Neil is known by most as our animator extraordinaire. Most days you’ll find him at this desk blaring Wu-Tang Clan, knee deep in After Effects.
But as a master hand letterer, he doesn’t spend all of this time on his mac. Instead, he’s doodling in his sketchbook serving up regular inspiration on his Instagram (@neil_kainth).
So tell us mate, what got you into lettering?
I think it’s because I had a specific idea for a design but after hours of searching through shitty font websites I just couldn’t find something that fit. Instead, I started lettering and everything just grew from there.
How would you describe your creative aesthetic?
The styles vary though it’s all based on making something that’s unique. I like the very gritty, innate hand-lettering for some purposes but sometimes something cleaner fits a lot more.
Hand lettering requires discipline, would you classify yourself as a disciplined designer?
Sort of. It depends on the context as there are styles I really like where you have to give up control, and the perfect design may come the at the 1st attempt or the 500th.
Overall patience is pretty important. You end up going through constant iterations when things don’t feel right, and because you look at letters every day it’s easy to know that somethings wrong but finding out what is wrong is another task.
Are there any materials/mediums you’d like to experiment with that you haven’t before?
Making murals is definitely the next thing I want to get started on. I just need to find the perfect shade of white that my landlord used then I can go crazy and experiment.
What are the best and most challenging parts of your work?
Everything. When it’s not challenging I get more and more bored.
What’s your favorite letter in the alphabet to work with?
How do you get inspired when you feel creatively stuck? Where do you find inspiration?
Skimming through a couple of pages of the lettering books I have more often than not gets me somewhere. Other than that there’s random walks, listening to music, being on the toilet, scrolling through Instagram and the other usual stuff.
Looking through your portfolio, music is quite evident throughout your work? Can you explain why this is the case? What are you listening to at the moment?
It happened quite naturally, I listen to a lot of hip hop where there’s an abundance of words so it fit quite easily with lettering. Right now I’m listening to Big Krit – 4eva is a Mighty Long Time and EarthGang – Strays with Rabies.
Thanks Neil, you’re the best.
Interviewed by Ingrid