Menu

Member of the Month: Craig Ward

To celebrate our talented and diverse membership, the TDC is profiling one member each month. We’re asking members the same five questions that will hopefully let us – and you – get to know them better. Designer, typographer and art director, Craig Ward, is July’s choice.

PilkingtonPortrait_Jan2016_HighRes
Craig Ward, photograph by Jonathan Pilkington

Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do and where you work
I’m a British designer, typographer and art director currently based in New York, where I’ve run my studio for the last 5 years. A lot of my work revolves around the juxtaposition of clean, classic type with various organic or uncontrolled processes.

01_SubvisualSubway_Ltrain_lowRes

Subvisual Subway – Over the summer of 2015 Craig rode all 23 of New York’s subway lines taking bacterial swabs from the handrails and seats. These samples were cultivated in the shape of the letter or number of the train (1,2,B,D etc) that it was taken from. Pictured here is the L train.

02_Fe203_Glyphs_print

Fe203 Glyphs – A conceptual, ornamental typeface created in collaboration with Linden Gledhill. Tiny blobs of ferrofluid were subjected to a magnetic centrifuge creating an infinite array of symbols and marks that were translated into a typeface, then a moveable type printing system and eventually a series of one of a kind letterpress prints created. Craig was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by The Type Directors Club 62.

What is your favorite typeface? And why?
I don’t really have a favorite, although I always find myself coming back to classics like Futura and Helvetica. They’re a nice blank canvas for my experimental work. I’m really into slightly awkward, European sans-serifs right now… I know they’re very popular and specific but there’s something nice about the way they have this clarity and stiffness. Favorit by Dinamo is a good example.

Where do you take your typographic/design inspiration from?
Pretty much anywhere and everywhere. I try not to look at other people’s work, I’m more interested by processes and accidents – misprinted posters; peeling, faded or broken signs, smudges, environmental wear and tear etc. Those things are all tools I can put in my botox drawer to tell a story at another time. I also look a lot at the fashion and art worlds for material inspiration. The less commercial the better really as they operate without limitations. 

03_AdobeRemix
Adobe Remix – A 1700cu/ft installation created for Adobe using dozens of hanging lightbulbs and anamorphic perspective.

04_Pagan_Solstice

Pagan (series): Solstice. The typography was applied by hand using a method known as pyrography – a centuries old arts and crafts technique used for decoration, with the earliest surviving examples in Britain dating back to the 4th century.

What is your all time favorite piece of design?
Big question! My favorite kind of design is always quite simple / minimal. I don’t want to overthink it, so it might be something as simple as Josef Müller Brockman’s Beethoven poster.

Where do you see the future in typographic design and typeface design?
Well, I think like most things in life it’s cyclical. We’ve gone from hand made type into pure CGI and have seen a return to hand lettering as a reaction to this. Hi-fi > lo-fi and back again. In terms of type design, again we went from these very laborite script typefaces a few years ago to these exercises in restraint that you see coming out of Europe. It’s tricky though as all of these things are going on around the world at different times, and also thanks to technological advances things are speeding up.

You Blow Me Away – Craig’s first foray into the world of photographic, physical type was this collaboration with British photographer Jason Tozer in 2007.

What is your favorite aspect of being a TDC member? / What drew you to become a member of the TDC?
I like the slightly niche and esoteric nature of the club. I think there are members who are waaayyyy more into pure typography than me, and it’s nice to be in the same group as those people, even if they have this discipline that I can never have. We’re just coming at it from a different place.

06_CraigWard_A

‘A’. Craig’s latest reaction to (what he sees as) “the joyless precision of the current crop of calligraphic work that has saturated the visual landscape. I always look for my work to convey energy and excitement in some way, I feel like this style retains the craft of hand lettered type but also keeps the dynamism that I strive for.”

Links:
Website: wordsarepictures.com
Instagram: @mrcraigward
Twitter: @mrcraigward

Read past Member of the Month features here:
January 2015: Bruno Maag
February 2015: Ray Masaki
March 2015: Paula Scher
April 2015: Cherise Conrick
May 2015: Ricardo Cordoba
June 2015: Gail Anderson
July 2015: Neil Patel
August 2015: Kevin Cantrell
September 2015: Marta Cerdà
October 2015: Niral Parekh
November 2015: Debbie Millman
December 2015: Yomar Augusto
January 2016: Michael Bierut
February 2016: Dawn Hancock
March 2016: Sascha Lobe
April 2016: Ilene Striver
May 2016: Wael Morcos
June 2016: Juan Carlos Pagan