In the Studio: Cyrus Highsmith

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Playing Candy Land in the attic with the typographer and2001 New Visual Artist

Studio locationProvidence, Rhode Island

Year you started working here

In this space, 2008. But I’ve been an employee of Font Bureau since 1997.

Square footage

192 square feet

Number of employees

Here, it’s just me.


Drawing letters

Current projects

Drawing letters

Dream collaborator

Sigmund Freud

One word that describes your space


Best thing in the studio

The window

One thing you would change

My posture

What’s the story behind the white numbers?

They’re from oldhighway signs. I found them near where I grew up, in Wisconsin, at a junkyard.

What does your typical day look like?

I start really earlyso I can get most of my work for the day done by lunchtime. I spend most of theafternoon with my young daughter. Then I spend another hour or so in the officebefore dinner.

Can’t work without

Making mistakes

What’s on your desk?

Sketchbooks, scrap paper, Wacom stylus,cutting mat, library books, pens, pencils, knife, brushes, type specimens,coffee cups, computer monitors, rubber stamps, a loupe, a prototype for a children’s alphabet book, a broken mobile phone . . .

Why do you have Candy Land in your office?

I’m working on my own version. With dinosaurs.

How do you procrastinate?

Playing Candy Land. I’m a Candy-Lad. It’s sort of like a Brony [Ed.: a male fan of My Little Pony].

Best place for a coffee (or tea) breakOn the front porch

Sound track

Alec K. Redfearn & the Eyesores

What do you take with you to work when you travel?

Asketchbook, pencils, an eraser, a white gel pen, and a black brush pen

To see more of Cyrus’s work, visit his website.

All photos by Ross Mantle