Lettering Artist Martina Flor Finds Her Sweet Spot
While Martina Flor has been an illustrator and designer of posters, brand identities, and invitations (among many other things), lettering and typography have always been closest to her heart. When she graduated from school in the Netherlands in 2010 and moved to Berlin, she took a gamble and concentrated on those two loves. That gamble paid off, and now she makes a living doing what she likes best. “Since I’ve focused on lettering and custom typography,” she says, “everything has been on the upswing.”
“Moving was essential,” says the Argentinian native. “Typography is a serious subject in Germany. They care deeply about readability, legibility, and functionality. However, these are things my work doesn’t pursue. My work is colorful and playful; sometimes it’s not readable. When I moved here, I was afraid of how the community would take my work. Would they accept it? I think the community actually triggered my work in an unexpected way — it became more expressive and colorful.”
Flor’s projects usually involve both paper and the computer. “If it’s illustrated lettering, I grab a pencil and start putting my ideas on paper; then I move to the computer,” Flor says. “But it’s not a straight line; it’s more like a spiral. Sometimes I’m on the computer and I think, ‘I don’t like this N. What other shape can I come up with?’ And then I go back to paper where it’s easier to try out solutions. When I find the solution, I go back to digital drawing. It’s a dialog between hand sketching and digital drawing.” For other assignments, such as a complex typographic page, she may begin by defining the structure digitally, then printing out the page and sketching on top of the basic architecture.