Vagus Magazine Summer 2021 Feature Story
Tom Cunningham is an Australian-based typeface designer specializing in unique display fonts.
Byron Bay, Australia
Through his New Tropical Design studio, he creates elegant single-weight typefaces that can be sold to graphic designers and design studios.
Typeface: Future Classic
When did you develop an interest in designing typefaces and how long have you been producing creative fonts?
I started as a freelance designer and moved into digital product design (logo, templates, and graphics). From there, I moved into typeface design as I loved unique typography and thought there was space for more interesting typefaces in the market. I have been doing this full-time for about 3 years now.
What was the inspiration that fueled the creation of your design studio?
I live in a small town. Without any opportunities to join an existing studio, I started my own for the sole purpose of needing a job.
Who are the members of the New Tropical Design team? Do you collaborate with other designers?
It’s mostly me. I have a few contractors who I use to help out with the boring stuff and I sometimes collaborate with lettering artists to make some fun typefaces.
New Tropical Design is located in Australia, a beautiful country surrounded by water and beaches. The typefaces have a curvature that resembles waves, and therefore prompt the question: do your surroundings and experiences influence the work you create?
100%. Nature is the best designer and it’s full of unique curves. It’s not interested in being perfect and that’s part of its beauty. If you look for inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram, you will just end up looking like everyone else. In nature you will find something new every day.