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December 2015

Now we’re talking

After years of listening to fascinating, chasing interviews with a diverse bunch of smart people on Typeradio, I was really flattered when Donald and Liza asked me to sit down for a chat when I was in Den Haag last March at the Robothon conference.

You can finally listen to the interview here. This is one of a few interviews that I gave before I left Monotype that have trickled out afterwards, and they all feel slightly awkward now that I'm trying to establish my place in the world outside of my old job. I can hear in this one how careful I'm being when I describe the situation, since I was only recently getting past my first attempt to leave, and trying to make peace with the new role that I took on instead.

Typeradio has quite a body of work available now, and it was really great to see the tables turned recently when Type Journal interviewed Donald and Liza about the project.

I have a face for radio

Paper Cuts

Like this site, Pink Mince is another side project that’s been going for so long that its own history is part of why I can’t bring myself to call it quits. I may publish sporadically, but I’m really proud of the eleven issues (not to mention the Minis, the merch, and the far-more-active Tumblr moodboard) I’ve produced across the last 6 years or so.

Despite the body of work, it's rare for a zine get much of a reach, so I don't often get to talk much about what the overall project has been about over the years. Happily, book artist Christopher Kardambikis invited me for an interview on Paper Cuts, an online radio show he hosts, where he talks to zine makers and other DIY publishers about the things they do. It was great to ramble on for a bit, and finally explain what I mean when I say that Pink Mince isn’t just a gay zine, but is also a showcase for contemporary typeface design and vintage lettering that features pictures of dudes.

Sparky in Vienna

(That’s me sneaking a discussion of Pink Mince into a talk on Letraset I was giving in Vienna.)

100 things about Sparky, revisited

I’ve been promising myself that I would use all this free time I have now to devote energy to writing here again, but I have become so undisciplined about writing for myself that it’s been extremely hard to keep that promise. It’s also uncomfortable to face the reality that this site has long outlived its relevance, and I mostly keep it going just because I’ve had it for so long that I hate to just give up once and for all on something that has so much more history than so many other things to be found online.

I recently look back at an old entry from late 2002 in which I listed 100 substantial and trivial bits of information about myself, and was struck by the differences between the state of my life then compared to now. I figured it would be a manageable way to dip my toe back into the water by assessing that old post and updating or fleshing out as needed.

(Read the rest...)


It's been a mostly pleasant time since I left my old job back in September. For the first month or so, I was actively using my newfound free time to get reacquainted with New York, which I actually never quite had time for since moving back in the Summer of 2013. [Insert small rant here about how I let myself work too much, and how my job made that all too easy to justify.] I investigated my new neighborhood, explored various parks up here in northern Manhattan, puttered around my apartment tweaking this to get to feel just right, lost a bunch of weight that had crept up on me over the least couple of years. (I don't stress-eat every day anymore!)

I also joined a few museums and visited a few others to get myself thinking more about other kinds of creativity than just typography. A long-running passion for type, compounded with a demanding job in the field, had made me a little lazy about investigating other forms of art, no matter how much I have always enjoyed it in many, many forms. It's been good to set my lens a little wider again.

Eventually, a few opportunities to do some freelance projects came to fruition, easing my fears that I'd starve or default on my mortgage before the year was out. It's been fun to have a little more variety to what I do again, although I confess that the biggest project was a Monotype follow-up — curating an exhibition in London about Eric Gill's work. It was fascinating and somewhat cathartic to wrap-up a long-simmering project with Monotype, but with a little bit of distance as an outsider.

Although the first few gigs as a freelancer materialized through the momentum of people knowing who I was and that I was suddenly available, I figured it was time to prepare myself to face the world properly, so I overhauled my online portfolio for the first time in years — like, about 8 years. It was a vivid reminder that I have a pretty eclectic background within the relatively narrow field of design and typography. Also, a reminder that I still don't have much of an interest in designing web sites.

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