It’s somehow already that time again to bring you a new ‘Lettering Legend’. This months ‘Lettering Legend’ is Dominique Falla. A significant person from the lettering community, that has inspired those around her and those worldwide. If you’re not sure what a ‘Lettering Legend’ is, or what the requirements are, you can catch up here. Last month I interviewed Scott Biersack and he provided some very helpful information. This month is no different, I interviewed Dominique Falla and she had lots of interesting things to say.
Dominique lives in Australia and has an educational and professional lettering background. When creating different types of lettering work she uses a wide range of materials, including chalk, card, nails and thread.
Not only has Dominique inspired with her own lettering work, but she also founded the Typism Books, which I’m sure many of you will have heard of. Two of our ‘Lettering Legends’ Emma Holmes and Belinda Love Lee have both been published within the Typism Book series. The books are filled with lettering goodness. You can read below about why Dominique started the book and get some useful lettering tips too!
Update: Lettering Legends are now recognised through the Typefolk Awards platform. Visit Typefolk.com to participate in public community votes, apply to join the Typefolk judges panel and enter work to try and earn the title of Lettering Legend!
If you had to choose only one lettering medium to work with from now onwards, what would it be and why?
“I love tactile typography because I get bored easily and so it is fun to play with different materials.”
You founded the Typism book. For those that haven’t come across it before, could you describe what the Typism book is?
“The Typism Book is a little pocket book of some of the best black and white typography, custom type, calligraphy and hand lettering in the world. There are two so far. Book one sold out and Book two is close to selling out. I have two boxes left.”
What led you to starting the Typism book, and how did you go about selecting the work that has been included in the book/s?
“I first off had the idea to run a small typography conference in Australia and the book idea grew out of that. For people around the world who couldn’t make it to the conference, they could still be a part of Typism.”
You have quite an extensive background in design. Including a Degree, a Masters, a lot of work experience, awards and scholarships. Do you think a professional creative background is necessary if a person is wanting to succeed in a career around lettering?
“No, not at all. My degrees are for my work as a university lecturer. All that matters if you want a career around lettering is to practice, practice, practice. Become really good at what you do, show people what you are doing on social media and never stop improving your craft, then you will have a successful career around lettering.”
Your portfolio shows you’ve worked on a few collaborations. What has been your favourite collaboration to work on?
“I love collaborating with my husband on larger projects. We have travelled a little bit recently to work on installations. He is very strong, so he is a great help when it comes to hammering 7000 nails in three days for Google for example. We also get to travel together and be creative, so he is my favourite collaborator, but I love working with the clients and design firms as well. I’m always surprised by the creative projects people offer us. They have a better vision for my work than I do sometimes.”
Is it best to be comfortable at lots of different styles of lettering or develop your own style?
“Personally, I think try lots of different styles at the start so that you are sure you have tried everything and then the trick is to develop your own unique version of something. You will never be better at Gothic Blackletter than the medieval scribes, you will never be better at roman capitals than Roman stone carvers, so don’t even try. Become the best in the world at your particular style or interpretation, which is usually a combination of styles. Your goal is to try everything in order to become good at one thing.”
What advice or tips would you give those first starting out at lettering?
“Get a note book and a pencil. Carry it with you at all times. Spend every spare minute sketching, drawing, doodling. Practice makes Progress. You should also get an Instagram account and vow to post something every day. The cheer squad you will build up over time gives you the confidence to keep going. The mistake most people make is to not share anything until they are “good enough”. These days, social media is the best way to build an audience and it is better to show progress, not perfection. There is no such thing. Start today and practice every day.”