Mastering Typography is All in Your Head

The bridge between the amateur designer and the professional designer is typography mastery. And although theory, tools, and tactics are part of a well-rounded skill set, it’s just as important to possess a growth mindset to really master your craft. 

Let me explain.

A mindset is a belief or attitude that orients the way someone handles situations. It predetermines the way a person interprets and responds to a circumstance.

Your mind is an extremely powerful instrument. Just believing in something can help you persevere and achieve the impossible. And what you believe can form your new reality.

And like a broken record, we are constantly stressing, over and over, that it’s the way you think and approach typography which is the real key to long-term success in design. 

You can’t condition your mind by watching YouTube, Skillshare, or reading books! You have to learn, practice, and keep pushing it until it becomes engrained in you and your design decision-making becomes second nature.


Treat your brain like a muscle.

Exercise is key.

Photo courtesy of Bel V. Diriazs

Treat your brain like a muscle. Exercise is key.

Oh, and having the right mindset is the foremost attribute required for any art or creative director. This matters tenfold when you lead a team!

Design mastery is the vehicle that will get you from where you are now to your dreams. So it’s really essential that your mindset be flexible, risk-taking, and always growing.

Keep trying new things, testing limitations, get uncomfortable, expose yourself, leverage your design community, challenge your skills, and do so on a regular basis.

Don’t underestimate the impact of your design work when you can move and motivate a person to take action. Your clients and partners depend on designers to keep moving forward.

That’s why we have been developing focused group coaching programs to help designers grow, improve, and succeed. Along with design discipline, we help to condition your mindset with accountability, celebration, and support.

We take this mindset sh*t seriously, yo. 

I know you’ve had your head down in work lately, so this is what I ask of you to freshen your brain up this week.

Do one of these things, and perhaps it will open your mind, give you a win, or dawn a new perspective:

Go forth and work on your mindset. If you need some support, join us and other design professionals just like you, in our Facebook Group.

Symbols of Intent: Why Brand Standards are Important

Symbols of Intent: Why Brand Standards are Important

Name brands that are part of our vernacular don’t become everyday nouns and verbs by accident. Such brand organizations have a voice in our world that we resonate with.

We personally align ourselves to brands that symbolize our values, knowing they help us identify with others who share the same ideals and strengthen those connections between each other. We use brand names, logos, taglines, colors, and messages as smoke signals in a noise-filled world.

An Orphan by Any Other Name Would Smell as Rotten

An Orphan by Any Other Name Would Smell as Rotten

Sometimes I’m scared shitless of saying ‘counter’ when I mean ‘bowl,’ and vice versa. Why? I might get jumped on by the type community on using the correct terminology. So imagine my anxiety when I start saying the word the word ‘orphan.’ Why? Because the two terms ‘orphans’ and ‘widows’ are interchanged all the time. 

Names of things do not typically affect what they really are. Whatever their names both of these type crimes are still very painful to look at.

Extra Credit Giveaway: A Portfolio Review (1-on-1 with Mike)

Extra Credit Giveaway: A Portfolio Review (1-on-1 with Mike)

I enjoy working with people who are serious about learning more about typography and make strides in their work. Those of you who have taken my Boot Camp Clinic know how repetitive drills can train your typesetting muscle memory and sharpen your eye. 

Are you that person? I'd like to help you improve the typography work by spending some time reviewing your work and giving feedback on your projects. Jump on a private face-to-face portfolio review with me to gain some specific tips and changes to help you improve your type.