Veronica Grow: Opera Training Influences Her Lettering Technique


1. ​What’s your name and title/business name? ​Where are you located, city, ​state, country location?

Veronica Grow Type founder of Old School New School Typography. Located in Melbourne Victoria Australia.


2 Educational and professional background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?

I was formerly a graphic designer and design educator who was always interested in the intersection between drawing and type, so I founded Old School New School for Typography in 2012. My skills and knowledge have grown with the School. I First learned copperplate calligraphy, then brush lettering. My skills took off  during an extended type sabbatical in USA in 2016, where I took many classes at the Cooper Union, and at Camp Cheerio with John Stevens. I have taken nearly any class that I can here in Australia. My knowledge of lettering learned from Ken Barber of House Industries helped me to understand how type design works, and I continued to learn Type Design through Dan Milne (the type designer for Commercial Type) and just finished my first Custom Type Face Design Commission for Hardy Grant Books.


3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

I love calligraphy, lettering and type design. Currently I find it tremendously satisfying working with flat brush and paint to make roman letters or any letters at all for that matter. There is something about the immediacy of brush and paint that is soothing, and the results are great ! But actually designing a script wordmark from scratch using a pencil is fun all the way as its both challenging and absorbing with its endless edits and refinements. Working alone in the studio on a piece of lettering, [drafting, and editing] for the perfect placement of space and line, as well as etching out consistency is my ideal Saturday afternoon, plus the graphite feels so nice on the paper. (I do have an iPad, but I don’t like the sensation of the pen on the glass. sometimes it is useful for editing though).


4. How do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?

I am a somewhat obsessive person, and after 3 years of sitting at a table lettering and drawing to fast track my skills, I realised I had become so stiff. I could barely get up and walk from my table. So I have returned to yoga, and go three times a week. It has helped me to regain the strength in the rest of my body. My other “thing” is this crazy Turkish soap opera called “Magnificent Century”. I am currently watching episode 121 ! 🙂 It’s much better than the Game of Thrones. I love it.  Oh and finally, Prosecco. I love Prosecco.


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

I am a classically trained opera singer (dramatic soprano). Classical singing is very physical and challenging, and  I learned my technique 20 years ago but was always too self conscious to actually sing in public. However the technique has many parallels to calligraphy, and I use many of these techniques for my calligraphy practice. Classical singing training taught me to break down a task into many smaller tasks, and focus on just the the one part that is proving problematic. Then, once there is improvement, you can incorporate that manoeuvre back into the bigger task. This could be a stroke in a word, or refining a particular shape.


Website | Instagram (@veronicagrowtype) | Instagram (@oldschoolnewschool)