Last night (Thurs 19th November) the House Industries gang were at the Type Directors Club in NYC to give a talk, Letter As Image. For the past month (since 21st October) they have held an exhibition at TDC called Type as Object, and this lecture marked the ending of the exhibit.
The lecture was led by Ken Barber, their chief letterer and typeface designer. He took us through a humorous journey into the workings and processes of the 16 year old type house as well as showcasing the studio's recent works. House Industries have achieved goals that many type foundries or designers alone could only imagine - they are paid to do what they want and love, rather than being led by the client. They of course have their bread and butter work, however they also have the ability to create their own original letterings, illustrations and designs for themselves. Their maximalist mantra is very much more is more... In their own words "House have shunned humdrum typography and unoriginal, overworked font filters in favor of crankin’ out good ol’ hand-lettering".
Their pop-up shop-cum-exhibition had an interesting mix of objects, prints, patterns, products and sculptures all to demonstrate their love of all things typographical and alphabetical. It was also a perfect excuse for the House designers to create tangible objects to get away from the vector and hand drawn daily work. A lot of their products contained the works of Alexander Girard (who I'll be posting about soon). When he passed away they partnered with máXimo to gain rights to use his work.
It's apparent that the House guys are all fan boys who love retro type, heavy metal posters, custom cars and have somehow managed to find a way to make a living out of it! Quite frankly they are living the dream.