sign painting. Whatever the culture may be, the great by-product of creating is the learning process; the learning about culture and people. And that really informs how all of my work gets connected.”8
inherent flaws and inconsistencies, in all aspects of his work. In one of his earlier typefaces, First Ave, a homage to the aging neon signage of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the letterforms are highcontrast and textured images based on photographs, full of little imperfections that well-reflect the characters they were based upon. Medina underscored the clear importance of the human element of his work when I spoke with him: “I think that the one word that will connect all of my work is culture, and my interest in just learning about people; learning about people through a specific activity like baseball or
Zuzana Licko and Pablo Medina are two exciting contemporary typographers who have availed themselves of the benefits of the digital age in which their careers began. They continue to expand their horizons, expressing their distinctive artistic characteristics in their typography. Both designers were strongly influenced by their upbringing, most notably, Licko through her father’s anyaltical profession, and Medina through his ethnic identity. While both designers have always used digital technology to produce their typefaces, their techniques and styles contrast strongly with one another. Whether she is redesigning a popular classic typeface or inventing a modern font of her own, Licko’s work is largely informed by the methodologies available within her preferred medium of the computer, and the technological nature of her personal taste. Medina’s work is conceptually as far removed from the digital medium as can be, revitalizing the down-to-earth, flavorful letterforms from the vernacular of his personal experiences and heritage. He uses the simplest of tools – pencil and paper – before translating his designs to a digital format. Though the finished products of both designers are generated using the same software, the results are completely different and speak to their creators’ unique design styles.
a look at the typographers Zuzana Licko and Pablo Medina