Tonight Drew and I celebrate the official launch of our paper company. In honor of this event I am featuring the interview I did with him for the Anchor Paper Co. blog. Now, while I would love to stay and ramble on about how excited/terrified I am for this event, I must be going.
As you know (perhaps you didn't before, but now you do), Drew Melton is the brains, talent and passion behind Anchor Paper Company. He has been designing since the ripe young age of 16, channeling his skills into hand lettering for the last 3 years; going from a novice to a skilled craftsman in an astoundingly short period of time.
He is a tall, curly haired, dream of a man (though I am bias because he writes me lovely letters or pretty paper) who has more talent in his pinkie finger than most could ever dream to contain in their entire being. The flourishes, curves, and lines of his lettering seem to improve by the second, it's sickening really. He is driven to a fault and craves perfection (which doesn't explain why he married me).
To be quite frank he is a stubborn, talented, bullheaded man and I adore him for it. But I will allow you to be the judge.
Ladies and gentleman, Drew Melton:
Q. What got you into hand lettering and design?
A. When I was in college we had to pick one designer to write a paper about. I happened to select Herb Lubalin. At the time I didn't realize what drew me to his work but looking back I have realized how much his lettering and typography has influenced my own work. From that point on lettering and typography became more of a focus for me.
Q. Do you have a favorite pen, pencil, and paper to work with?
A. Anything by Staedtler. Their pencils, their pens and their lead holders are all incredible.
Q. Why Anchor Paper?
A. I have always wanted to create objects that connect people together and bring value to our lives. As I get older my desire to just make something cool is dwindling. Anchor has been really fulfilling for me because everything about it is intentionally beautiful.
Q. Passions outside of design?
A. Food. I love food. My wife, Kelsey, is always putting together great meals and lately I have been learning how to make food with her. Something about stepping away from my desk, spending an hour making and eating a meal calms my nerves.
Q. Favorite lettering style?
A. Scripts always stand out to me. They are simultaneously personal and elegant. I enjoy working with other lettering styles as well. However, when I stumble onto a wonderfully executed there is almost nothing better.
Q. What is the difference between, type, lettering, and font?
A. Typography is the practice of placing letterforms together in a space. It is the product of typesetting which is based on the moveable type system that originated centuries ago. This is where we get the concepts like kerning and leading when working with fonts.
Lettering is personal and illustrative. It is the art of drawing letters. Lettering treatments are very project and/or application specific. These treatments do not work well as a repeatable visual system because the letters are drawn in a very unique system.
A font is a collection of letters and symbols meant to be installed and used on a machine. These letters and symbols are designed to work together in a variety of configurations.
Q. Dream project?
A. My dream project would be a mixture of art and business. In a way, Anchor is my dream project, actually. It is quite fulfilling to me. It is a satisfying mixture of business and art. The business even feels kind of like art and I like that because being business person gets a bad rap. To me it's artful to run a good business and to build a brand that connects with people. It's not about manipulation – It's really about understanding yourself. Someone who doesn't understand his/her self will likely struggle to run a great business.
Q. If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A. I think I would be involved with startups. Either just working with new startups or interesting ideas on some level. I love ideas and I love building things from the ground up. I think the dreaming phase is always the most fun part of the process and if I could do that regularly – That would be really great.
Q. What/who inspires you?
A. I'm inspired by people who seem very content with their life and work. They win in my book. I have a very obsessive personality and sometimes I let my OCD take over my work. Instead of enjoying the process I tend to rush through the project. There have been times where I'll get to the end of a project and realized I didn't allow myself to enjoy any of it. that to me is the greatest loss.
Q. Favorite TV show or documentary?
A. Breaking Bad, MadMen, Sons of Anarchy and Exit through the Gift Shop.
Q. Little luxury you couldn’t live without?
Q. What can we look forward to from Anchor in the coming months?
A. We have two new seasons before the years up and we are also adding a Christmas collection. We are also working on a collaboration with Handsome Coffee Roasters. Plus our first "Non-Paper" product! It's going to be fun.
Q. What are you most excited about in the art and design world right now?
A. It's really exciting to see the design crowd around my age growing up. I feel like I'm a part of an online group of classmates who all graduated at the same time. At first we were just making a lot of noise. Now it really feels like people are refining their craft and getting to work. I love that.
If you would like to more please don't hesitate to get ahold of us; we are always up for a chat.