Waller is a typeface designed during the 2018 class of Type@Cooper West. It’s an elegant but approachable serif, suitable for headlines, labels, posters, and more. It owes much of its DNA to the paperbacks and counterculture zines of the 60’s and 70’s, but is also reflective of the time and place that it was made.
I was heavily influenced by Bay Area’s unique design language: the elaborate architecture, the succulents and cyprus trees, the fog, the deep blue cast to the evening light. In retrospect, trying to evoke a distinct visual memory/atmosphere/experience (whatever you want to call it) via a typeface was…over-ambitious, to be kind. A font can be impressionistic, sure, but I often found myself fumbling when asked to sum up my project. I know now, with a month’s worth of hindsight, that “the feeling you get when you’re kind of drunk at the top of the hill where Divis turns into Castro, looking out over the city, so jazzed that you somehow ended up here” is not steady ground on which to build a system of letters. But I had been feeling that particular buzz less and less after six years here; to put it simply I think I was trying to rediscover what I loved about my surroundings in the first place.
Below is progress from the beginning of term two to the end of term 3, regular and italic: