Doing the job, by hand

So I considered titling this post the same as the title of the book I’m about to mention, Hand Job, but I decided to veer away from the shock value. Michael Perry, the writer/editor/compiler of this book about hand typography must have kept himself giggling for several days after he came up with the title. I think it fits for the crowd interested in this book. Hand typography, as opposed to computer-based typography, feels like somewhat of an off-beat, artsy subculture.

Left: “Slap Your Friends,” t-shirt design by Adrian Johnson
Right: “Olaf,” Poster by Adrian Johnson, one in a series titled, “The Pillage People”

I didn’t really even know there was a subculture, until I started doing it. Really, I think everyone who does typography by hand has two things in common: they love letters/words and they love to draw. As Perry says in his introduction, since computers took over the typography business, hand typographers tend to be people looking for quirks and imperfections to give their work warmth and character. I don’t think I really came looking for anything specific, I just wanted to incorporate words into my art, and it just sounded more fun to draw them myself.

Miscellaneous type by Andy Beach

So, I heard about this book through the blog-vine, and I really wanted to get it because it sounded interesting and fun to look at. I don’t have a whole lot of cash these days though, so I wanted to see the book before I actually bought it, just to make sure it was worth it. I searched the local libraries and bookstores, and even asked Borders to order it for me so I could look at it before buying, but they couldn’t even get it.

I had reconciled myself to the fact that I would either have to buy it online, or not see it at all. But alas, browsing the new books section of the public library, on a totally unrelated errand, I looked down, and there it was. I grabbed it off the shelf and laughed, and then looked around wondering if anyone thought I might be a little nuts. It seems I was meant to see this book!

“All Kinds of People,” by Andy Beach

All of the pictures above are some of my favorite pages from this book. Perry has used this book as a way of cataloging a variety of work by a bunch of different hand typographers. If you’re interested in tons of visual inspiration, this is a great book. It is light on copy/prose/written narrative and heavy on imagery. I could stare at the miscellaneous type page above for hours.

Here is a little alphabet sketch I made, while procrastinating about doing other work.


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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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