The Resourceful Dave Douglass

Man, was I floored when I saw Dave Douglass’ lettering work on the illustrated map website, They Draw And Travel. His style has a light and joyful quality. I imagine the energy comes from his three young and curious kids and his personal adventures. When I see Dave’s work I can’t help but smile. Enjoy!

1. Your name and title/business name?

My name is Dave Douglass. I’m a graphic designer that has been seduced by the world of lettering and illustration —>

2. Do you have a specialty or special style that makes you relatively unique? If so, what?

My style is ever-evolving… but lately I’ve been doing a lot of lettering that is held within a clearly defined shape. I love logos and I tend to treat many individual lettering elements almost like their own logo. I also find the imperfections of the shapes I make to be more interesting and eye-catching than anything too “perfect.”


3. What’s your educational background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?

I studied Broadcasting and Graphic Design at Northwest Missouri State University and took off pretty quickly for Hollywood. I worked in movie marketing for years and strengthened my love for type while designing an array of title treatments and logos. When I couldn’t find the right fonts to capture exactly what I wanted for various projects, I started experimenting with my own lettering and that lead to a whole new world. My interests shifted to incorporate more illustration and now I’ve been developing a freelance career with all that experience mixed together into a weird illustration/graphic design/typography melting pot.


4. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

I always start with paper & pencil and try to shake loose any ideas hiding in my head. I choose the best compositions from thumbnail sketches and start drawing in PhotoShop on my big Wacom pad. Ultimately, I may vectorize everything in Illustrator… but I love the speed & freedom of illustrating (painting, erasing, texturizing) in PhotoShop. I also love to experiment with materials like paper. I’m always surprised what I can learn when I step away from the computer and try something I’ve never done before.

5. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?

With 3 young kids, I’m a very busy guy. I recharge by spending time with my wife & kids exploring out of the house. Los Angeles has been a major source of inspiration because there is so much to discover and it’s unbelievable to see everything though my kids eyes. We’ve recently moved to Madison, WI and we’re having many adventures in our new town. I also pay close attention to many of my lettering, illustration & design heros via Instagram, Pinterest and Dribbble.


6. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.

In a previous life (before fatherhood) I had a lot of adrenaline-related activities I needed to get out of my system. If I wasn’t mountainbiking, I’d be taking skydiving lessons or booking a flight to Pamplona to run with bulls, or a hundred other risky activities. That was part of my “how to avoid a later mid-life crisis plan”… which so far has worked! Ha!