Monday, January 18, 2010

Interview for the company blog

I was interviewed recently for the company blog. Re-posted here for save keeping.

Yes! We're staring at you

Since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1436, there have been certain nagging, existential questions regarding the placement and style of typography.

Is a serif font inherently cooler than a sans serif?

Is there a way for me to say "Bodoni" without giggling?

Can I punch someone for using Comic Sans?

Does using Arial make me a douche?

Come with me now as I try to answer these questions by cracking through the crunchy, burnt cream layer of obscurity that is Kristin Dooley and delve into the rich custard of truth!! Typestyling's Kristin Dooley puts down her soldering iron and joins us in the Cone of Silence to answer these hard hitting questions for another edition of our interview series that we like to call, Yes!! We're staring at you!!

How did you get here?
I’m from Michigan. I am now pointing at my hand, which we are trained to do at birth.

Who/what inspires you?
I come from a family of punsters . I’m drawn to people who produce creative works with a wink. The Howling Mob Society is a great example. I also love the font Twin from Letterror.

It was created to change shape and weight to correspond to the weather and temperature in the Twin Cities.

What do you work on here at Target?
I work in the Creative Production Studio on Beauty, Home, Designers, Auto, Garden, Style and Stationery. I’m also part of the Type Team which handles all things font related. If I’m lucky and have time, I get to play in Fontographer to modify fonts.

Easy question, what do you do outside of work?
I am a huge reader and feed my habit with part-time work at the Book House, a used bookstore in Dinkytown, and Mayday Books, a non-profit, all-volunteer bookstore on the West Bank. I’m also involved in various grassroots activities hoping to make the world a better place.

What’s a random, fun fact that others would love to hear?
Here’s a memory from one of the old Emigre magazines: British graphic designer and teacher Nick Bell dreamed up two “conceptual” fonts. One is Zelig, a typeface with the chameleon-like ability to change its appearance to something similar to whatever typeface it is placed next to. Another is Psycho, the printed version of which bears no relation to the words you type. Instead it leaves stab wounds in a piece of paper by randomly accessing a cutlery drawer as you type.

What do you love to do?
Hang out with my family. Play with my cats. Do crossword puzzles. I had a chaotic childhood, so relaxing and safe is my preferred adult lifestyle.

I have one husband and best friend, Alan, who is the perfect man for me. We have two awesome daughters, Terri (29) and Jackie (28) and one son-in-law, Wally (29). Terri and Wally created our beloved grandchildren, Alexis (7) and Blake (4). We share our home with two cats, Sox (18, Tabby) and Jinx (3, Maine Coon). Our favorite gatherings involve throwing whatever we had planned for dinner into a basket and going to the banks of the Mississippi for an impromptu picnic.

If you could interview one other person in the studio, who would it be and why?
Lisa Smith. We had great fun working together on Brands a couple of years ago.

What’s the best thing that ever happened to you?
Cue soap opera organ music: When I was six, I caught German Measles. It attacked my spinal fluid and turned into Encephalitis. I was in a coma for a week and blind for two days after I woke up. It took me a few weeks to fully recover. Yes, I’ve heard all the brain disease jokes, thankyouverymuch.

Whoa!! Tell me more! I assume you mean the recovery part was the best part and not actually contracting a deadly disease...right?
You’re right: thanks for clarifying. :-)

I was oblivious during the illness. My memories are from recovery: I had to wear a diaper (how embarrassing!) and re-learn how to feed myself, walk on my own and speak some sounds (s and sh were difficult). I hated having to undergo multiple EEG tests. They used something akin to airplane glue to attach dozens of electrodes to my head. After the tests, my mother would have to cut the glue from my scalp. I ended up with ugly bald spots all over my head. Too bad it wasn’t during the punk era!

This was in the early 1960s when there was no vaccine for measles. Medical scientists still do not know the cause of encephalitis and there is no cure; they can treat only the symptoms. You either recover or you don’t. As a result, I feel enormous gratitude for beating the odds. I’ve gotten more than my fair share of lucky breaks in life.

Awesomeness from Kristin:
Check out these articles about type used in movies by local font designer Mark Simonson:


and Son of Typecasting

Don’t miss Cheshire Dave’s movie Cooper Black, Behind the Typeface

What do you like better (you must choose one): leading or kerning? Go!

Kerning. Natch!

What font (excuse me, “typeface”) best represents you as a person (personally I think I’m a future extra-bold!)?

Mark Simonson’s Coquette


Kathleen M. in TPS said...

Super DUPER cool!