Sunday, February 12, 2006

My secret life aka my altered ego

I have a secret life in which I have an altered ego. During the day I'm president of this cleveland, Ohio area design firm, and on nights and weekends I design type.

I know, I know, you say "There a groups for people like you who have a problem such as this."

But the thing is, I can't stop. I have to design type. It's a need. And I can stop at any time I want, or so I've been told.

And those groups? Those people can't stop either. SOTA, ATypI, it's all the same. We even have support groups: and for instance. Hundreds, even thousands of people consumed with the minutiae of type and typography.

And the things is, we all understand. We understand the need to stay up for hours after dark designing another typeface. We don't think it's odd to spend two hours debating the merits of the serif or the OpenType format.

I even find myself looking for examples of my own work in the world around me. To find one is a delight, my secret joy, when I can say to myself "I have left my mark on the world forever, or at least until the object I saw my typeface on gets thrown out."

And maybe that's the core of why I love this. It is permanent, it will outlast me. In my design firm, when people ask what it is we do, sometimes for fun I'll say "we contribute to the solid waste stream." The quizzical look on their faces turns to understanding when I explain that most of the things we create get thrown out at some point.

Do you love type? It's OK, really. There are lots of us out here, using type every day, without guilt, in our work. You don't have to be ashamed of it. The first step to overcoming this addiction is admitting you have it.

Or so I've been told.

How am I dealing with it? I'm glad you asked:

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