One of the earliest memories from when I studied graphic design in the mid 1990s involves coming upon the typeface Giddyup. I thought it was the most ridiculous typeface ever – it was ugly, silly, but first and foremost kitschy. I knew there and then that I would never ever ever use it. I was after all a serious designer.
We all age. And with that once hard held beliefs might begin to soften.
It took me some 27 years, but I am finally prepared to revisit my convictions regarding the horrendousness of Giddyup. And even more than that I am willing to do so publicly. All this because of a flag. Allow me to explain.
In order to clear my head I (along with my partner and fellow designer Kaisa) go on long adventures. Nothing takes your mind off grids and pdf-settings as cycling hungry in a heavy headwind in the midst of a rainstorm. One quickly learns to “be in the moment”, however painful that might be.
The plan for the summer of 2022 was to ride from Montréal to Matane, from there take a ferry to Baie Comeau and ride to Fermont, then ride along the Trans-Labrador Highway to Goose Bay, and from there to Blanc Sablon. After that next up was Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, with the end point being New York City.
While Kaisa was busy procuring maps and other necessary equipment I dedicated my time to what any sensible graphic artist would: I began designing an adventure flag. And in the midst of the design process I had to concede that Giddyup was not only a good choice for the flag, but indeed the best.
On May 31st Anna-Leena presented me with a finished flag. Which was good, because our flight for Montreal left on the 5th of June. So plenty of margin there.
On the 7th of June we began our bike journey which would take us to the Labrador peninsula (hence the flag) Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and almost three months and some 4800 kilometres later ending up on Manhattan.
And once again we were well rested and prepared to think about things that really matter. Like typography. And of course new flags