Interview with Font Designer Jellyka Nerevan

I want to highlight one of my favorite font designers: Jellyka Nerevan, an 18-year old university student who currently is studying web design.  She has been designing fonts since she was 13. Jellyka Nerevan lives in Quebec, Canada.  Her native language is French, but she names/produces most of her fonts in English.   She currently has over twenty available in her catalogue.
Over email, Nerevan answered the following questions about her font creation process.  She also discusses my favorite font, Waterways Seafarers:
Do you have a usual process, or sequence of events, that you go through when designing a new font?
Mostly, I…
1- Doodle some letters.
2- Decide to _really_ make a font. (important step. I have tons of psd documents filled with doodles of letters. And even some font files with 2-3 letters done)
3- Then I’ll do the first letters (A-P a-p or A-F a-f, depending on the complexity of the font), import them into fontcreator, and then see if there are any major changes to make on the letters I’ve done or on the characters left for me to do.
4- I spend between one hour and 2 months to find it a name.

How have you developed as a font designer over the years?  (ie. Is it easier/harder to design now that you are more experienced?)

Now it’s both harder and easier. Easier because I’m most comfortable with my softwares and because I’ve learn from my errors. And a bit harder, first because I can’t just make fonts out of my natural handwriting anymore, most of my first fonts were done that way (Jellyfish, Jey, CuttyFruty, Ellianarelle, Estrya’s Handwriting, Nathaniel) . And secondly, because my view of what a good font is has changed. And also because I have less time, as time pass school requires more and more time from me.
What was your inspiration for Waterways Seafarers?
It’s a bit inspired from another font I’ve done (Castle’s Queen) in the way I’ve done it. But I wanted to do a font inclined to the left. Very few people write that way, so even in a font that’s not exactly handwritten, it feels sort of weird. I think I was able to do it mostly because it happens I write that way, but truth is I did not achieve what I exactly wanted. I’m happy with the actual result, but I’ll try again, though.
How did you decide on the name “Waterways Seafarers”?
It’s always difficult for me to find a name to a font, that one wasn’t an exception. While searching for a name I fell into the poem The Wanderer. Not being that good in English, I had to search for most of the words in the poem, and tried most of them to see if they’d look well with the font.
Categories: Wordy Type | Leave a comment

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