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Love in the Time of Hysteria | Newsletter

Since antiquity, the term “hysteria” has been applied to a wide variety of both physical and emotional ailments. What all these ailments have in common, however, was that they were diagnosed as hysteria only when they affected women. The word “hysteria” comes from the ancient Greek “hystera,” meaning “uterus,” […] via The Metropolitan Opera


For this month’s newsletter, I am sharing love and I’m sharing hysteria, both from incredibly talented women in our industry.

On July fourth, my partner and I celebrated our 14th anniversary together. Yes, fourteen years together is quite a number! Specially because thirteen of these years, we have spent them co-living with friends and other humans.

Because we designed a life for ourselves with clear priorities: a low-cost way of living allowing us plenty of room to play, take risks, run our independent businesses, and facilitate travelling time to nurture ourselves and our practises.

How has it been?
In short: financially smart, incredibly rich, fun, crazy at times, and during Covid, extremely challenging.

In February this year, Rob and I temporarily left the big smoke and have been experiencing regional life for the first time. It has been quite a change to say the least, but trading Ngár-go’s (Fitzroy) culture by Birpai Country’s stunning nature has been healing. Above all, living on our own for the first time in 12 years has been the sweetest of the honeymoons.

We are currently on the move again: packing, booking travel insurance, printing international vaccination certificates, and getting hysterically excited about our next steps. The plan is open, and we don’t have a clear roadmap yet, except from landing in Barcelona on August 18th, and keep operating our businesses remotely as we have been doing since 2020.

Rob and I are a mid-forties couple with no kids, whose been living with housemates for over 25 years each. We don’t know anyone of our age travelling life in this way, so we are learning by doing. Anyone else out there?


Below, I am sharing a couple of projects recently published; my new pair of custom deck designs; my next online calligraphy courses, and an important post supporting women and their choices.

On the third section of this letter, you’ll find three resources, starting with a loving article on type and searching for meaning by the talented Diana Weissman.

Much love, Maria xx


Reproduction Rights Are Human Rights

[Post from 2019, sadly f*ckin’ relevant again.]

Because everyday is International Women’s Day, this post is to support women and their choices, and to express profound anger, frustration and disagreement at all politicians who think they can have an opinion —worse, a law— on what to do with our bodies. #handsoffmypussy

The final decision should be left up to the person with the uterus and their doctor. No one else.

Overturning Roe v. Wade does not stop abortions, it stops safe abortions. People are going to die because of this overturn.


Type Design Education For Graphic Designers | Public Lecture

Recently, I gave an online guest lecture part of the “Principles of Typeface Design” class lead by Troy Leinster at Type@Copper in New York City.

I decided to make this presentation public as I thought it could be beneficial to other graphic design students and mid-career practitioners interested in learning more about typography and typeface design, but not seeing themselves becoming full-time type designers.


Operetta Hysteria by Nina Utashiro

A few months ago I collaborated with designer and art director Darren Oorloff and producer Rew Kubayashi crafting a custom lettering for the new up and coming Nina Utashiro’s work. Her EP called Operetta Hysteria has just been released this week.

Check the latest meticulously crafted single called Nocturne by this incredibly talented and multidisciplinary Tokyo-based woman.



Hand-Painted Skateboard Deck Design


In 2013, I designed a pair of decks for my partner and I sixth anniversary together. Rob used to skate and due to a knee injury, he now only collects decks. At some point, we had more than forty decks handing from one of our walls at home.

Many moons have passed since our sixth anniversary, and in recent years I have created the habit of designing a pair of decks for our anniversaries. Each pair of skateboards reflect the emotions and state of affairs of our relationship.

For our 14th year’s anniversary, I wanted to reflect the landscape we are currently surrounded by, and the excitement we feel for our upcoming travelling plans.

Check my past custom deck designs.

Six / Sis
Nine / Nou
Ten / Deu
Eleven / Onze
Twelve / Dotze
Thirteen / Tretze

Online Intro to Copperplate Calligraphy (Level 1)


July 31 & August 7, 14, 21
4pm to 6pm AEDT

8h to 10h CEST
Level 1: Beginners and intermediate students
4 Sundays (MEL afternoons / BCN mornings)


This 8-hour Intro to Copperplate calligraphy courses runs in a webinar format via Zoom. I record each session and you are able to review the videos later on, and for those of you living in a different time zone.

— 4pm to 6pm AEDT / UTC+10
— 4 Sunday afternoons
— Videos available to watch for 2 months
— Materials list supplied
— Personal class notes provided
— Handouts sent in advance
— Copperplate minuscule and simpler capitals
— No calligraphy experience required
— Q&A session after each class
— 1 spot for a BIPOC student available
— Every lesson is recorded and uploaded 3 hours after each class

Work out your Time Zone Conversion here.
Book your spot

Online Copperplate Variations (Level 2)


September 28 & October 5, 12, 19, 26
6 to 8pm AEDT
10h to 12h CEST
Level 2: Intermediate
5 Wednesdays (MEL evenings / BCN mornings)


My next Copperplate Variations course starts on September 28. For the first time in 8 years, this course will run on a school night from 6 to 8pm (Australia time), or from 10h to 12h (European time). The second difference is that this course runs along 5 classes, going into more detail. Credit: Photography by Jimena Cueva.

Learn more.


Woman’s Search for Meaning by Diana Weissman via Alphabettes

In a prison cell in Turkey sits an award-winning artist and visual journalist. With little sunlight and few materials, he creates astonishing art. This powerful essay by Greg Manifold, creative director at The Washington Post, tells Fevzi Yazıcı’s story.

I am breathtaken at Fevzi’s courage and persistence. His latest artwork, limited to pencils and pens, is astounding. I think of Viktor Frankl’s words: “What then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement.” Read the full article.


Sarah Firth | Think on The Page

How do you handle the uncertainty and flux that come with being a creative professional? When you’re faced with a blank page, where do you start?

These liminal spaces can be scary. But they can also be the launching point for fresh thinking and creativity. Sarah Firth (she/her) is an award-winning cartoonist, artist and writer, speaker and graphic recorder. She’s well known for wrestling with relatable and challenging topics in her work, getting into the frustrations, humour, tragedies, and unexpected magic of the everyday, as she attempts to live the questions.


Font Fashion Week: Fello;
A new geometric sans with an unexpected twist via I Love Typography

Australian typeface designer, letterer and educator Wayne Thompson of Australian Type Foundry presents his latest font release called Fello, a beautiful geometric sans with a great personality.