The Daily Heller: Type Casting on the Digital Couch … Ouch!

Posted inThe Daily Heller

You won’t see the “Matrix” in this lockup. But you will have a pun-filled time—and that’s the point. Here, printer’s devil and composing stick-in-the-mud Adrian Wilson chases down as many baseline type wordplay settings that he can justify and finds there are complete families just waiting to be tagged.

Kidding aside (flush left) I asked Wilson about his compulsion to seriously play around with graphic design, although he professes not to be a devout adherent of the holy church of design.

“My father was Norman Wilson. He set up the first commercial graphic design studio in Manchester, England in 1960 and created the UK’s first corporate identity  (https://nationalbusmanual.com/2021/06/24/norman-wilson-building-an-image/). My two older brothers, Stuart and Simon, followed in his footsteps, setting up in the 80’s what has become the biggest design agency in Manchester (https://havaslynx.com/).

“So, of course it is in my DNA. I grew up in a house where the stickers I played with were Letraset and I would occasionally get that little design high with the smell of cow gum, markers and spray mount. But yes, who would ever think I could compete with those three older males, so I made jokes to try and get attention and became an architectural photographer – the most graphic form of that media. 

“Thirty five years later and because of a TypeCon talk on my vintage typography collection (www.textiletrademarks.com), graffiti puns that have gone viral and memes which are in the V&A Museum, I am by accident and despite my best efforts, more well known for my graphics than for anything else.”