I was inspired last month when a good friend and ex Hornall Anderson designer, Javas Lehn, posted a custom typeface he designed for the now Defunct Pearl Paint store in NYC. It stood for years as an icon with its red facade and bold, retro letterforms.
For me, Pearl Paint was one of those visual experiences that made going to New York so special. Seeing places like this with its distinctive red facade was like seeing an old friend. It warmed my heart. Seeing the tribute typeface made me wonder why it was created? So I asked him. Javas told me that he just loved the store and felt this was a good way to pay tribute to the legacy of the store itself, so it was never forgotten. Cool!
As a designer, it gave me an idea or a challenge to those who for one reason or another sit idle with nothing to do. What if you, in your downtime, could create a typeface from your own inspired moment and share it, or better yet offer it up as a product? The great thing about what we all have and can do is that we can take a thought or an idea, then pluck it from our minds and shape it into something real, something beloved and desired. Very powerful tool or weapon we posses as it can influence people's emotions and behaviors that then can shape our world around us, either to the good or the bad.
So my design friends, a creative idle mind is wasteful. Put it to work for you and your peers. Make something. Pluck it from your head and offer it to others for their appreciation. It will build and boost your self worth, and potentially your creation might just be something that others want, which could be a monetary gain if proven to be desired by others.
And the next time I go, I know I'll walk by the location on Canal Street and feel that empty, sinking feeling in my chest that one feels with a great of loss. But I'll know that we as designers can make things live on.
Thanks, Javas, for reminding me.