We often take fonts for granted. Times New Roman is a necessity for papers and important documents. Everyone has heard of Arial. Helvetica? Engrained into our culture.
However, new fonts are being designed every day.
Jane Doe, a 32-year-old from Chicago, is one such designer. She found a way to turn her passion for typography into more than just a hobby by designing and selling fonts online. Her most popular fonts are “Grand Hotel,” “Brusher” and “Belinda”.
“Font choice matters so much in design, and, as an artist, being able to contribute to the world of design is an amazing feeling,” Jane said. “I’m so honored when I see other designers or artists using my fonts in their own work.”
Jane’s interest in hand-lettering began when she was taught cursive in elementary school. She began experimenting with traditional calligraphy when she was 15 years old.
“I remember being enchanted by the way that cursive transformed what I wanted to write and made it more elegant,” Jane said.
Jane was always known as the “girl with the good handwriting” in school. Teachers would call on her to write down notes on the board, and her friends would always ask her to draw their names in cursive. However, Jane never imagined how far her skillful lettering could take her.
Jane received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She began to work as a freelance designer for small businesses and individuals in need of logos and other print and web designs. However, she still fantasized about producing original work. That’s when she decided to create and sell her own fonts online.
Each font takes her about a month to perfect.
“There’s so much more that goes into making a typeface than everyone really sees,” Jane said.“If you’re just making one font, then all you really have are the basic letters, capital and lowercase and special characters. But if you’re trying to make an entire typeface, you need to consider different weights and if you want to make an italic narrow option.”
Jane made $40,000 the first year she sold her “Grand Hotel” font online. After its success, she decided to devote more time to creating new typefaces and art for artists to purchase or download.
Over 200,000 people have downloaded Jane’s “Brusher” font. It also appears as a preset font on Canva, a popular graphic design website used by non-designers and professionals alike. Over tenmillion people across two hundred counties use Canva, so Jane’s fonts have a large audience. Through Canva, she receives royalties when her font is used in others artist’s designs.
Thomas Baldwin, a graphic designer for Instant Karma, a small boutique in Asheville, has used Jane’s fonts and graphics in a lot of his designs.
“Her fonts really elevate my own work,” Thomas said. “Her lettering is unique and really looks wonderful printed on the t-shirts and other items that we sell in our store. I’m grateful for her contributions to the world of fonts.”
Jane loves when other artists and designers like Thomas use her fonts and graphics to create their own original content.
“Knowing that so many people are seeing my font is a very humbling feeling,” Jane said.
Although she’s designed 26 different fonts, Jane has yet to grow tired of the process.
“Each individual font has its own fun challenges to overcome,” Jane said. “The most important aspect of type will always be legibility, but once you have that you can really take the letters anywhere. I try to make all of my typefaces expressive in different ways.”
Now, Jane can’t image her life without hand lettering her own fonts.
“It’s made me a more creative and adventurous person,” Jane said. “There really is no feeling quite like finding the perfect font.”
For more information on Jane’s fonts and designs, visit www.designedbyjane.com.
Disclaimer: This feature story is a mock-up. None of the people or numbers are authentic.