Visual trends in graphic design come and go. Grungy textures. Swiss modernism. Even the badge-style logo has become trite. There’s always a flavor of the week.
As a designer, I have to look beyond the trends to create innovative and timeless work. I’m constantly scouring design blogs, art magazines, even antique stores, for fresh ideas and new aesthetics. Inspiration comes from anywhere.
But, perhaps the most relevant inspiration comes from the streets of Duluth. Architecture. Store fronts. Old signs. The details of a place that live right under our noses—constantly shaping and defining the spirit and culture of our city.
In the summer of 2012, I began taking iPhone photos of found typography, or “letter specimens” as I like to call them, from the streets of Duluth. The goal of the project was to document the forms, colors, and textures of the city–to unearth an aesthetic that is intrinsically Duluthian.
Since then, I’ve collected hundreds of images. In July 2014, I was invited to showcase a selection of this work at Prove Gallery, as part of an exhibition on lettering and typography. The following images were chosen for the show.