Graphic Designer & Pentagram Design Intern Emily Atwood
Emily is a Design Intern at Pentagram and a recent graduate from Laguna College of Art + Design.
Being a student at the Laguna College of Art + Design afforded Emily the opportunity to have TypeEd’s lead instructor Michael Stinson as her typography instructor for two semesters.
“Life before Michael’s instruction was like living in typographic blindness. It involved trying to navigate the typographic landscape without knowing the rules or the technical and numerical approaches to the discipline. Michael provides a streamlined approach to typography that is digestible, practical, and efficient.
“I think the best thing about Michael’s teaching philosophy is that he uses type as a vehicle for design thinking; he teaches you how to see. This spurs on a dialogue about important aspects of design such as conceptual thinking, logic, purpose, hierarchy, proportion and harmony. Through his passion for typography, I have grown a deep respect for the architectural characteristics of letterforms. This has naturally cultivated a responsibility to handle these forms with honor and care.
“I am still in the process of learning more about typography, but I believe that my work has transitioned from that of carelessness and ignorance to that of intentionality and finesse. There is a heightened concern for the experience of the reader that didn’t exist [in my work] before Michael. The knowledge that I have gained from Michael Stinson and TypeEd has had an incredible impact on my work as a designer.
“Due to the fact that the rules of typography are translatable across any surface and medium, the type knowledge that has been instilled in me is incredibly relevant in regard to any surface and platform. As someone who has experience as a digital Product Designer it has been my job to create interfaces that are beautiful and experiences that are functional. Having a deeper understanding of typography aids in my ability to create user-friendly experiences for consumers.
“On the other side of the spectrum, I am now experiencing the implications of typography at a granular level at Pentagram when working on identity and environmental signage projects. A large part of what we do is to also create legible experiences, but there is even more of an emphasis on type as an art form and how it can communicate meaning.
“Type knowledge is essential to our field and has been viewed as an attractive trait in all of my job interviews. Learning how to handle type properly is not only a valuable asset, but a skill that is vital to our role as communicators and visual interpreters of language.”