Better Letters Together: Nikita Prokhorov
Before and after success stories from TypeThursday (9 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.
Make new friends who love type just as much as you do
Nikita Prokhorov is a Brooklyn-based graphic designer and lettering artist. He was raised in the US but born in Moscow, Russia. His cultural heritage was on full display in the project he presented at TypeThursday New York City (TypeThursdayNYC) — a phrase rendered in three languages, two of which use Cyrillic characters.
“Slav Power” was self-initiated, born out of a conversation with a friend.
What was working?
Nikita humbly said he wasn’t sure if anything was working quite yet!
What was challenging?
He was concerned that it might not be possible to make the Latin and Cyrillic characters look consistent — should he opt for a completely different lettering style for each rendering of the phrase? Nikita also sought input on general issues we all grapple with: spacing, proportion, and legibility.
In a presenter’s words: Nikita’s TypeThursday experience
After Nikita 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, Nikita says:
My biggest concern was … [presenting] work more hand lettering- or monogram-oriented rather than showcasing an actual typeface. However, after the first critique where I presented both sketches and vector designs, I received great feedback, which wasn’t dependent on my work not being an actual typeface design. Every single critique I’ve presented at, the feedback has been spot-on.
The crowd at TypeThursday is very diverse, from hardcore type aficionados to design students. The feedback that you get from the group comes at you from different directions and different perspectives, which is very helpful.
As a designer and lettering artist, I get very attached to my work … feedback really helps me look at my work through an unbiased eye.
At TypeThursday, Nikita 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.
Once you’ve gone bold, it never gets old
We get it — presenting isn’t everyone’s bag, yet so many of our Type Crit presenters (including Nikita!) keep returning to TypeThursday with new letterforms. Could be the free beer…or maybe there’s just a magic to watching an entire room of type geeks rooting for you and your work. Be bold! Submit your work to a TypeThursday near you.
Get to know Nikita: Follow his Instagram
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