Designing graphics and layouts is one of my favorite hobbies and freelance jobs to do. It let’s me get creative with text and color, build a brand, and establish a recognizable personal style. This creative outlet has also made me fall in love with text and fonts. Elaborate scrolls and flourishes, minimal sans serif lines, and everything in between always inspire me to try new things with my graphics. It’s incredible how a font can make or break the design, while the right combination of a few different styles can take hours to achieve. The amount of times I’ve switched one cursive font to another in search of the right look and feel is immeasurable, add in color and I’m attached to the computer for the night. That dedication to creating crisp typography and iconic letters is something I truly admire and luckily to fulfill my styling and decorating needs these gorgeous fonts don’t always live in print.
I was recently introduced to Uncle Goose, a company that still practices the the same woodworking craft as artisans from the 1800’s. They design beautiful wooden alphabet blocks in the Midwest, Grand Rapids to be exact, and have stayed true to their creative business plan even as the industry has modernized. I especially love their woodworking comparison to Santa in his toy shop, which is the perfect way to describe a company that believes in the importance of traditionally made goods. The standard alphabet can only go so far in the world of design which makes Uncle Goose’s collaboration with the foundry House Industries such a perfect pairing. House Industries is a typeface icon who’s attention to detail, artistic advancement, and dedication to the craft are what make their work draw praise from people like J.J. Abrams, Shepard Fairey, and Charles and Ray Eames’s grandson Eames Demetrios. These two companies, who are both dedicated to preserving their crafts, recently released a set of alphabet blocks that showcase a range of icons, numbers, and letters in various exaggerated shapes finished in a beautiful color palette. I’ve been gathering eclectic items for my bookshelves in the living room. The majority of the space is dedicated to an endless supplies of books that Paul and I just can’t part with, but the other areas are set with trinkets like a keepsake from a trip to Mexico, an illustration by a favorite artist, and boxes that were too pretty to throw away. These wooden blocks fit perfectly into the mix and provide a needed bit of interest to a corner that was a little too empty. They are fun to stack and look good from any angle since each side offers a bold pattern or letter style in House Industry’s recognizable fonts. The fact that they are meant to be toys keeps the setup from being too precious and I find myself fiddling with the layout or just stacking and re-stacking them like a kid with those iconic letter blocks.