Lettering artists Jessica Hische, Martina Flor, Craig Black & more have designed prints to raise money for arts education

Art and design non-profit WeMake commissioned 26 local and international artists to design a print for Design Week Portland.

As part of Portland’s annual Design Week, art and design non-profit WeMake is hosting a lettering show featuring 26 local and international designers, typographers and lettering artists, including Europe’s own Craig Black, Tobias Hall, Martina Flor as well as Jessica Hische and Gemma O’Brien – one artist for each letter of the English alphabet.

Each artist will display a 9x9 print they’ve designed for the show, using only three colours – black (for simplicity), metallic gold (for process), and orange (representing WeMake). Each of the artist’s 40 limited-edition prints showcases a letter, word, or phrase, and will be available for purchase for US$20 each on April 19, with all proceeds to help fund arts education in Portland.

Here we feature a selection of prints to be on display at WeMake’s 26 – A Lettering Show by artists Craig Black, Erik Marinovich, Jessica Hische , KKade, Maia Then, Mark Caneso, Martina Flor and Tobias Hall.

Image: Tobias Hall

"The hope was that each artist would use one or all of the colours differently to express [WeMake's] vision. Black is versatile and can be used in different levels of gradation. Gold can dominate or highlight. Orange can pop or be a flood," says WeMake president, Alise Munson.

WeMake chose the list of artists to take part in 26 – A Lettering Show through either previous collaborations, admiring their work on Instagram and print or those who responded to a call out late last year.

Image: Jessica Hische

WeMake is a non-profit founded by Yvonne Perez Emerson (from Enter The Study) which aims to promote art and design in Portland through hands-on experiences and creative dialogue.

It runs on the work of an all-volunteer board. Over the past seven years the non-profit has managed to donate around US$95,000 to other local non-profit organisations working in schools and arts programs for the underrepresented.

Image: Martina Flor

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WeMake was one of the original collaborators and supporters of Design Week Portland in 2012 when the festival started. It’s hosted events to engage the community and raise funds for arts education ever since.

For Design Week 2018, WeMake is hosting its own lettering exploration in addition to the 26 – A Lettering Show on April 19, including hosting a talk by designer and illustrator Jordan Metcalf and a lettering workshop with Jessica Hische.

Image: Craig Black

Design Week Portland is a week-long event taking place all over the city from April 14 to 21. The event is attended by designers – and anyone else curious about the role design plays in our society – and attracts thousands of attendees with hundreds of events, talks, gallery showcases, tours, unique experiences, workshops and open studios.

Image: Mark Caneso

Image: Maia Then

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Image: Pascal Fuhrmann aka Kkade

Image: Erik Marinovich