The beginnings of this romance began at an early age. As a kid, he would constantly draw, often winning the “Best Drawer” in school. Inspired by his love of the National Lampoon and Mad Magazine, he would later convince his high school to let him take over the school’s newspaper, The Trojan. This would be the star of his talk and a showcase of his mischievousness, sharp wit and passion for editorial design. Using rub-down type, Letraset and photo collaging, he would use it as his playground to be funny. Each issue had a theme while the content and advertisements were completely made up. Some highlights include promoting one issue as being lemon-scented, purposefully misspelling “The Trojan” to “Trogen” and constantly messing with people via the page numbers.
Type Designer (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
While in good fun, it was invaluable experience as the skills would follow him throughout his career. In college, he would become a production manager for the Metropolis and later an art director for the Minnesota Monthly. There he would refine his skill and gain an even deeper appreciation for offset lithography. The letterpress revival was occurring and he dedicated some time talking about how he felt about it all. While being appreciative of the medium, there was an inherent comfort in the free form nature of offset. Letterpress to him felt like a straight-jacket and didn’t grant him the photographic detail he wanted. “Offset was the way of the future” and it is still the go-to method to printing.Towards the end of his talk Mark jokingly admitted that he wasn’t really sure what his point is. However, one point was clear: “Making things with your hands is magical.” Whether it’s simply nostalgia for an era long passed is debatable but the results are apparent in the present. Perhaps Proxima Nova, as well as his other typefaces, wouldn’t have the personality and charm they do without his experience in offset.
Written by Tim Kim