Carol Kemp: Fresh Typography

by Fred Showker

Carol Kemp - extraordinary talent

the art of calligraphy When we talk about "fresh" in the graphic arts world, it generally means a visually exciting, exuberating, experience that we have not had before -- or, we could be talking about Carol Kemp!


I do not know anything at all about Carol's process -- does she just swish them out -- as if 'thinking out loud'? Does she toil for hours over them with stacks of tissue and markers -- refining each nuance? I wish I knew. I had contacted her to participate in "Designing Women" immediately upon discovering her site, but never received a response. Such talent as this would have no time for a mere mortal like myself.

Carol KempSince 1987, Carol has worked as a freelance lettering designer, producing hand-drawn and digitally created lettering, calligraphy and type designs for hundreds of companies worldwide. You may not know her, but you've probably been influenced by some of her art or type faces at some point.

Calligraphy and hand lettering that speaks the mood and tone of the words

For instance, when Carol writes "aarrrggghhhhh" ... you not only see the word, but you feel it as well. When she splashes "IZAS!" you immediately get the shock and lift of that emotion. When she hand letters "Spine Chiller" you feel it. When she writes Tchaikovsky or Shakespeare you are swept up in the mood, tone, and era of those names. The script for "Tchaikovsky*" even sounds his gentle arpeggios* that lilt through our minds at the sight. She was probably listening to the "Nutcracker*" while lettering this legend. And, such is the case in all the examples you see at her web portfolio. (Which I truly hope you'll experience!)

hand lettering that speaks the words as you read them

Carol has designed display typefaces for Letraset, ITC, Agfa Creative Alliance and Monotype, as well as custom fonts for a number of top companies. Although she's young, her works are as classic and timeless as those works by Tchaikovsky. Residing in East Sussex, she is a member of the Letter Exchange, D&AD and the Wynkyn de Worde Society.

At her portfolio site, she writes:

quoting Whether in the early stages of a project, where rough ideas are needed, or through the stages of development to a final logo which needs fine-tuning by a lettering expert, I can be involved at any time. Usually I begin work on the drawing board, with pencil, pen or brush, and scan work for preparing in Photoshop, Illustrator, or Fontlab Studio. Where appropriate, I will work straight on the Mac. end quote

Carol Kemp is truly an extraordinary woman

We are pleased and proud to send you off to the extraordinary works of Carol Kemp ... a truly extraordinary woman! And don't you dare miss a single page!

I hope your creative senses are as invigorated as mine were!

Thanks for reading

Fred Showker

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