The Man Behind ModelTypeFace’s Wonderful Logo!

I realise that this isn’t about how to catwalk or how to subtly manipulate your bookers via Machiavellian means, but I wanted to talk a little about my logo for ModelTypeFace. But it’s also the weekend, and people don’t necessarily want to read about work and might like a little meander with me instead.

I’ve had the idea about writing advice for New Faces for at least a year. I thought it up whilst on a jog – apparently jogging actually jogs your brain cells while you’re running, and I have had lots of my best ideas whilst wheezing through one of my laughably unsprightly jaunts. I also spend a lot of my time mentally arguing with owners who don’t pick up dog pooh, or thinking, “that’s a nice staffie,” or “look at the green leaves!” So don’t quote me on that.

staffiesmileA lovely staffie – they’re softer than you think!

Anyway, I nurtured the idea, not actually doing anything about it because I am useless with technology. If my blog could just be ready and waiting for me to do the only thing I know to do on a computer – type words and press enter – I’d be laughing. Instead I had to make myself read about ‘web hosting’ and other interminable stuff. So I didn’t do anything, or tell anyone about it, for ages. By not telling anyone about it, I didn’t have to do anything about it!

I was very frustrated at my inertia, and happened to tell Alan Kitching, the amazing master of typography about my plan. I cheekily asked whether he’d do my logo. Amazingly, he agreed!

AlansmileAlan does frequently get mistaken for Santa Claus – well they are both fans of whiskey!

And when he unveiled the logo he’d printed it was just what I needed, the spurring on to do what had been in my head and heart for ages.

Excuse the below-par photographs I took of them, but here are the stages of ModelTypeFace he went through to get my logo. I didn’t go with the final even though it’s my favourite, as my panel of experts (my boyfriend, his Mum, and Alan) felt that the second would work for the website as it’s graphic. But the others are there for future use. I’d love to make them into a T shirt!




MTF4Each one of these is amazing in its own right!

So, Alan has been at the top of his game for a number of decades now. I’ve done one of his printing courses: Alan Kitching’s Concise Letterpress Workshop, and it’s SUCH hard work – mentally, physically and creatively. You have to be able to measure out and space the fonts accurately, decide on the colours you want to mix, create the layout and then you have to actually do it – and that machinery is pretty heavy!

printingMe doing a printing course in Alan’s studio in Kennington

What took me 2 days to do, Alan could probably do in an hour! He has the largest collection of (beautiful) type in the world, and it’s quite a sight to behold all of these fonts in different sizes. Standing amongst all those endless combinations are really quite an exciting feeling.

But can’t computers do it all these days? Well yes – they can – which is why the printing industry has largely died off. But because it’s largely died off, Alan’s work is more in demand than ever. Huge companies work with him, and his courses book up quickly as people want to return to the old days where you could touch your work. He always tears his paper – never cuts – and the textures, colours and human touch to his work is what makes it so beautiful, and stand out so much.

sanmiguelAlan’s work for San Miguel

Alan’s work for the 2012 Olympics

It’s a bit like people saying they miss the old days of film photography. Now we have everything instantly on the computer screen with digital, which creates mega airbrushed models who look like aliens – whereas, in comparison, film could produce grittier, more multi-faceted images. Some this attitude can be put down to nostalgia, yes, but it’s also that we feel increasingly disconnected from a tactile and warmer world.

Without Alan creating such an incredible and professional logo, I’d still be sat chatting to people saying, “I’ve really gotta start my blog.” He’s such a huge name, with an established reputation throughout the printing and art world, so I’m ridiculously lucky that he made me my logo. It means I have no choice other than putting all my heart and energy into creating a blog to be proud of!

Rebecca x

Alan’s website for booking a course:
Where to buy Alan’s work:
There’s also an exhibition of his stuff at the LCC in Elephant and Castle at the moment and it’s well worth a check out!

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