the art of the letter

the art of the letter doyald young
[the art of the letter, doyald young]

it’s been nearly a month since doyald young passed away. i’ve found myself thinking about him, about the amazing work he did, and what a nice guy he was. earlier this month, mohawk paper offered to ship a book they did with him awhile back, the art of the letter, for free, so for the cost of shipping i didn’t hesitate. you may still be able to order one following the link in this post.

hotel east 21 tokyo logo
[hotel east 21 logo study]

i met doyald at my first design job, working in a service bureau on the studio city / hollywood border. i hadn’t started there with a design career in mind, but after a few years of seeing so much work from all over LA, i was compelled to make it my own. doyald was a regular customer, but i had no real concept of his legacy. he was just this really nice guy who always seemed to be tweaking the prudential stationery, ordering one sheet of paper or film with each visit, which seemed like a relatively small project compared to the 4-color ads and full book layouts that came through the shop. i remember thinking it was cool that he was still working past retirement age.

as i learned more and moved up, i landed a design position at a company with an employee education budget, so i joined AIGA and started going to events and conferences. at one of the early Y-design conferences with the san diego chapter, doyald gave a presentation of his hand-drawn logotypes and letterforms, and it utterly blew my mind. all those years i had known him as a nice, grandfatherly gentleman, but had no idea i was talking to one of the most amazing talents in graphic design. i bought all his books from the shop and asked him to sign them. i remember gushing somewhat apologetically that i hadn’t realized who he was. but this was bound to happen, after all, he was a modest guy and i was 19 & not formally educated in design just yet.

imagine the possibilities

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