Hi, I'm Danielle Evans, a food typographer, dimensional letterer, and calculating mess maker.
My greatest aspiration is to invigorate design, to give breath, warmth, and dimension to a flat, digital world.
In 2013, I had a simple but novel idea: transplant design from the page to the kitchen table. Using only my hands, I fashioned letterforms from coffee, playfully dragging swashes with painterly sensibilities and grinding beans deeper into my nail beds. While I had struggled to draw proper curves and consistent strokes, sculpting the correct weight and balance felt effortless using my entire hand. I could manage a comfortable scale using my fingertips.
I ground the beans coarsely to preserve object recognition, though for me the smell was a clear indicator- a chocolatey, dark French roast. Bemused and slightly impressed with myself, I snapped several photos on my college Nikon (containing less megapixels than my current phone) and spent part of the afternoon removing a crack from my cutting board in post. Like the best cups of coffee, I shared it with friends, the Internet, and nondescriptly brushed my creation back into its bag.
Armed with nothing more than my curiosities and my favorite beverage, I began brewing a career in food typography.
Creating Breadcrumb Trails
When I began lettering in 2008, I noticed a general hesitancy towards imprecision in the design industry. Computers were king, and pixel perfection was the standard. My illustration background had prepped me for storytelling but not for the cool austerity of Apple inspired design.
I began working with my hands, embracing my love of sculpture, photography, and lettering, using design to shape a distinctive and delicious point of view. My work was innovative, approachable, and imperfect, creating modest waves through creative industries and plopped me somewhat reluctantly at the beginning of a movement.
My ideas were the driving forces to my projects. I choose a clever application of language and description over a literal "This is ...." approach. I discovered the dark magic of reinvigorating trite, punny dad jokes, meanwhile encouraging viewers to reimagine their rumpled laundry, discarded party supplies, and old junk as lively, elegant objects of note.
Kernels of Inspiration
As an artist previously incapable of creating a series, I found I could continue producing food and dimensional type if I set parameters for inspiration. I could pulverize, cut, bend, and twist the items provided they were legible to the viewer. I wished to be accessible but ingenious. My work could span any number of applications as long as I rooted myself to lettering. Finally, I could use any food, any item, provided it could be manipulated at human scale; I sought to avoid both tweezers and dump trucks while gaining confidence in my skills.
Fast forward three years to new equipment: upgraded camera body, substantial wide angle lens, lighting equipment, a small rig, and a modest dining room studio. My work has since expanded from cutting board to table top, and while still dazzling is ever within reach.
Because my technology and studio have limited my abilities to increase my scale, my work is executable at approximately 48" wide without the assistance of other photographers and their professional grade equipment. I have invented my career from scratch and am limited by lack of time and resources to push beyond the boundaries of a table top.
In conjunction with Adobe, I wish to expand my portfolio in complexity of form, scale, and visual interest.
Possible methods for achieving this include the following:
Lettering of substantial scale and size, integrated into new environments as part of a greater image.
Typography with greater complexity of builds, trickier baking techniques or assembly/set construction.
Serial campaigns with overarching themes, ie. a calendar requiring snow and fall leaves, completed over multiple months.
Collaborative efforts with artists of national and international notoriety from different cities.
Exploration of new applications for my brand of work, ie. wallpapers, video, licensure.