Hollywood Graphic: movie-inspired typography

After graduating in 2000 with a BA in Graphic Design from Surrey Institute of Art and Design, Simon Heard spent some 10 years building up his experience before finally going freelance two years ago - something he refers to as "the best thing" he ever did.

Heard uses these typefaces to break the ice with clients by asking them to guess which movie they’re inspired by - this one is Shaun of the Dead

Heard specialises in complicated illustrative designs that he describes as 'Hollywood Graphic': "Big, bold and a touch on the crazy side," he laughs. Evidence of his childhood and teenage obsession with movies can be found in the three movie-inspired illustrative typefaces shown here – a personal project Heard has been working on for the last 10 months.

This illustrative typeface takes its styling cues from Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park

"My inner geek loves picking apart each movie, choosing objects and memorable scenes to create a moodboard before starting to design each letter. Each typeface takes a lot of patience and the process is like fitting together a jigsaw puzzle. The balance has to be just right between readability and good, eye-catching design."

This is based on Joe Dante’s 1984 film Gremlins

Although Heard plans to create up to 50 Movie A-Z libraries as a way to put the "fun back into typography," he's also incredibly busy professionally: he regularly works with design agencies, fashion labels, toy and product companies, and more.

Another movie-inspired illustrative typeface, this time based on Ghostbusters from 1986

He's also about to embark on a series of branding and illustration projects for a yoga practice and a snowboarding event, some medical illustrations and a commission painting based on book-turned-animated-movie Watership Down.

This showcase was originally published in Computer Arts issue 206.

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