I am a practicing type designer. I have visited PPL numerous times in order to support my research on type design through attending many wonderful design lectures and most importantly through many visits to the Updike Collection.
I was able to utilize the Updike Collection not only for inspiration for my own designs but to support my research about Eastern European and Central Asian scripts, as well as various historical printing and type drawing techniques.
I have been mainly working with Jordan Goffin, who had been guiding me through the Updike Collection. He is able to pull together a selection of specimens curated exactly for the purpose of my visit. Jordan is always very enthusiastic about the material in hand as well as PPL’s latest acquisitions. In each visit, there is always something new to be discovered, either a book that I haven’t had a chance to see yet, or a document that arrived a week ago! It is remarkable how the visitors can directly engage and sit down with the books: in most cases you are allowed to hold the books, turn and feel the pages for yourself.
PPL has been a central hub for practicing and student type designers in Providence. When I was a student, I participated in the Updike Prize competition, which was a great motivator to push my design further. Thanks to the collection and events at PPL, I also had the chance to meet up and spend some time with many visiting designers, including Paul Shaw, Fiona Ross, Paul Barnes, Tobias Frere-Jones and Nina Stössinger.
My discoveries during visits directly impacted my professional work as a practicing designer. I am thankful to be living in a city where I have easy and free access to such an amazing resource!