Dana Tanamachi – Chalk Letterer and teacher in the beauty of transcience…

There is something magical in this day and age about receiving a hand written invitation.

Maybe it’s because the person went to so much extra trouble, maybe because there is something so much more beautiful in the handmade and hand created…


Dana Tanamachi (image by Spencer Heyfron for the Wall Street Journal)


I think that might be why I am so drawn (no pun intended) to the work of Dana Tanamachi.

She is so much more than a graphic designer, artist or custom chalk letterer.


Installation at the Ace Hotel, New York (Image by Dana Tanamachi)


Window by Dana Tanamachi for Ralph Lauren Rugby Store 390 Bleecker St, New York (image from Dana Tanamachi)


I like to imagine that her passion for working with chalk came as a result of endless Bart Simpson-esq punishment. I picture her having to write endless lines on the blackboard at school.


Bart Simpson Blackboard Opening (image from The Simpsons)


The typography styles she is able to create is amazing. Anyone who has ever had to write lines on the blackboard (just like the A-Team, I was punished for a crime I did not commit) will appreciate just how hard it is to take it to the next level and do what she does.


Front Cover of O Magazine February 2012 (image from O Magazine)


What I really admire is that she doesn’t seal her work. In a heartbeat it can be gone forever. Once completed, its life may only last hours. It’s as if its destruction is inevitable, it makes this piece of art so much more precious.

Like the Cherry Blossom in Japan – that fact that you only have one week to enjoy the trees in full bloom, makes them so much more prized and the experience of seeing them so much more special.


Cherry Blossoms, Japan (image by Michael S. Yamashita)


I am passionate about the acceptance of transience in design. It is one of the things that I love about Wabi Sabi – nothing lasts…

I like that things can age, have a life and don’t have to last forever.


“The Best Things in Life are Meant to be Shared” – custom design for a wedding reception (image from Dana Tanamachi)


Too often, design is focused on creating this perfect moment and then freezing it in a bid to hold onto it. It is impossible if you want the space to be used and enjoyed. Yet it is the very experience of a space being used that gives it its soul.

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