A Word Is An Image: Ricardo Gonzalez’s Typography Art

Ricardo Gonzalez has an inherent passion for letterforms. This passion, he admits, stems from his childhood in Mexico, recalling how he was mesmerized by his grandfather’s old letters written in Spencerian in the 1950s. A graphic designer focused on lettering, typography, calligraphy, typeface design, he adheres to the notion that “a word is an image”.

“It’s an interesting and unique career,” admitted Gonzalez in an interview with ADC. “Letterforms are everywhere and it’s something that is in our everyday lives. Exploring letterforms, styles, their history, their construction is a neverending path and that’s what I love about it, it is a lifetime learning journey.”

Incidentally, Gonzalez’s love affair with typeface could itself be described as a lifetime learning journey. Born in Mexico, he moved to Canada in 2008 where he studied graphic design and later worked as a screen-printer. It was during this time that he rediscovered his passion for calligraphy and began to experiment with letterforms.

But it would take some time until he would become a full-time typography artist. After working as a freelance graphic designer in Toronto, in 2012 he moved back to Mexico, to work full-time as an independent designer. Then, in the summer of 2014, Gonzalez moved to New York City to attend [email protected] where he earned a typeface design diploma from Cooper Union.

“I didn’t plan this career, it has been taking shape as I go,” he admits. “But I do remember looking at a few designers around the world who were making a living out of it, which made me believe it is possible to make a living of what you love.”

The work process itself, he explains, depends on the project. “I can start using tracing paper and brush pen but I can also start in the computer or maybe a combination of both. I try to explore new media, techniques, styles, and combine it with my work.”

With selected clients as prominent as Apple, Armani Exchange, Nike, Bentley, Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, and Facebook—he’s clearly got his work cut out for him.