This Typography Artist Is Wholly Inspired By Graffiti

Designer and artist Ricardo Gonzalez is known online by his tag: “It’s a living,” explaining that this isn’t just a simple statement for him but a whole philosophy of life. Born in Durango, México, and currently living in Brooklyn, Gonzalez’s script style can be easily recognized, splashed on anything from large-scale murals to small-sized stickers. He also works commercially, collaborating with brands as big as Apple, Armani Exchange, Nike, Mercedes Benz, and Google.

A master of type, his direct approach of typography questions our ways of life with the aim of producing a positive impact. “I have been working with type as a profession for a few years, but I discovered calligraphy when I was in middle school,” he recalled in an interview with We Heart. “Since then, I was always doodling on my notes — and graffiti has continued to be an influence.”

As for his inspiration, he describes it as “a weird mix.” “Somehow I manage to merge my interests and draw inspiration from them,” he adds. “I started to do calligraphy on my own earlier on in life. I was lucky in Mexico that this was taught to us, starting in elementary school. I never thought it was a profession, so I just did it because I enjoyed it. I was also exposed to lettering through my grandfather — after seeing photos of his work in the 1940s and ’50s.”

Having studied graphic design in school, sharpened his technical skills and gave him the opportunity to go to school for typeface design and attend workshops. “Some of the tools I use to create come back to graffiti and how it has influenced me over the years,” he says. “I also like to experiment with the combination of digital and analog; handmade and contemporary.”

Take a look at some of his original artwork: