Tactile Type With Purpose

It's not just what you say, but the way you say it—as designers it's our responsibility to consider the most effective way to communicate both verbally and visually. While there's no shortage of font choices to "help" make this decision easier, in some cases the most memorable and striking solutions look to a process that reaches the viewers on a more natural, human level: the hand. The following examples are referenced for their conceptual sophistication and unconventional execution. These are not trendy hand-drawn quotes, or examples of a particular typographic or illustrative style. These designers have utilized the hand as a tool to communicate and support a concept and they do it ALL THE TIME - check out their websites for more designspiration. Jessica Hische: The Lolita Cover Project "I was asked by John Bertram Architects to participate in a fun project. A wide variety of designers were asked to submit an alternate cover for Nabakov’s Lolita. This is my submission, the lace lettering used to represent something that can be construed as both hyper-sexual or innocent and virginal depending on the context." Client: John Bertram Architects

Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov


 Stefan Sagmeister: AIGA Detroit Lecture "For this lecture poster for the AIGA Detroit we tried to visualize the pain that seems to accompany most of our design projects. Our intern Martin cut all the type into my skin. Yes, it did hurt real bad." Client: AIGA Detroit

Stefan Sagmeister

Stefan Sagmeister


3st/Rick Valicenti: Truth Be Sold "An edition of 15 letterpress prints, made using broken wooden letterforms printed in metallic gold ink on black paper. Created at the Hamilton Type Museum in Northern Wisconsin."

Rick Valicenti

Rick Valicenti


Marion Bantjes: True Heart "For my Valentine’s Day mailout I printed on glassine again (it’s just so fun) and sent this little love note all over the world. The original is drawn by hand in pen & ink (red) on archival paper."

Mario Bantjes

Mario Bantjes


James Victore: Racism "A protest poster created during the summer of 1993 after racial riots upended New York City. The original of this poster is housed in museums around the world as well as the Museum of Modern Art, NYC. I hate racism. Do you hate racism? Buy this poster, you racist."

James Victore

James Victore


Paul Sahre: Adobe Took My Milk Money "No Adobe products were used in the design of this poster." Publisher: Graphic Magazine

Paul Sahre

Paul Sahre