Yellow Design Studio is a collaborative studio owned by Ryan and Rena Martinson. With a focus on fine art by Rena and type design by Ryan, the work of this Florida-based duo features a lot of texture and personality.
“I worked as a graphic designer for a number of years, during which I gained a healthy (or not) obsession for fonts,” Ryan explained. “I learned how subtle changes in a typeface’s shape made a huge difference in how a message was communicated. Finding the perfect font for a client’s project sometimes took me as long as the design itself. I’m not sure why I found it so fascinating, but it was only a matter of time before I wanted to try making one myself.”
Having completed more than two dozen fonts, Ryan feels that one of the biggest challenges of type design is creating a font that’s both completely unique and broadly usable, two vital elements that inspire him most.
From his own portfolio, Gist and Sant’Elia are two of his favorites. “Gist was my most experimental typeface and probably my most original. Sant’Elia is probably my best drawn typeface to date,” he told us.
While Yellow Design Studio’s fonts are often steeped in a rich, vintage texture you can practically feel beneath your fingertips, they occasionally design “clean” companions to suit design projects that prefer a retro structure without the distressed appearance.
One excellent example of this can be found in Veneer Clean, a crisp and un-weathered version of Veneer. “My concept for Veneer was to create a simple, sturdy, condensed sans along the lines of Trade Gothic or Alternate Gothic, and offer different levels of realistic letterpress texture,” Ryan explained. “I didn’t think I’d release the clean version, but there was some interest in a non-textured companion especially for smaller sized text on web pages. So I polished up my original outlines, added soft and round versions, and set it free.”
Veneer Clean offers the same industrial appeal without the grit and grime, a fresh take on a classic lettering style. From a drawing perspective, Veneer Clean was pretty straightforward design. “The biggest challenge was the round weight,” Ryan observed. “I hadn’t done completely rounded stems before and it was more challenging than I thought. After I released it I found there were still some improvements to be made, so I reworked it and released an update shortly after.”
Regular, Round, and Soft variations are accompanied by corresponding italics, making this letter set extremely versatile. An additional (and free!) set of Extras and italic Extras offer a wonderful touch of whimsy to design projects and they were, in fact, one of Ryan’s favorite elements of the Veneer family. “I think they add a little bit of fun to the family… and seeing people use them in their designs has been a blast,” he said.
Veneer Clean is a perfect choice for bold headlines, striking displays, engaging advertisements, strong product packaging, impactful posters, and captivating logos. Its multilingual support extends to Basic Latin, Western European, Euro, Central European, Pan African Latin, and Basic Greek for global accessibility.
Yellow Design Studio currently offers 26 products through YouWorkForThem and if you’re a fan of retro-fied design elements, you’ve got to check out the rest of their portfolio. Bookmark it so you won’t miss their new releases and get excited now because Ryan is working on what he says is his most challenging project to date.
He isn’t releasing any further details at this time, which only adds to our anticipation of what’s to come in the future. We wish him luck with his project and we can’t wait to see it!