Meet the Artist: Erik Marinovich, Designer & Letterer

“There’s an infinite way to draw letterforms, so there is never a dull moment. It’s that idea of endless possibilities that makes it appealing and a challenging field to work in.”  – Erik Marinovich

Within the niche community of typographers and letterers, Erik Marinovich is kind of a legend. He’s crafted more words than we can probably count for everyone from The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek to Nike and Google, and just spoke at TYPO Berlin – one of the largest design conferences in Europe. Whether it’s ad campaigns, magazine covers, or temporary tattoos, Erik has a knack for bringing words and phrases to life through his meticulous lettering technique, which he initially does by hand.

And Erik’s breadth of work doesn’t stop at his own lettering art. From his type blog Friends of Type (which he runs with Aaron CarámbulaDennis Payongayong, and Jason Wong) to San Francisco-based creative workspace Title Case (which he runs with fellow letterer Jessica Hische), he’s tapped into his creative community to help support and educate everyone from existing artists in the industry to those looking to get into the craft. It’s not just his artwork that we admire so much about Erik (although we could spend all day doing that) – it’s his commitment to mentoring, nurturing, and leading the artistic community he’s become such an integral part of.

That’s why we’re excited to team up with Erik on a limited-edition tote bag, inscribed with a quote from one of our favorite artists, Edward Hopper. Starting today, visit any of our stores in New York City, Los Angeles, and New Jersey, and you’ll get a free tote printed with Erik’s work to carry home any Classic Specs purchase. We’ve only printed a small batch of these, so be sure to drop by soon. In the meantime, learn more about Erik Marinovich and his work below.

(Can’t make it out to one of our stores? Enter for a chance to win one of these tote bags here.)

Classic Specs x Erik Marinovich Tote

What was your introduction to lettering/typography, and what ultimately made you want to pursue it as a career?

If I look way back, my first exposure was when I got into comic books as child. I’d redraw the “BAM, WHAM, CRASH” sound effects. I’d carry that early admiration of lettering into my first design job, where I’d spend majority of my time drawing or manipulating existing typefaces to give projects more of a custom look. Around this time I started learning and teaching myself more about type, lettering and calligraphy. In September of 2009, I started a blog called Friends of Type with three friends. The work I was making for myself to post on FoT soon turned into client work and by 2011, I was a full time lettering artist.

Classic Specs x Erik Marinovich Tote - Sketches 3

What’s the best part of your job?

There’s an infinite way to draw letterforms, so there is never a dull moment. It’s that idea of endless possibilities that makes it appealing and a challenging field to work in.

As a letterer, you’ve probably done calligraphic renderings of hundreds of quotes – are there any that have stuck with you?

Yes, more than I can count! The best quote is the last line from Ferris Bueller’s day off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it.” I have the quote framed in my office and it serves as a good reminder to make more time for the things that really matter in life.

What advice do you have for young creatives who are just starting out?

Keep at it. Look for inspiration outside the world you work in. Surround yourself with people who care and are more talented than you. Draw at least 30 minutes a day. Don’t be afraid to say yes to every project.

You’ve surrounded yourself with a vibrant community of creatives – who’s currently inspiring you?

Braulio Amado an illustrator/designer based out of NYC. He’s rippin’ and runnin’ with a style completely of his own.

Classic Specs x Erik Marinovich Tote - Bev the dog


Leave a Reply