Art & Type: Holli Conger

Holli Conger is a  self described graphic artist, writer, photographer, illustrator, typographer, mother, and wife. She has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and advertising but finds much of her inspiration within her home.
Holli was one of three artists we interviewed for the Summer 2014 issue of Surround Yourself. She stands out because words and typography influence her work in so many different ways. Outside of the art she creates, Holli is an amazing photographer with an intriguing collection of letterpress blocks, typewriter keys, and other vintage items. Her photographs of these pieces contain decades of history about how print has been used to communicate. We got a chance to talk with her about why she continues to be inspired by the history of typography.


Do you think good typography is invisible and bad typography is everywhere?
Good typography should be invisible–meaning your eye should flow throughout the design and not get hung up on the type. If it’s bad, it stands out in the design and you lose the intent and focus.
When using words in art, do you think less is more?
I have a lot going on in my work; I use a lot of detail. I tend to cram in as much as I can without it looking too jumbled. It creates this eclectic mix of font styles and different materials for the words to rest on.

What do you like about working with photographs and illustration?
I like that they’re totally different forms of art. Illustration is my passion and photography allows me to take a break by capturing beauty that already exists. I collect pieces that have a history. Then I try to photograph them as art by showing details like wood letterpress blocks with residual ink on them or metal blocks that are worn and shiny.
What inspires you to make words part of your art and environment?
My design background cultivated my love for type, but I’m just a creative person. My entire family is creative. That shows in our environment–the way we live, how the house is decorated, the kids’ approach to homework, the bright colors, and children’s artwork everywhere.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More personal art! I haven’t done as much lately due to work deadlines and family commitments. This year I REALLY want to get back into it. I’d like to write and illustrate more children’s books and create new product lines. I still take pictures, but I have ideas for a phase two of the letterpress project. My wish list is never boring!
View more of Holli’s work on Great Big Canvas! You can also learn more about her illustrations at