36 days of Type was a challenge that instantly appealed. The project invites designers and illustrators from across the globe to create a unique letter and number every day from February 21 to March 28 2017.
I decided on a loose theme of childhood toys, hobbies and games. This gave the collection cohesion, but retained plenty of scope for creative thinking. At the onset of the challenge I brainstormed potential themes. Tetris! Trivial Pursuit! Dominoes! I allocated about one third to letters that would be most suitable. The letter E lent itself well to PAC-MAN whilst the snakes and ladders was great for the S. For the remainder, I created a general list of ideas I could use for inspiration.
I worked 24 hours in advance, and each day I spent two or three hours creating a letter or a number. Some ideas came easily to me – the letter G made from stars, for example. Whereas others were more laboured. The 1 comes to mind as a more difficult challenge. I could still be working on that lace.
I confess that I found the numbers more difficult than the letters, probably because the challenge was coming to an end. Nonetheless, I got plenty of positive feedback from the numbers, so I’m glad the results didn’t reflect my waning enthusiasm.
Two of my favourite letters are J and K. For J, I wanted to work with a bike chain in some way, and I think it works well. I love the look of the K and it took me a bit of research to find that what I call ‘pick up sticks’ is actually called Mikado (unrelated to the opera).
In addition, I created a few letters to celebrate relevant days, such as the L for the Sydney Mardi Gras and the Y for St Patrick’s Day.
Now that it’s over…
I loved seeing the thousands of submissions from designers around the world. I was thrilled that my creations were featured in the Typism Global Community. On Instagram, I enjoyed great engagement and feedback for my daily submissions.
I enjoyed the personal challenge of 36 Days of Type, particularly the chance to hone my self-critiquing skills. Without the client to brief me and answer to, I found myself getting better at following my own instincts as the challenge continued.
There were plenty of amazing submissions, check out my favourites here:
Sara Mengual, a UK based Character designer from Barcelona
Nick Matej, an illustrator based in Cleveland, Ohio
Rosemarie.cc, an illustrator and designer from Madrid
Alexander Corrales, whose entire alphabet was inspired by movies.
You can check out the entire set of A-Z letters and 0-9 numbers here