Asian Style Calligraphy in Advertising & Design
My brush calligraphy is influenced by many years of studying and practicing Asian calligraphy. I use mostly Japanese sumi brushes and ink. The texture of the papers I use adds unique character to the strokes. I also use some of the same techniques with pens, twisting and turning them to give a similar feeling to the characters but with a crisper edge. Sometimes a project brief requires that the work “look Asian” which is tricky because when styling a Roman alphabet with a sumi brush it is easy to make something that looks “Oriental” in a cheesy way, with the kind of retro typographic colonialism popular in the ’40’s and ’50’s. I try to steer away from that whenever possible. Where Madmen meets Zen one hopes to create work in good taste. Projects here include a fashion line for Harley Davidson, branding for restaurants, icons for Neiman Marcus and title design for books. The practice of this kind of work requires stillness and extreme focus. It is both spontaneous and completely controlled. When I have a commission for brush work I turn off the internet, put on hypnotic groove music or Indian raga and dive into another world.