Bringing back the Ascenders competition for its third edition, the Type Directors Club extended jury invitations to members of our community outside of the Advisory Board for the first time.

Selected by the board for Ascenders 2019, Fer Cozzi was a natural fit for this year’s jury. In 2020, she gave a few words about one of her teachers and our first TDC medalist from South America, Rubén Fontana, and in 2021 was a panelist for Finding Your True South, a group discussion on the Argentinian type community at our Type Drives Communities Conference.

We sent out a questionnaire out to some of our judges and past Ascenders as a light-hearted Proustian exercise. This interview was lightly edited for clarity.

What was your very first job?

Changing the texts from Chinese/English to Spanish in packaging files of products for a cheap bazaar.

First design job?

Designing a small “newspaper” pro-bono for my old high-school.

Did you go to school for design? If so, where and what was your major/concentration?

Yes, I got my undergraduate and post-graduate degree in Type Design at the University of Buenos Aires.

What was your earliest design class?

Actually, I have a bachelor’s degree in art, design, and communication… and there I had design, photography, everything. Thanks to my design teacher in high school, I found out about typography and the existence of type design…so, cheers for that.

Name one of your favorite projects from early in your career.

Editorial design assistant for a magazine. Not an amazing job, but amazing team to work with.

Are you embarrassed by your old work?

OF COURSE! 100% YES! It would be strange not to be…otherwise it would imply that I’m the same and I’m not.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust less, listen more. Although…all that made me who I am today ?

If you could change one thing about your career trajectory, what would you change?

Learn to say “no” without hesitation and ask for more money.

What is a barrier to entry facing today’s designers that you might not have?

I think they are exposed to a lot of visual content and references, and it is difficult to connect with the true source of interest. ”When I was young,” the effort to find material made it more valuable, or I think so.

What is something that today’s young designers have that you wish you had?

The amount of learning material available online, and how easy it is to contact those you admire.

Are there any up-and-coming young designers you admire?

There is good material in the new generations, I see it everyday and I feel old and useless hahaha But, if you want names, without a doubt Valerio Monopoli, Federico Parra, Fabiola Mejía are very talented and I have the fortune to know and esteem them (even as “instagram friends”).

What top 3 traits are you looking for when looking at young designers’ work?

As RuPaul would say: “Charisma, nerve, uniqueness & talent” …can’t be sure about the charisma part, but definitely want the nerve, freshness, and to be surprised.

What are 3 things that you hate seeing in young designers’ work?

Lack of elegance, cocktail of references and what can be defined in «trend».

Name one way in which you continue your education.

I did a specialization degree in typography design, and since then I have taken very diverse courses in calligraphy, python, Cyrillic, and professional training (such as the Practica Program) among others. The important thing is to find people with whom I feel that I want to “be in their head for a while,” and it is enough to continue wanting to learn.

If you could change careers, what would you do?

When I was a girl I wanted to be a figure skater, I would surely suck at that…but hey, I blame Ice Castles.

What is your favorite job you’ve ever had?

Last year I had the opportunity to work on several custom fonts with Oscar Guerrero, Isaías Loaiza, and Jorge Martinez who are not only excellent designers but amazing people. Beyond the projects themselves, I think it was by far the best experience in years.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

InDesign mouse handler in a studio where I was alone in one room while everyone else was in another room in the same house…and I just copied and pasted text into huge tables in different language versions of the same file. ?‍♀️

What is a job you’ve had that would surprise people?

It was not a job, but I was part of several Free Hugs Campaigns…yes…me…hugging strangers in the city ?

Which of your peers do you most admire?

This one is hard…Francisco Gálvez Pizarro, František Štorm, DJR, Maria Doreuli, Alice Savoie, Vincent Chan and a bunch more, I’m not sure they’re my peers, they’re way out of my league.

What do you wish you were better at?

Be more concrete, and focus with projects, ideas, life.

What in your career are you really good at?

Using memes. Seriously, I really don’t know. But I think I’m pretty funny tho.

How do you define a successful career?

For me, it is doing things without being sure and getting away with it.

What tools do you need to have a successful career?

Work hard, fail harder. Always be ready to be bigger, messier, better. Cry as hard as you work.

What food must be accessible to you in order to work well?

? ? ? Mate, wine, cheese, chocolate.

Who do you credit most for your career rise?

Without any doubt, Guido Ferreyra. He is the person who has pushed and trusted me the most when it comes to type design. I’m not easy, neither is he…so between debates, talks (very long talks) and discussions he has been one of the most influential people in my career.

Who do you consider your teachers?

Uf…Type-related: Ruben Fontana, Dario Muhafara, Alejandro Paul, Guido Ferreyra. Each one of them taught, encouraged and stimulated me to improve. If there are complaints, they are to blame ?

If you could collaborate with anyone (that you haven’t worked with yet) who would it be?

Britney, Mariah, JLo, Rihanna…I’m here if you want to hang out 🙂

Any books, films, or albums that have defined or changed the way you think?

Almost anything written by Paul Auster or directed by Eric Rohmer, and Stephen Hawking on black holes. But also: «High Fidelity» (the movie), The Breakfast Club, Britney Spears and the album «Spice» by Spice Girls. And last but not least, RuPaul

What hobbies keep your sanity intact?

Walking…a lot. Makes me think, have new ideas and above all I can lip-sync while I do it.

Do the above inspire your career/practice, or do you compartmentalize to get away from it?

I can’t compartmentalize anything, every aspect of my life touches, merges, cultivates with all the others. I’m a cocktail and I don’t know how it would be otherwise.

How much sleep do you get?

A friend once told me that I don’t know how to sleep…and maybe he’s right. I sleep a maximum of 5 hours and if it is more I feel that my life no longer makes sense for the rest of the day

How necessary do you find “routine”?

I don’t know much about routines, they overwhelm me, I get bored very quickly and I want to move on to the next thing…BUT I love putting together lists of things to do, that’s my first task of the day. The happiness of crossing things out is the best part.

Would you like to retire?

Yes, I am an old lady who just wants to be at home watching life go by while drinking wine.

Anything that worries or frustrates you, looking at the future of design?

Laziness in thinking beyond what we see every day, in making decisions, in not being defined by technology.

What excites you about the future of design?

How easy it is to access learning spaces, to get help, the wide range of possibilities to delve into any topic that we are truly interested in.