Designing Her Own Path: Q&A with Jessica Hische
Book Business’s Lynn Rosen spoke recently with type designer Jessica Hische, aka “Drop Cap Girl,” designer of the stunning new Penguin Drop Caps line, a series of twenty-six collectible hardcover editions of fine works of literature, each featuring on its cover a specially commissioned illustrated letter of the alphabet by Hische.
Lynn Rosen – Uh, oh – I read your website (Beautiful! Love the irreverent bio!) and the post by Marian Bantjes basically telling us press people to buzz off, and now I’m totally intimidated. So I’ll start by asking: what’s the one question you’d like someone to ask you about your work?
Jessica Hische – Don’t misread that article! It was more about lazy students that send “Dear sir or madam” emails to professionals so that they can write their reports for them. Good journalists are always welcome! I’m not sure if I could name the one question I’d love someone to ask me, but maybe something along the lines of “didn’t you just do something like that?” which always puts a fire under my butt to do something new and different. It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of playing your greatest hits so I love it when people that I trust give me proper criticism about the work I’m doing and push me in new directions.
LR – You are (or were) a Philly girl! We’re in Philly. You worked for Headcase Design. I love their stuff. I wrote two of the Baby Owner’s Manuals for them. What did you work on at Headcase?
JH – Woah!! I thought your name sounded familiar! I worked on the Baby Owner’s Manuals! My name is actually credited in the back as “super intern” or something similar. I worked on a bunch of projects there, that was one of the first big ones they had me on. I also worked on Dirty Blonde, a compiling of Courtney Love’s ephemera and diaries.