Celebrate Typography Appreciation Month!

AN OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION

Over the past few years, typography has been a growing trend. Now, more than ever, typography is hot. It appears in all aspects of life – home decor, fashion and more. With its simple, universally recognized forms and shapes, typography speaks to the people and for the people which utilize its graphic nature to adorn every kind of surface known to man.

It is with that, that I, Tosha Jackson, creator and designer of TYPOGRFX custom word art, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the blogosphere of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 2013 as Typography Appreciation Month. I call upon the people of the blogosphere and social media realms to join me in celebrating typography in all its forms. Share your projects, your inspirations and your aspirations as it pertains to typography. Challenge yourself to new projects. Celebrate the products, artists and bloggers you love. And most of all, have fun!

typographyappreciationmonth

Welcome to August – Typography Appreciation Month! I came up with this fun concept when I realized that August had no major holidays. Aside from the winding down of summer and back-to-school hustle, it’s generally just a hot month. So I thought, why not celebrate one of the hottest trends during the hottest month? I have partnered with several folks to bring together this month-long event, which will include fun weekend challenges, tutorials on how to make your own typography-inspired decor, our favorite pins, and even a give-away or two!

My biggest partner and newest friend who will be helping me celebrate typography is Ariean with onekriegerchick blog. Ariean and I were “e-troduced” by Dustin, who built both of our websites. Turns out, we live very close to each other and have a ton in common!

One Krieger Chick

One Krieger Chick

Other contributions will come from Jennifer with the Magic Brush, Stacy with Blue Raddish and whoever else would like to join in! We will be sharing on our respective blogs, facebook pages and on Pinterest. The weekly project challenges will be posted every Friday evening in August here on my blog and you’ll have until Sunday evening to post your creation to my facebook page. Be sure and follow me and the other contributors on facebook so you can see all of the fun stuff we’ll be up to. We hope you will join us and appreciate all there is to appreciate about typography!

Take in the MOMent

 

 

Update on March 25, 2014:

My heart aches for a family in Canada. I never met them in person, but my life was profoundly touched when Leanne reached out to me early last year and asked me to do the unimaginable. She was battling Stage IV breast cancer, and she wanted me to create a TYPOGRFX with words of wisdom to inspire her children after she’s gone. Sadly, her time on earth ended last night and her family will be receiving the special gift I helped her create. I am both honored and overwhelmingly sad right now. Prayers for her family at this difficult time.. May her memory live on through her children!

Original post May 11, 2013:

Leanne and family

I’m sure by now you know that tomorrow is Mother’s Day – a day to celebrate, appreciate and remember the special women in our life. I know that I will spend time with family, call those I can’t be with and I will try really hard to enjoy every single moment I am given, because I am inspired by Leanne, the woman in the above photo.

Rewind to a few weeks ago. I received an email that made my heart sink and soar at the same time. It read in part: “I have Stage IV breast cancer and unfortunately have precious time left. I am married with three children, ages 5, 7 and 15. I’d like to create a piece of art for them to inspire them everyday. With words of wisdom from me. Can you help me?”

My first reaction was of terrible sadness. My second was of pure admiration. I mean, I can’t image what this woman is going through, but somehow she has the strength and courageousness to look towards the future and the legacy she wants to leave behind. So of course, I immediately responded with a yes!

When I received her “word list” tears streamed down my face as I read all of the inspiring, thoughtful and sometimes funny pieces of advice she wanted to include. Of course, designing it proved to be difficult with teary vision, but I finished it up and sent it to her. Her response:

“You have given [my family] a gift and a memory of me that they will have forever. And a reminder that I will always be in their hearts. Amazing.”

So tomorrow I will hold my own son a little tighter, because I know that there are moms who know their time is very limited with their own children, and I want to take in every moment.

Iloveyouforever

Mothers know best

An untypical "baby" design

An untypical “baby” design

The birth of a baby is indeed a joyous occasion and one in which I create custom designs for quite often. Most proud parents include the typical things like name, birth date, time, weight, length, etc. These things are all great and do capture the details of the happy event. But one of my most favorite baby designs has to be “Emma”. Mom Sydney wanted to instead give pieces of motherly advice to help guide her daughter through this crazy thing we call life. I loved all of the inspirational phrases she included, and I would encourage everyone to teach these fun and lively pieces of advice to their own children.

Note: The deadline to order for guaranteed Mother’s Day delivery is April 19 at 11:59pm.

To see all holiday related shipping deadlines click here.

 

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?