Alex Rodriguez, a graphic and lettering designer, shares his work at TypeThursday New York City.

Better Letters Together: Alex Rodriguez

Before and after success stories from TypeThursday (5 of 10)

Once a month in cities worldwide, TypeThursday raises the baseline on letterform design and use through friendly, moderated, group discussions of type-centric works in progress. Up to three designers present for advice from their chapter’s “type superfamily,” i.e., the letterform lovers and experts who gather to talk type over drinks. Here’s how TypeThursday helped one presenter’s work ascend.

(PSST! Ready to see your own work jump from the lower to uppercase? We’re growing — find out if TypeThursday has a chapter near you.)

Alex Rodriguez is a graphic and lettering designer who is interested in work created by hand. He spent his early years enamored of the graffiti splashed across walls in his neighborhood, an influence which is visible in his art. The project he brought to TypeThursday New York City (TypeThursdayNYC) was no exception: he sought feedback on a logo with a distinct graffiti flare.

Alex’s logo and associated artwork before the discussion at TypeThursdayNYC.

Project background

Alex’s artwork was created for a local street football team, 99 Problems. The suite of imagery includes a logo that set the graphical tone, along with other artwork for the team’s uniforms and gear. The logo, which sees a football do double duty as a nuke, was inspired by nuclear warfare.

What was working?

Alex felt the military theme captured the character of the team well, so he wanted to continue to draw upon that imagery. Alex also liked that his lettering, a fusion of graffiti and a blocky sans serif, was a departure from the retro scripts and varsity letter-style slab serifs so often used by sports teams.

What was challenging?

Alex was struggling with legibility — to those familiar with graffiti lettering, it can be a natural read, but he wondered if a wider audience might have a hard time deciphering some of his more abstract letterforms.

In a presenter’s words: Alex’s TypeThursday experience

After Alex introduced his piece to the crowd, the Dialogue Lead opened the floor to attendees to share their expertise and observations. At TypeThursday, group discussion is always constructive, revolving around form, process, tools and techniques. Of the experience, Alex says:

Type Thursday is something special for the letterform community. At first it was just an opportunity for me to practice speaking in front of crowds, but then it became a way to test the perception of work that I felt unsure about.
Informed practitioners like lettering artist Tony DiSpigna ensure effective input from the audience.

At TypeThursday, Alex was treated to something we don’t always get from a BFF, grandma, or the adjacent cubicle: type-centric feedback from informed and diverse perspectives. Our events attract everyone from professors to typeface designers, to even UI designers and illustrators! Some attend to listen. Others jump into the conversation. And all attendees, from presenters to observers, benefit from the open exchange of knowledge.

We’ll help you dot your i’s and cross your t’s

TypeThursday attendees love letterforms. Big-time. This means you’ll get detailed advice, delivered with care by fellow creators who know how much time goes into crafting crisp characters. Your work will emerge refined … no dots left behind. Submit your work to a TypeThursday near you.

Get to know Alex: Follow him on Instagram

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