To celebrate our talented and diverse membership, the TDC is profiling one member each month. We’re asking members the same five questions that will hopefully let us – and you – get to know them better. For June we turn to designer, typographer and art director Juan Carlos Pagan.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do and where you work
I’m a Designer, Typographer, Lettering Artist, and Creative Director. In short, I like making stuff. I wouldn’t say that I specialize in any one thing, although much of my work is rooted in typography. My work ranges from designing custom identities, packaging, typefaces, lettering for magazines, and advertising campaigns. Lately I’ve been working a lot with objects, designing in and around physical surfaces which has been challenging and fun. I’m usually juggling more than a few projects at once, and I’m a self admitted type troll. I follow type designers, and I’m normally one of the first to licenses a new typeface.
What is your favorite typeface? And why?
I really don’t have a favorite typeface. I’m drawn to many different typefaces for different reasons at different times. For instance, I was obsessed with Farnham by Christian schwartz a few years back. It’s strikingly beautiful when used in display, and it also reads wonderfully well when typeset in a magazine. I also love Domaine by Kris Sowersby and Alda by Berton Hasebe, all for very different reasons. It depends on my mood, and it’s impossible for me to choose.
Where do you take your typographic/design inspiration from?
I pick up inspiration everywhere. It could come from a hand painted store front sign in Washington Heights, or an exhibition I saw at the MoMA. More often than not inspiration comes while I’m just living life, and mostly by things that have nothing to do with typography. I’ll see something odd, or beautiful, or oddly beautiful and I’ll have the itch to make something.
What is your all time favorite piece of design?
I’m not sure I have one favorite piece of design, but I am hugely influenced by the work of Lance Wyman, and I’ve become increasingly obsessed with his work as the years pass. The work he did for the 1968 Olympics is simply genius. I cannot get over how good it is. Every time I revisit it I find something new and interesting which makes me like it even more. It’s one thing to do good design work. It’s quite another make challenging work that pushes the boundaries of what letter-forms can be, and how they can function within a larger design system.
Where do you see the future in typographic design and typeface design?
That is a really tough question. Letter-forms are going to continue to be created by new and different ways based on technology. Hopefully the democratization of software will allow new points of view to join the conversation.
What is your favorite aspect of being a TDC member? / What drew you to become a member of the TDC?
I was initially drawn to the TDC because I wanted to be surrounded by people who enjoy the same things I enjoy. But my absolute favorite thing about being a member of the TDC is that it’s really just a big old family. Everyone knows each other, and is genuinely interested in each other. Every time I stop by, or attend a TDC openings, I’m surrounded by people that not only inspire me, but also people that I truly care for. I know that sound very corny, but it’s true.