a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well. (Oxford Dictionary)
There’s a lot in front of us—a global pandemic, an overdue racial justice movement, and pernicious immigration regulations just a few among them. This is why, for the release of Rapport, I chose to highlight the meaning of the word “rapport” rather than specific characters/features of the typeface. It seemed like a good opportunity to send a positive message, despite everything that’s happening. We could all use a little more rapport right now.
The phrase I wanted to use, “build rapport,” came before the illustration. According to this message, I wanted my illustration to show the process of building something. The idea of using bricks, the building blocks of a lot of things, came to mind first, but I arrived at the Tetris theme for its potential to be more playful and colorful. The beauty of a riso print comes from its vibrant colors and unique, somehow nostalgic texture, and I wanted to take full advantage of what the medium does so well.
Playing Tetris is all about changing the orientation and destination of the blocks based on what has already been stacked up. This mirrors the way in which we build rapport—shifting our perspectives and approaches as we understand the context and each other’s story. When we do successfully communicate with and understand each other, the wall ching! clears, like in a well-played game of Tetris.
For production, I worked with Elaine Lopez, whose friendship I cherish and skills I admire. After experimenting on her own machine—fondly referred to as “Choriso”—Elaine then worked with Risolve, a fantastic Pennsylvania-based risograph studio with streamlined processes and state-of-art facilities, to bring the print to life.
This project turned into something much more meaningful than what it would’ve been had I done everything myself. And this is the lesson that I continue to return to: it’s just as much about the people you work with as the work itself. Building a good rapport is critical to making good work. So I’d like to thank Elaine for enabling a long-distance collaboration and Risolve for generously accommodating this project.
How to Get a Print
We’re giving these prints away to the first 100 people who license Rapport, through October. You can purchase any number of styles. Buying just one weight counts! License Rapport now via TypeNetwork.
To get a print, just send a screenshot of your order confirmation and your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll be all set. We hope you enjoy it!
— The Occupants