Last Friday and Saturday I took a much-needed break from the studio to attend the Y-Conference. One of my favorite speakers was Doyald Young, typographer, educator, author, and AIGA Distinguished Medal of Honor recipient. He was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation.
Doyald spoke about his work, “I draw letters in very small little strokes. Takes me forever to do it.”
He spoke about drawing, “I start with a 2H pencil” and “the darkest moments of my life have been saved by drawing.”
He spoke about doing the right thing, even when it’s hard, “You think you won’t see it but I think it does make a difference. I fuss with one pixel at a time.”
I had the great pleasure of chatting with Doyald and members of AIGA San Diego over lunch. We asked him how he deals with the adulation, and he admitted that mostly it embarrasses him. He told me he has never been really sure of himself, and that while he knows he has “achieved a certain level of proficiency,” he is not entirely comfortable with the attention he has received lately.
He was completely unpretentious, raw, and real. Unguarded. Honest. It was incredibly refreshing. I had been having a rough week, and thanks to Doyald Young, I’m feeling much better about the world.