My first job in the creative industries was in 1999 (a part-time job while I was still studying). I was working in fashion, cutting my teeth on a combination of marketing, graphic design, textiles, promotion, event co-ordination, data entry and other admin duties (like many junior creativesmade my fair share of coffee too!). I quickly realised design education was a long-term proposition. ‘School’ can’t teach you everything.

My earliest days of professional practice taught me more about collaboration, design culture and the importance of network than any academic environment could have. So during my years of formal education I focused on learning to be a student of design. After graduating I established a design ethos and workplace practices to support my continued learning. My appetite for knowledge and creative curiosity will ensure I will be a lifelong learner. I have come to realise many of the design practitioners I admire most have a similar view on design education.

Actively seeking; new outcomes, resources, boundaries, innovation,
playfulness, insight, meaning, further education, knowledge sharing,
and multidisciplinary collaborative opportunities in their work.

Wayne Thompson is one of the designers who I respect not only for his amazing design outcomes, but also for his views on design education and generous attitude towards knowledge sharing. Wayne is a talented typographer, and educator.

Wayne was a natural fit and high up on my list of people to interview for the Journal. And I was honored when he agreed to be featured in Volume 01.

We discussed typographic education in Australia, the Australian Type Foundry aesthetic, Waynes creative process, inspirations, typographic puns and the worlds first font song.


In the debut volume of Typograph.Journal Wayne shares with us that the process of trial and error has by far taught him the most.

“I had to learn all by myself. I’d have killed for a mentor, or just to work with somebody – anybody – who was a specialist in type. If these people existed at all, I just didn’t have access to them. The closest I came was a signwriter by the name of Warren Roberts with whom I did high school work experience, who said to me “Never look at your work and say ‘that’s good enough’”. I learnt all sorts of fabulous lettering stuff from him, as well as how to have the right attitude. I wish I could find him today to say thanks, because I just didn’t appreciate how valuable it was at the time. So, what I enjoy most about sharing knowledge is the chance to give others what I didn’t have: access to experienced help. Nowadays, I spend about half my time teaching typography and handlettering, and I suppose I just really like spreading the skills of type.”

If you have an interest in typography, lettering or calligraphy check out Wayne's Type By Hand workshops coming up in Sydney on the 6th and 7 of July, Brisbane on the 26th and 27th or July and Melbourne on the 16th of August.