How I Became a Graphic Designer Specialized in Analog Hand Lettering

graphic designer

Hi, I’m Ale Quezada; I’m a graphic designer specialized in analog hand lettering with more than 20 years of experience. I was born in Ciudad Juárez, México, where I still live and work.

How was your University time?

At first, I thought architecture would suit my tastes, until visiting a career fair in high school, I discovered Graphic Design. I couldn’t believe that career existed! It was exactly what I wanted for my future. I entered the UACJ and enjoyed school very much. The truth is that it did not generate any difficulties for me, and although I have to accept that I was a fairly average student, College was one of the happiest times of my life.

Why did you choose a career in this field?

From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to work on something related to drawing when I grew up. I was drawing, usually clothes and dolls, and wanted to be a fashion designer. However, there was no such degree in the city where I grew up, and my parents did not have the money to send me to another city to study it.

What was your first job or nuggets from jobs you had that helped you get to where you are today?

When I left college, I started working in a tiny design agency, where I realized the significant difference between being a student and already being in the job market. I felt like I knew absolutely nothing! Fortunately, my boss at the time was very patient with me, and I learned a lot. Sometimes, the agency had financial problems (which is very common in advertising agencies in my city), and I was out of work. My next job is my current one, where I have already been working for 20 years!

How did you prepare for the interview?

Fortunately, I was so well prepared from what I learned in my previous job, and with the experience I had, I was hired almost immediately. It is a growing supermarket in the north of Mexico, whereas you can imagine – I have done everything! They hired me as a Graphic Designer.

Can you provide some book recommendations?

My favorite book in the world is “The Law of Love” by Laura Esquivel.

Things are changing very fast in the industry; how do you keep yourself updated.

Admiring super talented artists and designers over the years, lettering caught my eye because I considered it a mix between art and graphic design. So in my early 40’s, I started drawing letters. And I did it just for me. I wrote what I felt about known quotes or things that occurred to me and drew the typefaces depending on the phrase’s feeling. Little by little, I experimented with different illustration techniques, watercolor, acrylic, India ink, gouache, markers, colored pencils, almost whatever was in front of me, to see how they would react to different designs.

To keep up to date, I am always trying to see trends; both in graphic design and illustration, I have taken courses, especially in digital trends. I try to read as much as time gives me, although I must admit that my reading is rarely focused on design issues; instead, world stories lead me to travel and see through the writers’ eyes.

Any advice about CVs?

Be short and consistent. Add what really is important to the job you’re looking for, don’t risk your boring CV. But on the other hand, it is common between designers to be ultra-creative, and then that rest is important to the info you’re trying to communicate.

Advice for someone looking for a job?

This adventure started as a hobby and now gives me more work than I already had (LOL) has been a great fortune. Working all these years in a profession that I am passionate about, where I do things that I would – really – do for free and get paid to do it, is wonderful. I have always believed that being passionate about your career gives great satisfaction and is reflected in the results.

Also read Working as an illustrator and a storyboard artist

How I Became a Graphic Designer Specialized in Analog Hand Lettering

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