Catherina Walrond is a Toronto-based freelance designer and a graduate of the Class of 2014 Fashion Communications program at Ryerson University.
Growing up in the GTA, Walrond didn’t have much exposure to creativity. Her older brother and sister –although not creatives themselves— were actually the ones who sparked her interest in art. Her brother would obsess over Dragon Ball-Z characters and draw fan art of them in battle, and her sister was a bubble letter connoisseur. As the youngest child who aspired to be just like her older siblings, Walrond did what most artists do when starting off and copied what she saw her siblings illustrating.
Soon this developed into a passion and she has been drawing and lettering ever since. Her favourite mediums to use are pencil when lettering because of the flexibility of sketching and erasing with pencil, but for finals she prefers pens and brush pens. If painting, Walrond sticks to acrylic paint because she finds she is able to mix and fix colours in a way that she can't with other paints.
Today, Walrond’s biggest inspirations are Ricardo Gonzalez and Raul Alejandro, both incredible letterers and designers who she follows religiously on social media. Particularly, she aspires to be like New York based letterer and type designer, Jessica Hische, who has worked for the likes of Wes Anderson and Penguin Books. Cat is a huge fan of Hische’s ability to fluctuate between many artistic styles depending on the project she’s working on, and admires Hische for the intricacy of her letters. Walrond’s favorite project of Hische’s is her Drop Caps Project for Penguin Books, for which she designed covers for 26 classic books using the letters of the alphabet.
Before Walrond becomes Toronto’s own Jessica Hische, she would love to design letterings for shops around the city and create beautiful chalkboard menus for the most delicious of restaurants and cafes. Ultimately, she hopes to combine her passion for reading and design in the hopes of becoming a book designer. Walrond is an extreme bookworm and loves to read anything she can get her hands on. Through her love of reading, she developed a deep appreciation for book designs and believes that no matter what anyone says, you actually do really judge a book by its cover. She loves the idea of being able to reflect the words inside a book through what you see on the outside, and in that way, Walrond believes books are kind of like people. We dress and express ourselves on the outside the way they feel and identify on the inside.
The collection of lettering designs was inspired by song lyrics. The songs evoke certain feelings when she listens to them, and Walrond then expresses those feelings through lettering, using specific colours and a particular medium. If she finds a certain style of lettering on the Internet that speaks to her, she will try to learn from it and incorporate it somehow. Her process of completing a lettering design is comprised of a few steps: she will first listen to the song over and over and then doodle in her sketch book. From that comes the lyric and the style she will use. Once she sees a doodle that she likes, she tries to sketch it in more detail. For the final copy, she uses a ruler to measure out heights and then draws the letters. She favors using Copic multiliner pens mainly for outlines, and Tombow markers for colouring in spaces.
Her favorite piece out of this series of letterings is ‘I believe in a thing called love’, the eponymous title of a song by The Darkness. As much as she hates to admit it, she considers herself a hopeless romantic and does believe a lot in love, not only in romantic love, but in a considerate, caring love among human beings. She wanted the letters to reflect the powerful rock ballad and look as if they were blossoming on the page.