The Making of Type

Katie Bassett is a Brooklyn-based designer and printmaker. If you like what you see in our Supply Shop, you have Katie to thank! As Aviary's lead graphic designer, she's responsible for curating everything you see the store, and she has also created several beautiful packs. Here’s a behind the scenes look at the creation process of one of Katie's most popular creations - Type stickers (available for free in Aviary).


Growing up, I was always interested in arts and crafts: painting, glitter, ceramics, you name it. Fast-forward to the era of the iPod and downloadable music, and I fell in love with gig posters. I'd wander around stores looking at CDs, posters and book covers and think, “This. This is what I want to do.” In college, I spent my extra electives taking every printmaking class, from silkscreen printing to wood block printing, etching, and more. 


After graduation, I moved to Nashville to intern at Hatch Show Print, a legendary printmaking studio. Letterpress dates back to the mid fifteenth century with Gutenberg and the printing press, and in the 600 years that it's been around, its purpose has shifted from informational trade to artisanal craft. Hatch Show Print merges the past and present, upholding tradition and craft to the highest standard, while creating unique and beautiful designs. They've crafted handbills and posters for hundreds of artists performing in Nashville, from Elvis to Louis Armstrong to Mumford & Sons. You walk down the streets of downtown Music City, any day, any hour, there's a honky tonk with its doors open and a musician strumming. The history, tradition and quirk are alive and well in this city, and Hatch Show Print is right there in the middle of it all. A Nashville staple. A classic.


I wanted to create a sticker pack that combined my youthful love for the classic gig poster and honored the tradition and history of the letter press, as Hatch Show Print does to this day.  

I went directly to the source and began finding letterforms in old posters I had created to choose which typeface I liked for each letter and compiled a large library of digital scans of individual letters. Using Adobe Shape, I photographed of the poster and picked out the letter I wanted to capture. 

From there, I opened my library of letters in Photoshop and began debating on color. I decided to go with a textured gold overlay because it's more unique and something not often used in creating posters due to its price and inconsistent outcome. The stickers have their roots in letterpress, but the gold gives them a little touch of modern.


I followed up this pack with the Type Plus Stickers (numbers and embellishments), Rock On Stickers (poster-inspired letter art) and Pressed Frames (letterpress style borders) - a complete starter set for adorning everyday snaps, creating your own gig posters, and more. Download Type Stickers for free in Aviary and have a go!