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Q&A Sláva Jevčinová

We have a fabulous selection of international guests critics visiting us at TypeParis Summer24. We wanted to find out a little more about each of them, so have presented them with a series of questions which they have generously taken the time to answer. Discover Sláva Jevčinová’s interview.

Biography Sláva Jevčinová is a Type designer and Sign painter from Slovakia, currently based in France. After graduating from the Royal Academy in the Hague she has been working independently, under the name “Into the Type” and regularly collaborated with Rosetta type foundry. Later in 2020 she founded her Sign painting studio in Nice, named Enseignes Nice, in order to connect her typographic knowledge with manual brush strokes.

Interview

Describe your typical day?

Sláva Jevčinová I feel pretty lucky, that most of the time I wake up to a sunny day and I go walk my dog next to the sea. After breakfast my day can split into two directions, either way it is all about letters. It can be me staying in my digital world of letters at home or me holding a brush and sign painting among beautiful streets in the south of France.

Favourite kind of music to listen to while working?

Sláva Jevčinová When I’m working at home I listen to either music, podcasts, shows or TV, but if I need to focus on writing I need silence. The same applies while sign painting, but for another reason. People like to interact with me, they make comments, ask questions and the most important I meet there my new potential clients.

What do you do to evade yourself from work?

Sláva Jevčinová Apart from my dog, living between sea and mountains brings a lot of opportunities to relax, so I like to hike or take a bike and roam around cities on the coastline. Watching movies and visiting museums are very good options too.

“Since I started to work also as a sign painter my perspective of designing fonts evolved. Now I’m not only the creator but also the user.”
– Sláva Jevčinová

What drives you to create new typefaces?

Sláva Jevčinová Since I started to work also as a sign painter my perspective of designing fonts evolved. Now I’m not only the creator but also the user.
That’s why I try to design what my client needs based on the story, characteristics and purpose of their business. As well as the location - South of France.
And of course, as many other type designers, I also have quite a few typefaces in progress. Because there is always some little feature around which inspires me to design a new one.

How is a designer able to draw typefaces in a script he does not know as language? 

Sláva Jevčinová I had a chance to work on Greek, Cyrillic, Vietnamese and Hebrew language extensions and I don’t speak any of those languages.
So, yes it is definitely possible to draw a typeface for a language we don’t speak, but still it requires to do the research and have the knowledge about the alphabet and its evolution. And on top of it we always collaborated with native speaking consultants.

Did your practice of sign painting influence your drawing of font or vice versa ?

Sláva Jevčinová Definitely. Those two fields complete each other in many ways.
I would say that type designing makes me a more sophisticated sign painter with a wider palette of types I could use and the sign painting puts my type into perspective to readjust or develop them in the future.
The mix of those two fields dates back to my studies on Type and Media in the Hague, where we practiced calligraphy, so my passion to work with the brush evolved very naturally.


Where did this desire to return to a more material approach come from, alongside the more digital aspect of type design?

Sláva Jevčinová As I already mentioned, the Type and Media program in the Hague is very smartly divided into digital and manual practice. I extremely enjoyed calligraphy and stone carving, which I also try to practice more and more these days.
After my studies I attended a sign painting workshop with Mike Meyer organised by Amsterdam Sign Painters which definitely brought new ideas to my life.

And it was also the location – South of France which drawn my interest in a more concrete approach of type designing.
There is something special about those streets hiding genuine hand-painted signs, you just want to be a part of such a beautiful environment and preserve it.

“There is something special about those streets hiding genuine hand-painted signs, you just want to be a part of such a beautiful environment and preserve it.”
– Sláva Jevčinová

Do you remember when you decided to pursue your career in design and typography?

Sláva Jevčinová When I started art school at the age of 15 we worked on many different projects and mediums, but the typography was always part of them and on top of it our teacher introduced us into a new field – type design by presenting us the work of his former student Peter Biľak. After I continued to study graphic design at university, but I was still seeking for more information regarding typography and type design. That’s why I reached out to Veronika Burian who encouraged me to continue in that direction. The big kick came also from the professor Otakar Karlas who dragged me into the amazing work of Jaroslav Benda.

During your creative process, do you sketch–draw on paper (or tablet) before moving on to the digital workflow?

Sláva Jevčinová It depends. Sometimes I sketch, sometimes I use a photo or screenshot and I start to draw straight on the computer.

Do you have words of wisdom for someone who wants to become type designer-typographer-letterer?

Sláva Jevčinová If you know that this is the direction you want to go, that’s already 50% success. Some people will never find out. So push it hard and make your dreams come true!

Thank you very much, Sláva!

– Interview by Lilian Hervet

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May 22, 2024
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