Creative Characters Ep. 12: James Edmondson.

I think problems can be fixed. Most of the time we have it in our heads that typefaces are immovable things, or they get released and then nothing ever happens. But that's not really true.

James Edmondson.

On Creative Characters, we meet the people and personalities behind the brands, campaigns, and designs we love. You can listen to the podcast on AppleSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and wherever quality podcasts are available.

OH no Type Co. creates “the fonts no one wants,” if you believe the intro on its Instagram page. But of course, that’s complete rubbish—OH no founder James Edmondson is releasing some of the most exciting typography around, fonts that everyone wants (or should want). His portfolio is an eclectic mix of psychedelic swirls, liquid curves, and inventive interpretations of everyday styles, all pulsing with reckless energy and with personality to spare. 

“I was having a conversation a couple of days ago with students,” he tells host Charles Nix, “and one of them asked me, ’when something is kind of getting away from you or getting away from the original genre or idea that you had at the outset, at what point do you try and correct it? Or do you just let it be the thing that it wants to become?’ And I think it’s a lot more fun for me if it becomes the thing that it wants to become, and I keep a stranglehold over it as it’s developing in its infancy.” 

His latest release, Irregardless, captures this spirit perfectly. “I have no idea where it came from, and for much of the time I spent working on it, I had no idea where it was going,” he writes on its specimen page. ”It was an exercise in fighting my impulses and drawing habits to create something that felt new and uncomfortable.” 

“I think problems can be fixed,” Edmondson adds. ”Most of the time we have it in our heads that typefaces are immovable things, or they get released and then nothing ever happens. But that’s not really true—people are doing character set extensions all the time and fixing technical things all the time. I just know that it’s impossible for me to do something perfect. It’s not gonna happen, so I will absolutely do my best and I’m always going to give it all I have. But for me and my own happiness and, and how I define my version of success, it’s good to just get it out there.”

In addition to creating typefaces, James is something of a media mogul as well (jokes, kind of). He has his own podcast, Ohno Radio, and a forthcoming limited edition book version of his OH no Type School blog series. Keep an eye out for that.