Will Holmes is an English letterer and illustrator, currently based in Portland, Oregon. Combining his penchant for typography and graphic design, Will creates wonderful, mind-bending fonts for a number of established brands and publications. King of kerning, his optical illusion-esque swirls and lines make for an spectacular result that really bring the words to life!
When I emerged from the womb, all pink and screamy, doctors noted that I was in fact carrying three seminal graphic design compendiums, eight sheets of velum, and a (fully licensed) copy of Creative Suite. My folks tell me that the doctor who delivered me was apparently very surprised, as Creative Suite hadn’t been invented yet and he didn’t even know what a vector was, but I seemed healthy enough so he was just happy that he’d done his job properly, handed me to my mum, and went down the pub. I think these things are what steered me towards loving all things design-based.
Your lettering styles are amazing, where do you draw your inspiration from?
Anything and everything. Obviously there are great letterers out there and seeing as much of their work as possible is always good, but I also like looking at super old books and magazines, or adverts from decades ago, and seeing what lettering styles have come and gone out of fashion. Some things are always in fashion, some things always looked awful.
Do you enjoy making your optical patterns and have you managed to create an easier way to create them since you started?
Ha! I’m constantly learning and trying to make my process easier and easier, but I’m not there yet. It’s still pretty fiddly, but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. If it was easy then I’m sure more people would be doing it.
Do you prefer working with straight lines or more curved flowing forms?
Depends on what the job calls for. I’m easy like a Sunday morning.
Did you enjoy taking part in secret 7s? If you could pick any song in the world to design the cover of what would it be?
I have a lot of fun with Secret 7″, and I’m proud to have been part of it every year. Kevin, the guy that set it up, is a top fella too. Tough question though – any song in the world?! Maybe something for Fleetwood Mac, as every single song from Rumours is amazing.
What do you love most about being a designer?
I enjoy loads of aspects of the job. I can work from home and not wear undercrackers, should I want to. I can be illustrating magazine spreads one day and beer bottles the other. I have the opportunity to have my artwork be part of culture/society, if I do something good enough – that’s quite an opportunity.
What projects are you working on next?
I have a couple of murals in the pipeline, but the next project is for Adobe and Design Milk. I’m testing a new app out and (hopefully) making some nice lettering in the process. It’s a fun one!
Will has designed three optically inspiring cards for Evermade, as part of our full collection!
See more of Will’s work here.