Thank You for Designing Harder
Typography. Color. Capitalism. Chaos.
Hello, Internet. @ErikInternet here. I design emoji, illustrate for publications like The New York Times, teach visual communication, and make cowboys dance. And now I’d like to welcome you to Design Harder, a newsletter about graphic design.
You may be asking yourself “Why a newsletter? Why a newsletter about graphic design? Why am I even reading this? Is typography the true meaning of life?” Well, you’re in luck. Because I am here to answer all of those questions — and more — in the form of a series of essays infrequently delivered directly to your inbox, completely at my discretion.
I wanted to start a newsletter so I could have a space to publish my thoughts on visual communication, to dissect the intersection of typography and capitalism, and eventually create a new treatise on graphic design while the rest of the world burns. In our year 2021, there are very few platforms left for design discourse, so I decided to start one of my own.
Back in 2018, I wrote an essay called Do You Want Typography or Do You Want the Truth for the now-defunct and beloved Walker Art Center blog, The Gradient. It was a critique of the relationship between designers and capitalism, designers as celebrities, and the lack of diversity in the profession. Due to the nature of the piece, I thought I would be forever banished from the Kingdom of Typography, my designer’s license stripped, and I would be left scrambling to find a new profession. What happened was quite the opposite, many in the design community (often students and teachers) told me how much they enjoyed the essay and the impact it had on them. It was a rare moment where I was able to tangibly experience the positive feedback loops that reverberated as a result of the expression of my ideas.
Fast forward to 2021, and I have not written a single essay since. This is of no fault other than my own (and honestly, no one has really asked me) but because I have been doing quite a bit of actual graphic designing and various other nonsense. While Do You Want Typography or Do You Want the Truth is a relatively old piece, I stand by its thesis and there are a number of similar ideas I hope to explore in this space. It’s going to be free and the frequency of newsletters will be low, so as to not to spam you and to keep my deadlines flexible.
Thanks for reading. Like, subscribe, and share if you can. And of course, please, design harder.
P.S. If there is anything you would like to see me write about, please feel free to reach out to me or sound off in the comments. My mind can only smile so hard. I can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, and Are.na.