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Lectures & Salons

Type Revival for Period Film & TV

with Leah Spencer

Leah Spencer reveals her process of replicating period-appropriate typography for productions like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

  • Date
  • Time
  • Where Online via Zoom

During the creation of movies and TV shows, every book cover, receipt, storefront sign, newspaper, or hotel room number that you see was custom-made by a graphic designer. The aim of this work is to create design that unceremoniously melds with its setting, and to achieve this for period productions, type must be in both form and effect of the age.

As technologically-equipped graphic designers, we experience some restrictions when we try to turn back the clock: hand-lettering that was never a typeface, type that was never digitized, and type that was digitized but that looks too clean. Add in the logistical and legal aspects of film and TV production and things can get pretty constrained. But there is a solution: type revival.

Join Leah Spencer for a look into this unique intersection of traditional craft and contemporary tools. See her process as used in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” to reproduce original mid-century type and lettering as digital fonts.

Letterform Lectures are a public aspect of the Type West postgraduate program. The series is co-presented by the San Francisco Public Library, where events are free and open to all.

Leah Spencer

Leah Spencer is a Graphic Designer for Film & TV, specializing in period productions and typography. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the Rhode Island School of Design. After spending five years in the corporate design world, she latched onto Graphic Design for Film & TV for its cornerstones in research, hand-crafting, variety, and intentional imperfection. Leah is based out of New York, where she has most notably worked on Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

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