Artist Interview – Jason Carne

Jason Carne is a lettering artist and graphic designer with a focus on print and packaging operating out of his home studio in Saylorsburg, PA — represented globally by Atomsmasher.

Jason has over a decade of experience in both print and logo design with a penchant for decorative and ornate lettering. In addition to his freelance designer career, Jason owns and operates a display type foundry called Carmel Type Co. where he works with some of the finest sign artists in the world to sell unique, decorative typefaces in addition to also running a carefully curated designer resource website called Lettering Library that digitizes antiquarian publications on lettering and sign-painting for the modern day artist.

Jason Carne’s work has been featured in several books, including the popular publications “Drawing Type: An Introduction to Illustrating Letterforms” and “Ascenders Volume One”. He’s an alumni speaker of the Creative South design conference in Columbus, Georgia and Weapons of Mass Creation Fest in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s been interviewed by several high profile websites like The Dieline, HOW, and Calligritype, and was a finalist in the inaugural Ink Wars event.


What made you become an artist?

As far back as I can remember I always leaned into art as a form of expression, but it didn’t click that it was a viable career option until around 2007 when friends in local bands started hiring me to draw their logos, flyers, and album covers. I wasn’t making a lot of money or anything back then, I probably did most of it for free or close to it, but it was the first time I felt like I was truly enjoying what I was doing.

Nothing will ever replace pencil and paper for me when it comes to ideation

How would you describe your art style in one sentence?

Victorian-era extravagance with a healthy dash of modern restraint.

Where do you find inspiration?
Mostly from the past, I’m obsessed with hand painted signage, vintage ephemera, ornate architecture, old labels and packaging, pennants, oddball advertising, etc.

 

What are your favorite tools?
Nothing will ever replace pencil and paper for me when it comes to ideation, but Adobe Illustrator and Glyphs are the two programs I couldn’t live without for commissions and commercial work.

 

Who is your favorite artist and why?
My favorite living artist is Dave Smith, he’s just a master of so many disciplines in a way that’s exceedingly rare and with an attention to detail and craft that’s unparralled.

What superpower would you love to have and why?
Super intelligence (like Dr. Manhattan for example) where you could basically solve any world or personal issue with just a little thought and time.

 

Which song is currently on top of your playlist?
Genesis Owusu’s “Smiling With No Teeth” album in full, but particularly the track “The Other Black Dog” has been getting an insane amount of play for me.

 

What advice would you give to young artists starting out?
Do personal passion projects that reflect the kind of work you want to be hired for, make genuine connections with your peers (sharing their work is an easy way to start up a conversation), and just treat people well - those 3 things will take you very far.


Want to see more of their work?
Have a look at Jason's Artist Edition.