Spotlight: Quinn Keaveney

Quinn Keaveney is a developer and type designer who lives in Vancouver.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I work for a variety of type foundries doing everything from building their sites to adding features. I used to think I was a typographer, then a type designer, then a developer… but now I think you could just call me a creative. I do everything from type design, to layout, to content, to development. I’m a full stack developer who is pretty good at making things look good and clear, and I also build the typefaces… I can’t give your product any web/device app you want, but I can give any product a web/device app I want.

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What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Right now I’m finishing off a year long project for Disney and building a online type foundry from scratch. I’m also updating the LVL3 site… On the side I’m preparing two ventures, an online artist persona and a type foundry business.

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What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other designers are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing? The biggest struggle I see is designers pigeon holing themselves. Unfortunately I struggle with the same problem. You do work that people like so similar industries hire you for the same work. I’m trying to break out of this by creating more products and personal pieces.

How did your interest in art or design begin? This is a complex question and instead of writing a book about myself I’ll give you the spark notes. Lots of freetime in highschool = spent time making art. Went to art school because I didn’t want to do anything else. Explored different mediums but grew towards obsessively complex projects. Was studying photography, object making. Lover explained to me the complexity of graphic design and typography so I tried that out. My advisor kept on having one-on-one meetings with me where she would just remind me that I was very normal and boring. I took her advice to heart and decided to focus on graphic design. No one called me boring there. Best friend died and I channeled my anxiety into design and road that for a few years. Decided that web was more in interesting than design so I learnt to code. Decided that the only thing I really enjoyed in Design was type so I started making typefaces. Now I make Typefaces and Web Apps.

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How has living in Vancouver affected your design practice? I’ve moved around a bunch trying to figure this one out. Currently I live in Vancouver. One, I’m surrounded by trees so its a lot harder to become depressed. Normally I would say this hurts my work but I’ve been really productive since I moved here and I’m slowly moving into a space where the work I want to make doesn’t just solve type/design/development problems but instead more complex questions of responsibility.

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What products or companies are you interested in right now?
Products:
Border Terrier
Print All Over Me
Zentai-Zentai
MindWave
Dot Dot Dot
032c
Typographics

Companies:
Schick Toikka
Type Supply
Klim Type Foundry
Font Bureau
Okay Type
MCKL
Ten Dollar Fonts
Urtd
Werkplaats Typografie
The Noun Project

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What is your process like? GET ‘ER DONE.

What artists or designers are you interested in right now?

Other than ones already mentioned:
Kim Asendorf
Cartoon Hangover
Globodigital
Viktor Hachmang
Nick Briz
Jon Wong
Aron Jancso
Jürg Lehni
Ryan Wade Ruehlen
Hubert Tereszkiewicz
Rainer Kohlberger
Krzysztof Domaradzki
Txaber
Yoshi Sodeoka
Bureau Bruneau
Robin Uleman
Words Are Pictures
Eps51
Studio Dumbar
Studio Emmi
Stockholm Design Lab

…I’ll stop here.

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What’s your favorite thing about your city? Mountains & forests.

What was the last show you saw that stuck out to you? Immersive performance at Redmoon. It was almost a year ago but I still think of it weekly. It is this giant space in southwest Chicago where many different rooms were built and actors dressed as bears and porters. You could explore the space and develop your own understanding of the “play”.

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What is your beverage of choice when working in your studio? Iced Coffee. If at night, Club Maté or Malört.

What are you really excited about right now? Working on one client project at a time.

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What are you listening to right now? Flies smacking into one other above my head. Have you ever looked up at 15 flies above yourself and wondered what they are doing? I think they must be mating… or at least flirting. Can you imagine hurtling toward your potential mate in mid air with your phallus barely maintaining stiffness (because of the g force against it) in hopes that you hit some semblance of a target… as you near impact you begin praying that you don’t slam your most sensitive organs into your partners face, you are sweating, maybe even crying – but you are moving too fast so your tears are swept away in the free fall… and right before you make contact some prick drop kicks your cock and drags his dick across your fly crush’s face… Well it sounds like this is happening above me every 2 seconds.

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Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? No. Well maybe a little. The two worst are when no ones cares and when someone who has the same skill set as you picks out all the details that you already know are problems but the act of them doing so is sooo embarrassing that you have to say thank you and apologize for not correcting them.

The best is when they give you a huge bonus and you buy a flight to somewhere you’ve never gone.