a few typefaces, then offer them to a reseller.

You never know, you may be lucky; I was, that was my route and I now make a living designing type, but it did take a hell of a long time. You just have to think 'perseverance will eventually pay off'.

You could try for a placement at Dalton Maag, or just show your folder to them, it's always good to get some feedback and/or advice.

Keep at it.

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