The Monthly Interview: Jessica Hische

In our latest monthly interview we speak to designer and illustrator Jessica Hische, who has built a hugely successful career spanning commercial work, books and even retail. Here, she reflects on her life and work and how the industry has changed during her career

It’s Jessica Hische’s 40th birthday on the day we meet. She is spending this ‘big’ birthday in Barcelona with her family, because she is headlining the main stage at Offf Festival in the evening, where she will share advice and experiences from her career to date, framed within the different decades of her life.

This blurring of life, work and family feels apt for Hische, who is open about how much these different elements are intertwined in her practice, which is vast and eclectic. She is perhaps most renowned for her lettering, type design and illustration, but she has also published kids’ books, and runs two bricks-and-mortar stores near her home in Oakland, California. In addition, she teaches, speaks at conferences, and has a 200,000+ following on Instagram.

When describing her work, she still returns to her design roots, however. “It’s still lettering; commercial lettering, logo work, advertisements, things like that. Because most of the other things that I do are … more self-authored. I don’t want people to come to me to create a brick-and-mortar store for them. Those are things that I just do for myself as part of my business, but in terms of interfacing with clients it’s the same old story and the majority of my work is commercial lettering work.”

Top: Jessica Hische speaking at Offf Festival in Barcelona in April; Above: Poster for Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret