The human emotion factor

A TYPOGRFX with extra special meaning

A TYPOGRFX with extra special meaning

In recent months, I have had several people comment that computer software could be programmed to essentially produce the same type of artwork that I painstakingly design from scratch. My response is always the same – no matter how great technology gets, it can never factor in real human emotions.

Take for example the design above. When I received the order, there were several names and dates listed. I assumed that they were birthdays, but I noticed that there were more dates than names, so I asked the customer, Tyann, to match up the dates with their respective names. The response I got was both heartbreaking and miraculous. Two of the dates corresponded to her adult son Bryce, one was the date of his birth, the other was the date of his death. He was killed in a car accident – exactly two months before his daughter, Berkley, was born. Tyann remarked how Berkley was the good that came from the loss of her son, and how that helped her to cope.

So I took that information and created the design, placing Berkley and Bryce near each other with their birthdates and also the day Bryce passed. Tyann was very pleased with the design and how her son and granddaughter were forever connected in this simple piece of artwork.

While there probably is someone somewhere that could program software to “churn out” designs similar to mine, I don’t believe for one second that it could produce something so meaningful as what I create. That’s my favorite part of this business – being able to tell your story as no computer could.

 

Imitation is the best form of flattery

A custom TYPOGRFX design featuring a company's manifesto

A custom TYPOGRFX design featuring a company’s manifesto

A few weeks ago I had a gentleman request a custom design unlike my typical “signature” designs. He wanted to incorporate 35+ inspirational phrases into one design that he could print as a large banner and display in his business, which helps start-up businesses get going. While I had never taken on a design with quite as many components, I was up for the challenge! As I started reading through the snippets trying to get a sense of what ones I wanted to highlight and how I could fit them all onto one piece, one phrase in particular struck me, and a big smile came across my face as I read it:

If you don’t have copycats you’re not doing it right.

In a marketplace that is now heavily saturated with “word art” I am still holding my ground with my own original designs. Many people are surprised to hear that I’ve have been designing TYPOGRFXs for 5 years now (I can hardly believe it myself!). When this adventure began, there was nothing even remotely close to this available that was personalized – I know this because I spent hours and hours researching, baffled that no one else was doing anything like it at the time.

With the growing popularity of Etsy, facebook and other social media outlets, and the introduction of Pinterest, word art has exploded over the past few years, which has benefited my business. It also has lead me to be fearful of other artists copying my designs. I always assumed that the day someone blatantly ripped me off would be the day that my business would start to decline. But after reading that phrase “if you don’t have copycats you’re not doing it right” I feel reassured that I’ll be just fine if someone copies me, because I will still be the original… the one who’s been doing it for 5 years.. and the one who’s designed over 500 custom pieces for people all over the US and Canada. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery, right?

 

In the company of design stars

Taniya Nayak and Tosha Jackson

Taniya Nayak took a moment to pose with me and my assistant Kristy

Whew! I’m finally catching my breath from being at the Johnson County Home and Garden Show all last weekend. Overall, it was a successful and fun show to be a part of. It’s a real confidence boost to hear so many people exclaim how unique and wonderful my artwork is! I heard comments ranging from “This is the BEST thing at the whole show!” to “TYPOGRFX is the coolest idea in the world!”

My favorite moment from the whole event was when my assistant, Kristy, talked me into getting in line to meet Taniya Nayak (HGTV star who presented several times and met with people afterwards). I stood in line anxiously awaiting my turn, heart pounding in my chest! When I finally got up to meet her, I said something along the lines of “I really admire your designs and would love it if you would check out my artwork” while handing her one of my brochures and business cards. She responded with “Oh yeah, Tom (Bury – another HGTV star who was there with her) mentioned it to me that he saw it and liked it.” I was floored! Two of TV’s hottest design stars liked my work! Kristy and I got to take a fabulous picture with her, and she autographed one of my TYPOGRFX brochures.. Later in the weekend, we had a chance to actually chat and Taniya told me how she had done a similar typography wall graphic for Racheal Ray. Of course, I offered to help her out next time she needed “word art.” She said she’d keep me in mind and wished me luck with my business. I’m still ecstatic about the whole thing!

Now, as I get my show stuff put away and my office back in order, I’m looking forward to creating custom art for all of the wonderful people I met at the show.