September 8th, 2013

week #46 – @alessio_joseph / Joseph


Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m Joseph Alessio, a designer and letterer from Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Share your twitter account with us and tell us what you are twittering about:
I tweet from @alessio_joseph, where you can usually find me sharing snippets of what fellow letterers are working on, typeface releases, helpful articles, and other design-related news.

Tell us about your creative side:
I’ve always wanted to work in the visual arts. I have dabbled in a variety of aspects including calligraphy, and when I discovered the world of lettering it captured my interest. While I still work in many areas of design, lettering is the most enjoyable work I do. Other areas I also work in are illustration, print and packaging design, and branding. When I’m not designing, I play music with friends and professionally, as part of multiple local orchestras and a string quartet.

What inspires you?
I’ve learned to appreciate the old and the new, the traditional and the cutting edge, and to learn from both. I listen to a lot of classical music, from the 1600s all the way up to recent compositions. One way I have found inspiration recently is by reading classic literature – from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey to Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy to Chesterton and Hemingway. I have several shelves of volumes, many 50+ years old, acquired at a used book sale. There is something special about turning the stiff, yellowed pages, reading the penciled notes in the margins, and imagining many types of people who might have read these books over the years.

Time travel: Where would you go to?
Most likely the late 19th to the early 20th century. Much of the best music in history, in my opinion, was written during this time period, and there were many exciting things going on in the design world as well, with the Arts & Crafts movement to Art Nouveau and the Vienna Secession.

Name your favorite present book:
This is a very difficult question. For a design book, I recently have been reading a book on the history of Irish type design, by Dermot McGuinne, which would be very dry to most, but fascinating to type nerds like myself! In terms of fiction, a long–standing favorite has been G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday, a sort of modern fairy tale in which you’re never quite sure what is going on.

Which tweeter would you recommend for @createandrotate and why?
Possibly Matt Vergotis (@VERGadvertising). He is a great letterer and brand designer who is always tweeting great new work that he is doing!


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