Instagram is my source for lettering inspiration. Follow one account and wait for the recommendations. The AGSC was one such recommendation. One look and I hit the ‘follow’ button. Black and white lettering reminiscent of showcards past. Dave and Laura the owners of The AGSC were generous with their time to answer a few questions.
1. Your name(s) and title/business name? City and country location?
We are Dave and Laura Coleman, husband and wife, and co-founders of The Australian Graphic Supply Co. We currently live in Glenbrook, NSW, Australia.
2. How did you meet and get started?
We met at a bookshop, when I started working there in 2006. We were mates for a long time (whilst I worked up the courage to actually ask her out), dated for a while and got married in 2012. We started The AGSC together in 2014, but had been working on projects together for over a year prior. Laura manages the business, and I do the design work.
3. Do you have a sign or design specialty or special style that makes you relatively unique? If so, what?
No, and therein lies the rub. Of course I strive for that ‘special something’ in my work, and find myself constantly searching for my own unique space in the industry to pull up and make myself cosy in. I am learning though that this takes time, practice, experience and hard work. I’m sure I’ll never be as special and original as I want to be, however I’m OK with the fact that it’s a journey, and I just have to do my best, and keep at it.
4. Preferred tool(s) and medium?
This has changed over time, and I’m sure it will change a lot more, but I love the simplicity of a pencil, rubber (eraser for you Americans), Tombow and Glyphs for vector drawing and font editing.
We recently returned to Australia after an overseas trip with the intention to establish a physical working space, so I’m very excited to have the opportunity to experiment with different tools for lettering and illustration, that would have been too cumbersome to lug around with us as we travelled.
5. What’s your educational background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?
I finished high school in 2006, and in 2008 attended a very broad, year-long digital media course, from which I didn’t graduate (having started a freelance design practice, and being young and immature). I used to hold firm to the ideal that schooling was largely unnecessary in the graphic design industry, and online tutorials and hard work were enough to succeed. I’m paying for that naivety now, and often wish I’d had a formal education; particularly in the areas of design history, typography and colour theory. These days I’m filling as many holes in my knowledge as possible as I go.
The most valuable educational experience I’ve had has been attending TypeParis last year and very recently again this year. If you’re interested in type design in any way, I can’t recommend the experience enough.
6. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?
I love going to the movies. Laura and I don’t get to do that often enough! Good films make me feel so excited, like I want to jump up and conquer life.
I’ve had to learn to enjoy getting outside. I used to fool myself into thinking that drawing was the only thing worth doing with my time, which is stupid. Laura has been very patient with me, and taught me a lot about the virtues of walking, sitting in parks and generally actually seeing the sun. This is especially wonderful now that we have a kid to enjoy the outdoors with.
Going out for a coffee with my loved ones does wonders for my soul. It’s my way of relaxing, unwinding, engaging in open, honest discourse, and connecting with my wife, all over a good Aussie piccolo (like a mini flat white). Most of mine and Laura’s best ideas emerge from a good coffee and chat.
7. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.
I wasn’t allowed to watch movies rated PG or above until I was well into my teens. This meant missing just about every single 90’s movie ever made. I’ve spent my adult years playing catch-up ever since.