Beginning as a young girl, Cindy Kinash showed a great enthusiasm for art, displaying a raw talent nurtured by her mother throughout her childhood. At the tender age of just twelve years old, Cindy began selling her watercolor paintings at local events in the art community. She also enjoyed working on artistic page covers for her school projects, gaining inspiration from a book on fonts and decorative frames, a gift from her mother.
When she was a teenager, Cindy knew that she ultimately wanted to pursue a creative career of some sort, although she took time off after graduation, as so many of us do, to enjoy a life freed from the structured confines of high school. During that sabbatical, Cindy began to explore Photoshop on her own, creating graphics while discovering an entirely brand new medium to work with.
She was taken by the notion of working in the field of digital art, a fascination that led her to apply to Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to pursue a degree in Graphic Communications. Her first post-graduate employment was a perfect match for her interests, focusing on apparel graphics and t-shirt designs. After several years, she sought to explore a new avenue of design, and recalling how much she loved hand-drawn letters, she decided to try her own hand at typography.
Hand lettering has always been one of Cindy’s strongest talents as a graphic designer so this move felt rather serendipitous. The self-taught typographer spent some time acquainting herself with font software, learning to design a basic font from scratch. In 2012, she started her personal foundry, Cultivated Mind, and released her first type design, Hello I Like You. When it received a good response from the public, Cindy knew she was on the right path and dove deeper into a new and exciting vocation.
Her first concern with any new design lies in its overall usability. Cindy particularly loves the personal touch of handcrafted lettering because it builds a stronger emotional connection with the reader. Obsessed with fonts, she strives to create more variety in the hand-lettered genre, creating type designs that fulfill the needs of designers who rely on hand-made letter sets for their projects.
“I think that what makes my foundry unique is that I offer a lot of different styles of handmade typefaces,” she said. “Cultivated Mind doesn’t have one distinct style, as it is constantly evolving and trying to release fonts that you haven’t seen before.” Her process involves drawing or painting letters on paper before scanning them into the computer to work digitally, allowing her to craft organic letterforms with a truly human touch.
One of her most recent releases on YouWorkForThem is True North, a beautifully vintage script designed in partnership with Charles Gibbons. True North feels like the essence of Canada’s majestic woodlands: a little rugged around the edges and 100% natural. The font itself was actually inspired by her father’s love of the great outdoors, an homage that Cindy has evoked through every detail of True North.
Sixteen letter styles give designers a lot to work with. This largely all-caps family offers Regular, 3D, Dots, and Inline variants in Regular, Black, and Rough for incredible versatility. True North also features a whimsical monoline Script, a soft-yet-perfectly-organic accompaniment to the family. A series of Banners, Labels, and Extras provide even greater flexibility, making it a breeze to incorporate hand-drawn accents in your projects.
The variety of lettersets within True North are ideal for large signage, bold displays, product labels, logos, advertising spreads, branding, book covers, greeting cards, invitations, posters, and just about any design project that needs a rustic-chic touch. Multilingual support extends to Basic Latin, Western European, Euro, Catalan, Baltic, Turkish, Central European, Pan African Latin, Dutch, Afrikaans, and Basic Greek for worldwide accessibility.
If you love hand-drawn type designs, you’ve got to check out the rest of Cultivated Mind’s portfolio. With 22 products currently available on YouWorkForThem, Cindy offers a valuable collection of one-of-a-kind fonts, each with their own distinct personalities.