Handlettering tends to be the skill I see designers practicing most outside of client work — taking on personal projects to better hone their abilities and style. Sydney-based letter and typographer Dave Foster came up with a clever, engaging way to do so while also promoting his name. Using the clever #MayDave, Foster’s been handlettering his tweets for the entire month of May.
“Tweets are engaging, I thought it was a good way to advertise and grow my following while showing what I do,” Foster said on why he chose Twitter. “The length was capped too, which I felt would limit the difficulty somewhat.”
In this practice, Foster is able to knock out small pieces quickly without waiting for clients’ responses and without any limitations beyond 140 characters. He hasn’t tweeted as much as he would like but said he could probably continue this process for a while.
Foster, who creates his own typefaces and contributes to foundries like Commercial Type, House Industries and Klim Type Foundry, has nice style in his lettering, even when done quickly. You can start to recognize his hand — often with a slight slant — in some of his bolder sans and serifed work like the word “Heraclitus” above. Foster said he thinks his style, while still developing, is becoming more recognizable.
“It’s not something you can force and I’ve had to be patient with myself,” Foster said.
Foster’s Twitter isn’t the only thing worth checking out. His portfolio is filled with absolutely stunning typework, in both hand-drawn and digital forms. Foster displays not only a wide variety in his type but also careful craftsmanship. His quick Tweet exercise lends interesting insight to his process.
“As long as there’s letters involved, I’m happy,” Foster said.
Keep an eye out for Foster’s #MayDave tweets and — if you’re in the Sydney area — you can catch one of his workshops in lettering and letterpress in conjunction with The Distillery. He also contributed a desktop wallpaper for us a while back, which you can find here.