What mattered to me

After deciding to become a graphic designer at some point during the first 23 years of my life in Siberia, I remember spending my days alone, in front of a computer: taking online classes, watching design conferences, and making self-initiated projects. I preferred to avoid client work that didn’t show promise in favor of my own, made-up assignments that would look good in my book. Instead of collaborating with people around me, I focused on getting better at my craft with as few distractions as possible. It seems that eventually I got what I wanted: I made a portfolio good enough to move to New York. 

Like many other designers, in March I saw my projects getting called off one after another, bookings cancelled, and email quieting down. Not yet understanding how the disease spread, I was horrified to step outside my small Manhattan apartment. Without pets or family to take care of, or even a decent view out of my window, I was stuck in front of a computer again.

This time around, however trite that might sound, I find contributing to something people would see or use the most rewarding. A lifetime in graphic or type design would never make a difference like doctors, activists, or teachers do, but how could I be even the tiniest, slightest bit helpful?

I am grateful for all my client assignments, no matter how small. 

For getting invited to give feedback on portfolios and projects by students, recent graduates, or anyone looking for advice. 

For opportunities to speak at conferences like Typographics and TypeWeekend, and especially at events at colleges and universities.

For all conversations, workshops, classes, streams, and slacks I was a part of.

Fittingly, I will also remember 2020 as the year I joined Alphabettes. Thank you so much for welcoming me here.


Bye, 2020! Love, Irina

Bette(r) Days celebrates the things that did not suck in 2020. Each day in December, we’ll be posting about the highlights of our collective garbage fire of a year, type-related or not.