Nancy McCabe


  • Chartis Graphein


Typography is art… well for most designers it is anyways. Most of the time typography is overlooked and unappreciated, but for designers it is something that is precious and loved. It is the perfect curve in a character or finding just the right font for just the right word. It is letterpress, wood block and hand lettering. It is in all those small details that we find true artistry. Most of my work reflects that attention to detail. I tend to draw inspiration upon that old world craftsmanship—muted colors and tactile inks and papers. However, I always find balance between the new and old, bringing a fresh perspective to each piece I create.

To me a map is the perfect example of infography, typography and design at it’s best. I’ve collect dozens of maps over the years and never get tired of them. The organic geography mixed with structured grids is the ultimate design combination. When I started designing Chartis Graphein I knew I wanted it to be mostly typographic. I really wanted to showcase the letterpressed typography and have it display as an art print as well as a functioning map. I think that is what typeforce did perfectly, it melded the idea of visual communication with the conceptual. It forced you to look at and understand information in a new light and I’m honored to have been apart of it.


McCabe is a Midwest gal, originally from Minneapolis and who now resides in Chicago. She has always had her hand in some form of the visual arts—watercolor, photography, illustration, screen-printing and experimenting with mixed media. All these experiences have helped her become a well-rounded designer, and has pushed her to try new things all the time. She has a keen eye for composition, a passion for detail, and an unhealthy obsession with typography.

Nancy pursued her love for design at mcad (Min­neapolis College of Art and Design). After receiving her bfa in Graphic Design, her thirst for knowledge and adventure had not yet been satisfied. She then decided to study abroad in Milan Italy at the Scuola Politecnica di Design, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Visual Comunicazione.

After her time in Italy came to an end, Nancy came
back to Chicago and was hired at Costello Com­munications. As a designer at there, Nancy contin­ues to hone her skills and to find fresh ways to express her ideas. She works on an array of projects, from web and print design, to naming and branding. When she is not in front of the computer, Nancy enjoys biking around the city and is always in search of the best tacos and jukeboxes.


Letterpressed poster