36 Days of Type and the Power of Community

At the time of me writing this article we are currently in the middle of 36 Days of Type. This yearly creative challenge is the source of great excitement (and admittedly a bit of stress) for artists around the world. It started in 2014 as a personal challenge between designers Nina Sans and Rafa Goicoechea and has since grown into a global celebration of typography and creativity.

The first 26 days are for letters A-Z and the remaining 10 days for numbers 0–9. Following the calendar provided on the 36 Days of Type website, you post your letter or number on the corresponding days to your Instagram or Twitter.

This is my 3rd year participating and I wanted share what I’ve taken away from the project. This is great for current participants and those who are curious about 36 Days of Type and may want to participate in the future.

Pushing Your Creative Limits

Part of what makes 36 Days of Type unique is that we are presented with one idea: How many ways can you interpret the Latin alphabet? If you’re a freelancer like me, when a client gives you full creative freedom over a project, you know to remain cautiously optimistic. The idea may seem simple enough but it causes us to ask ourselves “How far can I push this?”

Every year I see so many amazing projects, and they inspire me to challenge myself to explore past my own creative limits. I’ve seen projects in the form of 3D renderings, animations, and tactile pieces made of paper, wood, and even plants. Nothing is off limits, and everything is valid.

Above: My first 9 submissions for 36 Days of Type 2020
Above: My first 9 submissions for 36 Days of Type 2021

A Global Community

Prompt-based art accounts have always been a fun and inclusive space on Instagram. Perhaps a few that you follow come to mind. This is part of what I believe has helped turn 36 Days of Type into a global movement. Nina and Rafa extended the invitation to their fellow creatives and in doing so, their project became so much bigger than a personal challenge between friends. It’s sparked the fire of creativity in artists around the world and the 1 million+ posts under #36DaysofType on Instagram is a huge testament to that.

I’ve used the project as a way of challenging myself creatively, but in the pursuit of these challenges, we sometimes hit a wall. The greatest motivator for me during these moments has been remembering that I’m not alone. We’re all working towards a collective goal. Even if we don’t end up completing all 36 Days or fall behind, no one will ever shame you or make you feel bad because we’ve all been there. I still have never completed all 36 days, but maybe this year I will.

Final Thoughts

Finally, I want you to keep these things in mind:

  1. Never underestimate the power of the creative community.
  2. Be kind to yourself throughout this challenge and remember to have fun.
  3. If you like someone’s work, tell them. I guarantee you’ll make their day.

To learn more about the 36 Days of Type project check out their site here. The best way to experience 36 Days of Type is to follow them on both Instagram & Twitter, and follow the current hashtag #36DaysofType_08. If you’re participating in the project find me on Instagram and Twitter so we can be internet buddies. Happy creating!

Alanna Flowers is a freelance lettering artist & designer based in Brooklyn, NY where she runs AGF Design Studio. Feel free to connect via Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, or her newsletter to keep up with all things hand lettering and to help grow the creative community.

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Brooklyn-based lettering artist & designer | Writing about creativity, community, and freelance | agfdesignstudio.com

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Alanna Flowers

Alanna Flowers

Brooklyn-based lettering artist & designer | Writing about creativity, community, and freelance | agfdesignstudio.com

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