Typography and nature combine, an interview with Lauren Osoba

The Right Type

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. How many of us heard this from our parents growing up? Now how many of us really, really followed that advice? Lucky for Lauren Osoba, a Kansas City graphic designer, she did just that. When Osoba saw a poster exhibit designed by artists from around the country, she decided to apply for a similar project. It turns out the saying proves true—trying and trying again does pay off. Read on to see how.   

Kansas City Spaces: First, tell us a bit about your background.

Lauren Osoba: I graduated from Wichita State in May 2016 with a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design. Since then I’ve been in Kansas City doing internships and contract work. I’m now a full-time designer at Novella Brandhouse.

On the side, I like doing design projects, whether they’re my passion projects or freelance. I’m always looking at design around me. I found Type Hike through Instagram. I was looking at type-related hash tags and I saw the National Park Service project they did. Type Hike had just completed “NPS 100” for the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016. The project released posters as a celebration of this; different artists from around the country designed the posters, one for each of the national parks and the proceeds went to the parks.

Type Hike exhibited the posters around the country, including at Wichita State, which is where I saw them. When I saw that they were holding an open call for artists for “Shores,” a new series of posters to benefit national seashores and recreation areas, I decided to apply. I was not picked, but shortly after, they contacted me and asked me to do a design for “Alphabeast.” I was really honored and happy they picked me for this; it was a better fit.

KCS: Tell us more about “Alphabeast” and your design for the project.

DC: “Alphabeast” is another series of posters put together by Type Hike. Twenty-six artists from across the country were selected, each drew a design for an animal on a list of endangered species provided by Type Hike. There’s an animal for each letter of the alphabet. The posters are available for purchase as well as a set of 26 postcards or alphabet wall tiles. The profits go to the Defenders of Wildlife national conservation organization.

It’s a good opportunity for creatives to do something they’re good at for a good cause. It’s good to get my work out there. My main goal was to bring awareness to conservation, but it’s also raising money for it.

KCS: How did you end up with the Quino checkerspot butterfly?

DC: Type Hike provide the list of animals they wanted to illustrate. They asked me to choose my top three. The Quino was my top pick. I have a special connection with the butterfly. I like the symbolism of how they can transform. In my work I like using lots of color; I like it to be fun. I thought a butterfly would be a good fit.

I was excited to get the Quino butterfly for another reason. A lot of designers have favorite letters and mine is “Q.” It was a perfect fit since I love butterflies, Q’s and color.

To see more of Lauren’s work, go to
laurenosoba.com.

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