Today we’re going behind the scenes with super-talented Hallmark Font Designer, Josh Scruggs. He’s going to let us in on what kick-starts his creativity, his favorite fonts to date, and his thoughts on a few other curious questions. Read on to learn more about Josh and what he loves, both in and outside the walls of Hallmark.
Coffee or tea?
I’m not fully human until I’ve had my first cup of coffee in the morning.
Sweet or salty?
Can I say both? I love the combo – like salted caramels.
Asta Sans New is a humanist sans serif consisting of fifteen styles (five weights, two widths, and italics). I wanted to design a clean sans that conveyed a sense of warmth and friendliness. Its subtle curves and soft, rounded corners help give it these qualities. It’s named after the dog in the movie The Thin Man.
I’ve been at Hallmark:
For 11 years.
If I weren’t a Type Designer, I’d be:
An astronaut-ninja-dinosaur-scientist, of course.
Daniel Miyares, a Hallmark Illustrator, drew a great set of caps to accompany his illustrations. We thought it would make a good font so I drew the lowercase, numbers, and all the other symbols to fill out the font. When building off someone else’s work, I always think it’s important to use the same materials as the original. Daniel’s caps had a really nice texture because he drew them in ink with a pointed brush on watercolor paper. So I used the same materials for the characters I drew. There’s a second version, Miyares Dry Brush, where I pushed the texture even further.
Favorite tool or medium:
I love to experiment with as many tools as I can get my hands on. Any particular tool can have a strong influence on the letters I draw. Lately though, I’ve been enjoying the pointed brush. I love the freedom and versatility it allows. You can use a light touch and sketch with it or apply lots of pressure to get heavy, thick-thin contrast.
Best color (in the crayon box):
Lila is a biform font (mixed upper and lowercase forms) that’s designed to be used on young girl/princess products. It’s named after my oldest daughter.
Ideal way to feed your brain/soul/creative spirit:
When my daughters are drawing, coloring, or painting with watercolors, I like to join them and doodle or do some lettering alongside them. While I’m working, music is a must. Checking out my Instagram feed or browsing old lettering/type design books can give me a creative kick-start, too.
Current trend obsession:
Rough, casual, brush-script fonts because that’s what I’m currently working on. I’ve also been enjoying lettering with watercolors.
Emmeline, named after my youngest daughter, is a thin, hand-written style that comes in three weights and three widths for nine fonts in total. Designers can mix widths and weights to get a quirky look.
Favorite font to date:
It’s too hard for me to pick one favorite. I like so many for different reasons. I have favorite designers: Hermann Zapf, Oz Cooper, Roger Excoffon, Tobias Frere-Jones, and Rick Cusick to name a few. Of my own designs, my favorite is usually the one I’m currently working on. My font Buttercup was just released. It was fun adding lots of ligatures, swashes, and flourishes to it.
Most delightful thing about working for Hallmark:
Getting to work with so many incredibly talented artists – and just getting to do the work I love everyday. I enjoy seeing a font come together and the many ways it’s used on the final products.
Our font library was in need of brush-written scripts with a more modern flavor. I designed Buttercup by doing lettering on rough, watercolor paper with a pointed, synthetic brush. The font contains lots of extra alternates, swashes, and flourished characters that designers can use to give their designs a more hand-lettered touch.
What is your day-to-day like as a Font Designer?
Most of the time I’m at my computer drawing, spacing, and writing OpenType code in a type design app (currently Glyphs, previously FontLab). When I need raw material for a font, I sketch or letter using analogue tools.
For more about our Hallmark creative community, find our Artist Spotlight series here.