If Brooke Bucherie, the force behind the uber-popular @Goodtype Instagram feed, has learned anything from her sizable social media presence (150,000 followers and counting), it’s this: stick to what you know and do it really well. However, the Austin, Texas-based designer didn’t start out trying to take over #typography; she was just trying to organize the growing photo album of hand-lettered pics on her phone. Now, what began as a personal obsession has grown into a design destination for lettering junkies to see inspiring work, interact with one another, and post their own projects. So how did it all happen? Turns out it was actually kind of an accident.
How did Goodtype start?
I’ve always been obsessed with lettering and typography. Anytime I noticed any kind of lettering I admired on Instagram, I’d screenshot it to have a look at later. I tried organizing them into an album on my phone, but it was becoming a hassle and started taking up too much space. That’s when I came up with the idea to unleash all of these inspiring screenshots onto an Instagram account, where all the artists are credited. Thus, Goodtype was born. Within a few weeks it had more followers than my personal account. I was a bit baffled as this was more of a personal organizing effort than an account to gain followers. But soon I noticed other letterers hash-tagging their photos #goodtype. I was like, “Okay, this is a thing.”
Tell us about the Goodtype community. Who’s following you?
Goodtype’s Instagram has reached over 150,000 followers from all over the globe. Only 40 percent are from the U.S. Many are from the U.K., Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, France, and The Netherlands. This community is very supportive of each other. I began receiving requests to post people’s work, so I started “Goodtype Tuesday” as a fun way to encourage the practice of lettering and reward followers for their efforts with credited submission posts. Occasionally, I’d team up with Daniel McQueen over at Ten Dollar Fonts. He’d select his favorite submissions and hook the designers up with prizes.
I was so moved by the growth of Goodtype’s following and its positivity, I was inspired to make something for my top featured letterers and typographers. Just this week I sent out these badass, custom leather key fobs made by Bell & Oak in Denton, Texas, as an expression of my gratitude and admiration of their work. It’s because of these incredibly talented artists that Goodtype has become so popular. I hand-lettered the fob and put Goodtype’s seal at the bottom.
And now you have a book coming out. What made you want to take Goodtype to the printed page?
Over the past year or so I’ve had several inquiries about my recommendations on the best coffee table lettering and typography books. With the growing popularity of Goodtype, I thought it was time to plan an actual book, bringing the Instagram feed to tangible form. Xavier Casalta and Rémy Boiré helped create the official Goodtype book announcement (above).
I noticed when I post a “WIP” (work in process) shot, it receives many more likes than a final, vectorized shot, so the book will feature a bit of each artist’s process. Goodtype The Book Vol. 1 will be a visual experience from cover to cover, reflecting the aesthetic of the Goodtype Instagram feed, showcasing previously unpublished, hand-lettered works. The deadline for entries is April 1. I’m still not sure if I’m going to self-publish this or not.
Tell us about the #KeepCursiveAlive contest on Goodtype.
When I found out that over 40 states in the U.S. no longer require public schools to teach cursive reading or writing, I was shocked. So I decided to host a #KeepCursiveAlive contest with designer and letterer Dennis Cortes, the curator for Calligritype. In 10 words or less, and in your best cursive handwriting, you had to tell us why teaching cursive in schools should be mandatory, or give us a relevant quote. The runner-up received a “Follow Your Bliss” limited-edition, signed print by Scott Biersack, and the grand-prize winner won a hand-painted saw by Zachary Smith. It was incredible. We had great feedback and a ton of insane entries. It felt good to positively impact so many people by encouraging them to practice a somewhat lost art, and to start the conversation of how important it is to keep cursive alive.
What’s next for Goodtype?
I’m in the midst of developing a product line specifically for creatives. I’m working with local builder and craftsman, Elijah Godfrey of Second Chance Custom. We hope to have the first prototype finished by April for a Kickstarter campaign. Its patent-pending, so I have to keep the details under wraps for now, but I’m pretty excited about it.