EDWIN “EDS” DURRANI, 36 / TRAVELING ARTIST / TORONTO
“Growing up I was always intrigued with lettering and graffiti, but I never got out and bombed walls,” says Edwin “Eds” Durrani. “I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t prepared to catch a vandalism charge.”
Instead of tagging the streets of Toronto, Durrani broke the law in other ways—for example, getting his first tattoo at 14 years old. Three years later, Durrani studied graphic design at George Brown College for a year before dropping out. “Maybe I should’ve waited a bit longer,” he laughs. “But that’s kind of how I live; if something feels right, it feels right.”
So he started tattooing. Now, 10 years later, Durrani’s days are booked solid with clients requesting his custom-lettered freehand work.
But that wasn’t always the case.
Like Joseph, “When I first started, people wanted Edwardian Script and other Microsoft Word fonts,” Durrani says. “It’d be too small, the loops would bleed together over time, and some people had a hard time understanding that. So I would write it out in my own style and see if they liked it. Nine times out of 10, they did.”
Casting any references or rules aside, Durrani considers his style to be as versatile as any font found on- (or off -!) line. After a moment of hesitation, he says he does consider himself a typographer, despite the sometimes sour attitude of professionals.
“Instagram is huge in my industry, and I connect with a lot of typographers and people who don’t tattoo but are involved in the art of lettering, so I guess I am one of those type guys.” He pauses—“but I don’t mind.”