Dancing Vintage Style Letters With A Modern Flair by Alix Northrup


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

My name is Alix Northrup and I am a graphic designer and illustrator based in a small river town in southeastern Ohio called Marietta. Currently, I work at Ullman Design, a boutique design and illustration studio.


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

In 2005, I graduated from Marietta College with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Studio Art. During that time, I interned and subsequently, worked part time at a local design agency. I got a graphic design job right out of college and worked as the sole designer for a small local marketing firm for a few years. Sometime in 2007, Tina Ullman, who had been my design professor at Marietta College, started her own design studio and offered me a position. I’ve been with Tina ever since.


3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

My choice of tool or software really depends on the project. I am comfortable with both Illustrator and Photoshop so I usually bounce between the two with lettering and illustration work. In the past I have used Illustrator mostly for lettering because I like the flexibility that it allows with manipulating letterforms and the scalability it offers. However, I bought an iPad not long ago and most of my recent pieces have been done on it. I’m still working on becoming more comfortable with procreate and occasionally long for my Béziers.


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

Podcasts have become my saving grace to help me get out of my head. Listening to them helps me take a brain break and focus on something completely unrelated to design and art. The one thing I have found with selecting a podcast is that it cannot be design related, otherwise my brain goes back into work mode. The best ones are just mindless fun and chatter. I also like to allow myself a completely worthless mental health day when I can. This day usually involves all day Pajamas, Netflix, overeating and no emails.


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

Up until about 2 years ago I danced and taught dance in various styles for the past 15 years. It was an amazing outlet mentally and physically and I loved working with the kids. Occasionally, I will go take a class but finding the time is almost impossible, plus my body certainly doesn’t bounce back like it used to. Dance is still one of my favorite art forms. There is so much emotion involved and it is really a cathartic act to participate in and a great stress release.