Meet Justin Mezzell. Justin is an illustrator and designer currently based in Orlando, Florida. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, he specializes in illustration, digital art, and UI/UX design. We asked him a few questions for Type Tuesday. This is what he had to say.
Favorite type designer?
“Maybe I’m biased on this one, but James T. Edmondson is, without a doubt, a designer that is consistently pushing himself to innovate in incredible ways. He’s young, tenacious, and is always working on something new. In the time I had the pleasure of spending with James, his passion for type was infectious. Getting to see him work firsthand was one of the more inspiring things I’ve had the opportunity to do in my career, more so than any talk to date. More importantly, he’s a stand-up guy with heaps of humility. Who’s also a lot funnier than I am.”
Process for creating type?
“For me, my comfort zone is typically keeping things digital and rooted in Illustrator from concept to execution. At some point I’d like to be able to break out of those confines as I get more bold in my approach, but for now, there’s a lot of pen-tooling. Lately, I’ve been interested in the process of marrying type design with illustration in a way that’s more than merely slapping type onto a design but rather tangles the two up into a more homogeneous mix. I’ve been guilty in the past of defaulting to Futura Bold as it fits with my geometric illustration style, so in seeking to grow beyond that, there’s been a lot of experimentation–which is probably to say, lots of failures, some passes. I’ve yet to complete a full typeface, but I’ve got three that have bouncing around with various characters for some time. One day, eh?”
Where do you find inspiration?
“If I can put it to a name, I’d say Riley Cran. He’s been the most patient with an illustrator like myself dipping his toes into the typographic pool. Always offering helpful critique and never hesitating to educate me on the intricacies of optics. As a type mentor, he’s pushed me to add character to my type work and not be satisfied/bound by the grid. Leaving that safety behind is oftentimes terrifying but more often that not, equally rewarding. Dustin Wallace has also curated an incredible collection of commercial type and illustration at Hand Drawn by Hand.”
Last three songs you listened to while designing?
• “Chum” – Earl Sweatshirt
• “Shadow Play” – Ryan Teague
• “Mute” – Youth Lagoon
Follow Justin on Twitter @justinmezzell or check out more of his work on Dribbble.
Each Tuesday we’ll feature a designer who loves type or a type that designers love. If you would like to be featured in Type Tuesday, send your portfolio or website link and a short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org.