For all you hand lettering enthusiasts out there I hope this interview will make you giddy with inspiration. I adore Annemarie Buckley of Scouts Honor Co. Everything she touches just hits the perfect pitch, she has a great eye for merchandising/visuals and her talent is through the roof. I am still pinching myself that she took the time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions for us, I feel so very lucky, you? Without further gushing on my part I give you the interview….
//INTERVIEW WITH ANNEMARIE BUCKLEY OF SCOUT’S HONOR CO.//
Where are you located?
How did you get started in lettering?
As a kid, I was constantly drawing “bubble letters” and “block letters” without really understanding what lettering was. I just knew that I loved it. In school, I pretty much joined student council just so I could create posters for all the events… homecoming games, dances, fundraisers, you name it. At my restaurant job, I was in charge of writing the specials on the board each day. That board quickly became my pride and joy, hah! Basically, I was always lettering but never realized that it could be more than a hobby or play a larger role in my life.
Fast forward to around 2007, when Mike Perry’s Hand Job: A Catalog of Type was published. I bought it and my brain kind of exploded. I saw that artists and designers were creating the style of fun, loose, graphic lettering that I loved. And they were doing it for a living. This was around the same time that Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. was incorporating more casual lettering into wedding invitations, which was exciting. Lettering masters such as Jon Contino were also emerging onto the scene. It all just clicked… I had been itching to start my own business. Aesthetically, however, I was running in a million different directions. Once I rediscovered hand-lettering, I realized that it could not only be my passion, but it could also help anchor and focus my work. I started developing my style, took on a few projects, and eventually launched Scout’s Honor Co. in 2011.
What are some of your favorite supplies (inks, brushes, nibs, paper)?
Sakura Pigma Micron Pen , I use 01 for fine details + small text.
Sharpie Pen (Fine) this is my primary tool- the weight is good for drawing letters and I find its tip to be stronger than most pens out there.
Prismacolor Premier Double Ended Art Marker, this is my new favorite marker. I have been using the chisel side to push myself in a different lettering direction for my summer collection.
I love drawing with these when I need to get away from the markers and/or computer and just play around. I have yet to use them for a project, but they’re great for creating quick Instagram messages and fueling new ideas.
Can you name some of your inspirations?
I am obsessed with signage. I am happiest when I’m out exploring, taking photos, and looking for typography inspiration. I greatly admire professional sign painters but what really excites me are signs created by amateurs. I love the imperfections, the quirks, the mistakes that end up being the most interesting part. I seek out signs that convey information clearly and succinctly or serve a purpose… they are usually the most beautiful.
I also find great inspiration in antiques shops and used book stores. I have been slowly collecting vintage scouting books, nature guides, and adventure themed novels. The type is always wonderful and they’re chock full of informational systems (trail signs, map keys, badges, etc), that I can’t get enough of. I am always on the lookout for vintage paper goods as well… notebooks, packaging, letterhead, stamps, and air mail envelopes.
Can you go a little into your process of how you work on a project?
I like to get into the zone with each phase of my work so I will do a ton of lettering and drawing at once, then scanning, then computer time. I like to stay free and loose when lettering, so I end up creating a large library of elements to work with rather than focusing on one layout. I like to have options once I’m on the computer so that I can make changes and substitutions. Once I am deeper into the design, I’ll go back and letter some more if there are holes or if the original styles just aren’t working. One thing to realize and accept with hand-lettering is that nothing is quick. Each letter is kerned individually, each line is straightened manually, each copy change requires new lettering. But that’s the beauty of the process – there are efficiencies to be learned and incorporated over time, but there are no real short cuts.
Any recommendations of books or classes for lettering enthusiasts to further their studies?
Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design’s Golden Age by Steven Heller & Louise Fili (for sale here)
I recommend digging up some old lettering books if you can. You’ll most likely find a gem that not many others have access to, which helps to keep your work unique. One of my favorites is:
The Art of Lettering by Carl Lars Svensen, published in 1927.
Do you have some favorite projects you would like me to mention?
Ah, so hard to choose! I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to work with some wonderful small businesses recently including Vermont Farm Table, Rosewood & Birch, Pints & Pints, and more. I am no longer taking on wedding clients, so I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the couples I did get to work with (most recently Lauren + Nick for their Woodstock, VT wedding). The Urbanic 2013 New Year’s card was a fun one. Right now, I am really excited about my upcoming product collection and the direction in which things are headed…!
Any advice on what ‘not’ to do?
Don’t try to emulate someone else’s style. Learn from them, be inspired by them, but remember that the beauty of handwriting is that everyone’s is different.
Don’t look back on your old work and cringe (talking to myself here). Progression means you’re doing something right!
Crappy paper makes for a crappy scan. Invest in the good stuff.
Name one random talent you have that people may not know?
I can balance a beer bottle on the ball of my foot.
Thank you Annemarie!!! And if you liked this please comment so we can be sure to be able to continue getting great artists to share with us!
Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups.