Jen Mussari


Enormous Tiny Art Show

Jen Mussari

The Enormous Tiny Art Show opens tonight at the Nahcotta gallery in New Hampshire and for the first time ever I have artwork on display there! I have been a fan of the "ETA" for years now and am so honored that I was asked to participate. Each artist involved creates a series of small original artworks that are smaller than 10." At the opening, each piece is put up for sale to the public. There are so many amazing artists involved in this show that I really respect, so be sure to check out the works of Yelena Bryksenkova, Kate Bingaman-Burt, and Becca Stadtlander to start!

You can jump the gun and purchase pieces online. Since the art is so small, the prices are also small. If you would like to see or possibly purchase the pieces that I have for sale, get over to this site asap! They are priced to sell, so I am hopeful that they will.

The series that I created are tiny studies of leather jackets in sumi ink on rag paper mounted to wood panel. I've been completely obsessed with leather jackets in every way and I hope that it shows in the look and feel of these miniature pieces. 

New Cotton Bureau Tee! Ride like Lightning!

Jen Mussari

In the next chapter of my neverending love for Cotton Bureau comes this personal piece that I drew based off of the foreboding quote from Place Beyond the Pines. I love this drawing and am really excited to see it make its way to the Cotton Bureau page!

As with all Cotton Bureau tees, this shirt will not exist if it doesn't sell a certain number of preorders. Because of this, the shirt is only available for a limited time, so NO DILLYDALLYING! Get it while you can by clicking here!

I am in love with this red hot tee shirt version below, and the coral sweatshirt matches the original poster perfectly. Anyone who has bought my previous CB tee knows that their quality is high and above all other limited run custom tee printers. Not only are the shirts crazy-soft, but the prints are impeccable.

So what do you think? Can we get this guy printed up and out? Help me get the word out by posting it on Twitter, Tumblr, or what have you!

Oh, you mean Lettering...

Jen Mussari
   Typography?!      Oh, uh, excuse me   I think you mean   Lettering...

Typography?! Oh, uh, excuse me I think you mean Lettering...

I made a stupid meme-thing because I have about had it up to here with all the dingbats on the Internet who use the word "Typography" interchangeably with "Lettering." I mean, we're designers so let's get the words right! Words are super important to our profession, right? Guys?

Okay, c'mon, though, let's be real. I almost never correct people to this common mishap in real life. If a client who works in music, for instance, tells me that he loves the fonts I use, I say "Thank you, I'm so glad you like my lettering." Now, if he asks to buy those fonts so he can use them, however, we're going to have a brief info session.

Lettering is not typography. Typography is not lettering. They are related, yes, but different in crucial ways. Internet pal Joseph Alessio did a ton more work than I am willing to do in this essay, Understanding the Difference Between Type and Lettering and so did Stephen Coles in this essay, Lettering is Not Type if you wanted to read some actual, worthwhile information on this issue that so irrationally enrages me. Most people do not need to know this. But if you call yourself a designer, art director, or creative director; if you work in publishing or even fancy yourself a lettering artist, you should probably know what these words actually mean.

I hate analogies because mine are always bad (literally always, every time), but here we go's like paying for an expensive sweater from a designer store, or paying for someone to hand-knit you an expensive sweater. They might cost the same, and heck there's a chance they might even look the same. But the process is crucial. (I told you my analogies are bad. But I swear I know this one chick who basically only wears handmade sweaters. That's pretty much me but instead of handmade sweaters it's handmade lettering...I guess.)

Free fonts are like the nasty sweater made out of who-knows-what in who-knows-what-country that you get from Forever21 which gets holes all in it if you dare to put it in the washing machine. Let's not even go there.

But basically: Lettering = illustrations of letters. Typography = systems of letters.

So don't be a dingus; use the right words! And feel free to send this condescending little gentleman out into the world if you, too, see fit. 

The Selvedge Yard X Jen Mussari

Jen Mussari

I'm so happy to share my latest collaboration with you! I had so much fun creating artwork with JP from The Selvedge Yard for a new tee shirt design. The Selvedge Yard is such an interesting blog to me because JP manages to bridge the gap between old and new effortlessly, taking the most inspiring images from decades past and seamlessly adding them into modern stories. On top of curating amazing images and words, JP has created a much sought-after run of handmade denim, owns one of the coolest custom Triumph builds I have ever seen, and is a super nice dude. 

JP had a vision to make an homage to a classic photo from motorcycling history. In 1965 TIME magazine photographer Bill Ray ran with the Hells Angels and created a photographic document of what life was like out on the road in California. The body of work shows a group of men who embody freedom and recklessness.

In motorcycling culture, there is a phrase often represented as "FTW," emblazoned on motorcycle club jackets to say "Fuck The World." JP's goal was to take the iconic phrase and turn it on its head, to create a positive message with a nod to history. Thus, "Fare Thee Well" became the phrase for this graphic. The spin on this phrase is meant to convey a spirit of unity and positivity amongst motorcyclists instead of perpetuating the image of bikers as outlaws, bad guys, and rebels. 

On top of being an awesome guy, JP is from a town very close to where I grew up in Pennsylvania, so I feel a little bit of a biased kindredness because of that. The shirts were also hand-printed by a local screenprint shop in Philadelphia, Awesome Dudes Printing, so there's alot of hometown pride here. 

Check out The Selvedge Yard Shop to get your tee and support your local cool-guy!

I'm Joining Ghostly Ferns!

Jen Mussari

I'm going to go rattle my chains with the folks at Ghostly Ferns starting RIGHT NOW! "What's a Ghostly Fern?" you might be asking? It's ok if you don't know. Ghostly Ferns is one of my favorite companies here in Brooklyn, started by Meg Lewis. Also included in this spooky family is Laura Bohill, Brad Evans, Joe Bilt, Mike Fennen, and other friends. 

I'll be lending my lettering hands, fine art skills, and magical client charming powers to the already talented team.  

Ghostly Ferns is amazing because it is more of a freelancer's collective than a traditional design firm. The business model is actually slightly similar to illustration agency but without the agent. Clients might come to Ghostly Ferns to look for a real sharp new identity. What they'll get is a much-loved project that is the result of collaboration between the members of Ghostly Ferns. Each member specializes in their own talents, allowing for each person to really hone their unique voice. It also will extend my own skills. Now that I am partnering up with Ghostly Ferns, I can offer services such as web design (thanks to Meg and Brad!) and development (thanks to Joe and Mike!) or icon design (thanks to Laura!) along with my own hand lettering and fine art textures! 

I'm jumping out of my seat with excitement to get started on projects with Ghostly Ferns. Have an idea you want to make a reality? Now's a great time to let us know. Let's get spooky!


There are other big changes for me on the horizon including lots of new work, a studio move, and a speaking engagement or two! Hit me up on Twitter if you would like to say hello!