Chank Diesel is an alphabetician, and a builder of fonts. He creates custom fonts for advertising and designers, and can be seen selling his fonts, literally, door to door. He was in need of some way to advertise his newest and greatest creations. To make more than just a type specimen of each font, we put together a book of thoughts, experiences, observations and conversations relating to each font that summed up the life of Chank’s typographic travels. Created with writer Peter Hajinian, and type designer Chank Diesel. Purchase the book Here, read a Type Directors Club review Here, and a Printmag Daily Heller interview Here.
Indian was one of America’s first motorcycle brands. Looking to revive their look and gain back their cult following, they reintroduced some of their most iconic bikes, as well as refreshed the brand. Based off the well-known Indian logo, and influence from some traditional vintage handpainted script, an exclusive custom typeface was created for their branding materials. Created alongside Chank Diesel with a team at Colle+McVoy.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, a video game from 2K Games, takes place in the 1960s as a top-secret government investigates supernatural enemy attacks. Both Hydropower ExtraCondensed and Hydropower ExtraExtended were custom and exclusively designed to be a part of the family of fonts used for the in-game experience. Created with Chank Diesel.
A collection of lettering samples, custom typography and type design.
Six Word Story Everyday
A collaborative personal project, the idea for Six Word Story Every Day was based of a well-known Ernest Hemingway story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This story was said to be the most meaningful, shortest story ever written —and one of Hemingway’s greatest works. Together with writer, Van Horgen, we created our own stories, using six words, design and typography, every day for an entire year. The project became an exploration of words, text, typography, design, interpretation and story telling. After a year of creating a story every day, the project continued on to be open to the creative community. Writers and designers would submit their own personal six word stories and designs. Stories were curated every day to post again for an entire year.
Porsche has always had a very clean and structured, well-known visual brand. Their custom headline font, Porsche Franklin Gothic, happens to be the exact same as Franklin Gothic. In order to create a refresh of the Porsche brand, while still maintaining the established look, there was opportunity for a new typeface. The core of the new typeface is based on the Porsche logo, as well as typeface Deutsches Institut für Normung 1451—a precise, technical typeface; also the standard for German road signs. With a strong racing history, additional visual cues were also used in creating a truly unique, custom Porsche typeface. Created with Olson.
For Dwell’s Made in America issue, they focused on beautifully design products coming from different regions. Being from the Midwest, they asked for a custom type lockup to appear with the spread of products.
A collaborative personal project, creating and publishing a weekly visual haiku, written by Michael Derus. The Japanese artform of Haiku writing consists of a 17 syllable poem. The essence of writing Haiku is juxtaposition, in which two images or ideas come together. Keeping within this structure, these poetry stories came from an inspiration of daily life and light-hearted humor, with visuals that were a blend of design and typography; symbols, pattern and art. Check out Haikuglyphics.
Through the AIGA and their annual portfolio review event, Chank Diesel and I held a workshop for students to create a one-of-a-kind letter making experience. Students pieced together letters out of a variety of custom laser cut paper shapes. We carried the students through the workshop, showing them the process of creating a full working font, and ended up with a final version named Particulate. With the skills of animator Adam Tow, we created a video to introduce the font to the world, making use of the modular forms, mimicking the process that was involved in creating the letters. Workshop collaboration with Chank Diesel. Animation by Adam Tow.
“The Hookers in My Neighborhood Really Love My Chili” is the title of a short story in Paper Darts’ first published book with author John Jodzio. “Get In if You Want to Live” is a collection of 19 fiction short stories, with each story accompanied by illustrations from hand-selected local and international artists. The story illustrated is a typographic representation of some late night chili signage, giving off some double entendre, very friendly neighbor vibes. Created for Paper Darts.
The campaign for Target during the Halloween season was accompanied by the intricate papercut art produced by Andrea Deszö. To complement the nature of the art, a handmade, brushstroke typeface was made exclusively for the campaign. With many alternative glyphs, ligatures and swashes, the font had the right amount of rawness to make it a lighthearted spooky fit with the surrounding art. Created with Chank Diesel.
Every year, tens of thousands of Comcast volunteers across the globe reach out to local communities during Comcast Cares Day. Groups of employees, their families, friends and community, work hard and volunteer their time to schools, organizations and businesses to make change happen. A group working with Urban League Academy in Minneapolis came together to help enhance the mood of the school. I was asked to sketch and illustrate the walls of the school with words of motivation and encouragement. Volunteers then came for a day to fill in my typographic sketches with color.
Kazootie is a typeface developed by hand originally from squares of paper cut into letterforms. The name “Kazootie” comes from a hand puppet character named Rootie Kazootie in a 1950s children’s television show. Kazootie is best displayed as all uppercase, with lowercase providing a lighter alternative.
With a phrase playing on the opposition of light and dark, this largescale 60ft by 20ft outdoor mural was painted on the back of business building, Creative Lighting. With much planning and design preparation, the mural was designed and painted over the course of about two months.
Inspired by embroidery stitch options on a computerized sewing machine, Stitch was produced over the course of a month, creating one letter each day. Each character includes illustrated patterns of common stitches and details that have come together to form a full alphabet. Stitch is best used at large sizes or as illustrations.
Custom created lettering lockups created for Target’s holiday campaign. Lettering was sketched and produced to mimic the shape and flow of a red ribbon for the holiday season. The lockups were used for the cover and interior pages of their print and digital annual holiday catalog.
A poster created to promote a lecture held at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts about the communication of typography - in the past, and going into the future. With a focus on how visual style affects textual substance and how letters communicate on their own, CrossTalk: What Fonts Say, was a lecture that provided two angles from two experts - an art historian Craig Eliason and a practicing type designer Chank Diesel. Four-color screenprint, and various two-color screenprints on a variety of 18x24 French papers printed by Burlesque.
You Are Beautiful
Gallery exhibition show organized by founder of the movement, Matthew Hoffman. The worldwide “You Are Beautiful” message has become a movement and is a powerful statement to be received as a simple act of kindness. After a decade of growing with thousands of artists, a handful of previous and new work was displayed in the exhibition “As You Are - A Decade of You Are Beautiful” which opened in Chicago, February 2013. The show was also featured on Oprah. Posted here are process photos of creation and gallery install of my piece in the show.
A book project edited by John Bertram that uses images and essays to represent Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. The project features over 50 new conceptual book covers and essays by book designers and writers. I was honored to be asked to participate and design a cover for the story. Nabokov makes us feel his poetic words and language throughout the story. The text “Lo-Lee-Ta” is one of the first sentences in the book in which Humbert is narrating about his love, Lolita. “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.” Shredding and torn, conveying the loss of Lolita’s childhood innocence and corruption.