You're my type.

 

You're my type.

From motivational quotes to pull no punches attitude, Black and Type prints stand out from the crowd. Their creator Frida is a go-getter, not afraid to throw herself into the deep end. She explains how this approach to life lead her to start her business - Black and Type and what inspires her work. 

 
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Tell us a little about yourself.

Well if I had to sum up three qualities to describe myself they would be;

1. Kindness Ninja – I believe if we did just one random act of kindness daily or spread kindness when we can, the world would be a much nicer place – and happier!

2. Passionately curious – I’m always learning new things because I love learning.

3. A rule breaker – my motto in life is: the rules are meant for other people!

 
 

Tell us about Black and Type. Where did it all begin? 

Black & Type came about mid-2012, after leaving my job, home and friends due to my husband being in the Defence Force and our family being posted, yet again.  I found myself in a new town, with no job, no friends and nothing to do - which is not a good combination for an over-active brain like mine.

Subway signs and Family Rules posters seemed to be everywhere and I wanted my own poster that suited our family and so began a new exciting adventure of learning, designing and figuring out Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator (what can I say? I never like to do anything by halves).

As my skills increased, I began designing prints for my home; filling it with words I loved and words that inspired myself, and hopefully, my family. I discovered that I'd opened Pandora's Box and there was no closing my creative outlet.

Friends began asking me to do them prints for their homes as they wanted prints that they could personalise for their families and homes which I enjoyed. That then morphed into deciding that others might want the same thing and so I opened my Etsy store up and the fun really began.

My love of words and type became a business that I love and I’m proud of.

 
 

Why does monochrome appeal to your sense of style?

There is just something classic and appealing about monochrome to me. Sometimes just having a lack of bright colours creates a platform to write something powerful or moving – or even create a striking and bold statement. Don’t get me wrong, I love colour but for many of my prints, I just find that having them monochrome conveys the feeling or sentiment I want the print to have.

Additionally, I feel that whatever your chosen style - glamourous, modern, traditional, Chic, Scandi or understated - you can achieve it using monochrome. It’s just so timeless and classic and it works well as a base for brighter pops of accent colour within your space.

We have so many beautiful colours within our world and I feel that monochrome allows us to get back to basics and I love that.

 
 

What inspires your designs?

Everything. I’m inspired by so many things - a quote, something that someone says, a sign, inspiration from other creatives, customer suggestions or even just how I feel… I’m always on the look out for words that make me laugh, feel, think, reflect and inspire. Words, for me, have such great power and I’m passionate about bringing that to life in a print.

 
 

What are your essential tips for styling your prints?

First and foremost, even before styling, I say always buy a print that you absolutely love. Consider artwork that speaks to you and makes you smile each time you see it or inspires you each time you see it.  You need to fill your home with things you love and make you happy because this is your space so why would you do anything else? If you do this, then styling comes easily (well easier, maybe?) because it’s something you love.

Spatial awareness is key. If you have a large wall that you want some artwork on and you intend on only introducing one piece to that wall? – then bigger is better. Make it a focal point. If you use multiple pieces, mix it up with typography, photos and artwork on the wall to create a gallery. 

At my front door, I have a huge poster sized print with a simple stencil-type quote in monochrome, which definitely makes a statement when you walk in my door but also makes me laugh every time I see it, as it is so very much our family. In that space, I don’t think that a mixture of frames would have made the same impact.

Be daring. Don’t be afraid to mix bold colours or patterns with monochrome prints. Odd numbers clustered together always look good. So when styling my prints or any prints, I try to use the odd number rule when displaying or styling as it creates more of a statement. Use typography prints, photos or even accent pieces together.

Have fun with styling because this is what it’s all about and don’t be afraid to move things around and then just let them sit for a while to see if it feels right. Sometimes, after sleeping on it, things look different or even with different light. This isn’t a race so you don’t need to rush it.

And if you feel stuck, do what I do and search the Internet for inspiration on styles that appeal to you and mimic them. You don’t need to be born with a styling gene (God knows I wasn’t!) but you can fake it till you make it and mimic the people who were born with it.

 
 

In your wildest dreams, where would you like to see your company in the future?

I have so many plans and dreams for Black & Type! I want to see it continue to evolve into a semi-movement of powerful, positive, thought-provoking word prints / typography.  I’ll be daring and brave enough to say I’d like to change the world a little with the power of positive words. Yes! I want to go global.

Something I’m working on at the moment is producing a product – be it a print, a mug or the like – that people will love and I will use the profits to donate to causes that help bring a positive changes to people’s lives. This has and never will be all about making huge profits or buying a big mansion for me, it’s about giving back when I can and being a Kindness Ninja. This is important to me.

And ultimately, I want to work towards having my own design studio that can produce all my prints, designs and mugs, all in-house and expand into a range of paper goods like greeting cards / notebooks / journals and into some other home décor ranges.

Ainsley and Kat