Dominique Falla, #BreakTheBias #IWDtypism typography

Typography is a great way to help #BreakTheBias

 January 26, 2022

Typography is a creative and expressive way to convey important messages, such as breaking down gender bias across the world. 

And, as part of the International Women's Day Women Creatives Mission, there's a fabulous opportunity for typographers worldwide to passionately showcase their talent while helping to #BreakTheBias across communities.  

IWD 2022 #BreakTheBias typography

Dominique Falla, Founder of global community Typism knows all-too well the power of typography. She founded the Typism Community to help students make a living from their passion. Dominique tells us about the fabulous International Women's Day 2022 #BreakTheBias typography piece she created [pictured above], the ongoing challenge of gender bias in the creative world, and how novice typographers can overcome feelings of being overwhelmed in the competitive creative world. 

Why did you use comic book genre?

When I started to think about the #BreakTheBias theme, a few industries sprang to mind as being traditionally gender-biased, such as vintage advertising, comic books, and sign writing. So I wanted to reference those themes in the piece and acknowledge that those industries have taken steps to redress the balance in recent years.

Does gender bias still prevail in the creative world?

The problem is much harder to spot these days, with unconscious bias still very much a problem. When people disagree with me on this topic, I cite the example of the judging process for Tropfest, an international short film festival. When female directors continued to be under-represented among the 16 yearly finalists, they introduced a blind judging process and took the names off the submissions. In one year, female finalists in the competition jumped from 6.5% to 50% — and you would assume these judges would represent a somewhat "woke" segment of the population. 

What's Typism and why did you start it?

Typism is a global lettering community. I started it to encourage my design students at Griffith University in Queensland Australia to focus on their love of letters as a career path. Many of my students loved lettering and typography but could not see a way to make a living from their passion. So, I created the conference to bring people together and hear from various lettering artists who were making a living from their passion. The event aimed to demonstrate that it was not only possible to specialize, but preferable.

What's the purpose of the Typism book series? 

The book was almost an afterthought as an accompaniment to the first Typism conference, but the book series has taken off globally since then. The thing about a conference is that in order to attend in person, you can only cater to a few hundred people, whereas the book has touched the lives of thousands of people. With seven books published, we have showcased the work of over 1,200 lettering artists and placed an inspirational book in the hands of thousands more.

How do people submit work for Typism Book 8?

There are three phases to the submission process:

  • Pre-order the digital copy of Book 8 for USD 10
  • Submit up to ten pieces of work before February 28, 2022
  • Receive a hard copy of the book as well as the digital copy, if your work is accepted

Visit the Call for Entries page to submit your work for the Typism Book. 

Got advice for overwhelmed novice typographers?

When people complain that there are too many talented people in a niche or industry and ask why they should even bother; I always give the example of cookbooks. How many cookbooks are there in the world? Millions. 

How many new cookbooks will be released this year? Hundreds. There is always room for one more cookbooks because they have something different, new, or novel, and people are always looking for something different. That is why there's always room for one more blog, book, podcast, or lettering artist.

Stay in your lane and focus on yourself and your journey. If you don't yet know what makes you uniquely you, your full-time job, until then should be finding out what that is. Copying existing styles and doing tutorials is an excellent way to experiment and learn, but eventually, it's your secret sauce that's going to make you stand apart. Focus on finding out what that is, and you'll never have any competition.

How do you feel when you're creatively in flow? 

It is always that I lose track of time. I am such an over-scheduled person that losing track of time is unusual and enjoyable when I finally do get immersed in something. However, I can only work solidly for one hour at a time; my years as a university lecturer have my internal body clock fixed in one-hour blocks of time, and my Apple watch telling me to stand every hour doesn't help either!

Show your own #BreakTheBias typgraphy creation

Be confident in showcasing your own style - and use for creativity to help fight the good fight.

Design your own amazing #BreakTheBias typography creation and showcase it to the world.  

The world can't wait to see your talent - and we can't wait to promote it.

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