This months ‘Lettering Legend’ is none other than Scott Biersack! I interviewed Scott a couple of weeks ago, and have had to exercise so much will power to not share his interview responses sooner as they’re so good! Last month Belinda Love Lee did a fantastic job at being Lettering Tutorials ‘Lettering Legend’ but it’s time to introduce you to somebody new.
Scott Biersack is an established letterer, and has worked really hard to get where he is with his lettering. Scott has a fantastic portfolio of lettering work on his website which you can find a link to at the bottom of this interview.
There are some really helpful tips in Scotts interview for beginners, and some things to think over about originality. Scott has created lettering work for some pretty big names, inspired others by providing lettering lessons on tuts+ and is truly a ‘Lettering Legend’.
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 could only letter in one style again forever more, would you choose serif or sans serif?
“Ah, I think I’ll have to go with serif because serif letterforms have so much more character and uniqueness to them! There are so many ways to draw serifs… so I think drawing serif letterforms would at least keep me entertained.”
A lot of your lettering has quite a vintage look and feel about it, where do you find your inspiration to create vintage lettering?
“I try to get the vintage look occasionally! Depends on the project of course. For me, I very much enjoy going antiquing whenever I go to a new city or state. Antique stores have the coolest stuff of course! I love seeing where we as a society have come from. It’s crazy to see a typewriter or letterpress machine and compare that to the amazingly fast technology we have now. So, obviously I try to find inspiration from old packaging, labels, postcards, etc, that I find while antiquing. Everything back then was all hand-done and looked amazing!”
Your lettering career has led you to create work for some big named clients such as Four Seasons, TGI Fridays and Warner Bros. How did theses lettering opportunities come about, and what advice would you give those that letter who want to eventually work with big named clients?
“It’s been a wild experience being able to work alongside those clients. Honestly, I believe it was sheer luck. I share my work via social media websites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and I believe that’s the whole reason why people know my work. They must stumble across my creations across social media, website features, etc. So, obviously I’d definitely begin by sharing your work. If you keep it to yourself, nobody will see it! It’s easy to share your work via social media sites; they make it incredibly painless, really. My advice, just share what you create and good things will come. Maybe not right away, but they will come, I promise.”
On your website you quote “practice makes perfect”. How often do you practice lettering, and how often would you recommend those new to lettering practice to reach a higher standard?
“I definitely preach that phrase any chance I get. If you scroll to the bottom of my Instagram feed, you can see where my lettering first started. Let me tell you, it was terrible. But, after practice, a ton of research, some workshops and lots of lost hours of sleep, I now have the skillset I’ve been reaching for. I knew I wanted to become better at lettering and the only way to do that was to force myself to draw every single day. You only get better through practice.
For me, practicing every single day was crucial to my development. It was definitely a struggle towards the end of my Project365, but oh so very helpful. I’d recommend at least practicing 3-5 times a week at the least! Figure out a schedule that works for you. Whatever it is, as long as you’re practicing, you’re getting better.”
Is it best to be comfortable at lots of different styles of lettering or develop your own style?
“I highly recommend being comfortable in ALL kinds of styles to be a well-rounded lettering artist. For me, if I was drawing the same type of letterforms day in and day out, I’d get incredibly bored. I would feel like I’m not progressing too! I need a challenge – drawing all types of letterforms is a challenge in itself.
As for “developing your own style”…I think there’s a fine line there. While developing your own style is awesome, I think developing your own “style” with lettering can be somewhat dangerous. I only say that because many new lettering artists attempt to create new ways of constructing letters or even creating new letters! There is a foundation of history/knowledge of our alphabet, so don’t try to create new things that wouldn’t make sense to the common person.”
What advice or tips would you give those first starting out at lettering?
“The one piece of advice I can give is this:
If you’re actually trying to learn lettering, and you want to share you work with the world…Whatever you do, do not follow trends. What I mean by that is, there’s tons of lettering “trends” going on right now, one in particular is drawing an inspirational phrase/quote on top of a photo of mountains / ocean / sky / etc.
It’s pretty much the trendiest thing you can do right now. Stay far away from that stuff if you want to get noticed. Don’t join the crowd, stray from it.”