Designer of the Week: Tyler Finck

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You might call Ithaca, New York–based Designer of the Week Tyler Finck a Renaissance man. He’s a passionate freelance graphic designer, as well as a type designer with a love for his creations, which have been used by Harper Collins, The Discovery Channel and even a tweet by Barack Obama, to name a few. But his interests and talents don’t stop there: Finck is also a photographer, marketer, filmmaker and game maker. And he gets the most enjoyment out of making music. His songs have been featured on MTV (Real World, Road Rules), USA (Burn Notice), Lifetime (reality shows) and other independent broadcasts.

Read on to find out more about Finck and to check out his type designs, cool beer labels and other designs below. We’re pretty sure it’s impossible to not be inspired by what he’s creating.

Name: Tyler Finck

Location: Ithaca, New York

How would you describe your work?Everything I make tends to end up slightly different than what preceded it, either because of project specifics, the medium, change in process, or my fluctuating creativity. Because of that, I’m not sure there is a good way to describe my work other than “varied.” I compose music and record it myself, which is much different than designing and distributing an inappropriate party card game. But I try to keep things simple, clean, and with the most important element front and center.

Where do you find inspiration?I’m inspired by everything—a hike up a mountain, playing games with my son, catching a good band’s show, learning something new—inspiration is everywhere.

Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?Caroline Hadilaksono (illustrator and contributor/founder of The League of Moveable Type) makes wonderful visual treats, as does Lauren Baker (the illustrator behind Assumptions). Gavin Castleton makes the most interesting and important music that I’ve ever heard. Mattox Shuler AKA Fort Foundry is a joy to watch in the type design world.


A video still from Finck’s Dear Jonah series

Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?Yeezy Display is a close second (font + laser cut + video + website) to my Dear Jonah series, where I try to document single moments in my son’s life through writing, video, and music.

Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?Redesigning everything at Ithaca Beer Co was a huge challenge. I went from creating fonts and responsive websites to flexo print jobs and aluminum can renderings. Working with four different printers/manufacturers for all visual elements that make up a single style of beer was dizzying.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?Ideally my future will involve making things for the real world, with real purpose. I’ve enjoyed making visual things for the sake of art, or a paycheck, or both, but I’m ready for more high-impact projects that benefit society.

What’s your best advice for designers today?When working alone, if you’re making something you love, you’ll only get better at it and will eventually be able to get paid for it. When working collaboratively (which you should), surround yourself with people way better at their craft than you are at yours. And get outside, while you’re at it.


Finck’s instrumental album The Return Voyage of Christopher Mackenzie


Flabbergast font


Flabbergast font


Lickety Split hand-drawn typeface