Visiting with David Mayes of Typecraft

David Mayes is a Sales Representative at Typecraft, a Pasadena based printer with a history of strong collaborations with designers. In the past, he has served AIGA LA as Treasurer, Education Director, and Development Director. He was named an AIGA LA Fellow in 2012.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Typecraft and spend the afternoon with David Mayes. We talked about his achievements and career with AIGA, how he started in printing, and his exciting exhibition Pushing the Press.

LAUREN FORBES | You are one of the first printers to join the AIGA Los Angeles board. Why become part of the board and how has this experience been fulfilling for you?
DAVID MAYES | It’s been fulfilling because I feel I’ve found a community of fun, interesting, intelligent and creative people. The print work that people are doing is fascinating to me and being on the board has given me the opportunity to work with some of the most talented designers in Los Angeles. Working with the board on programs and initiatives for the design community has been very gratifying. This has given me the opportunity to meet many designers from around the country.

How do you view your role as a leader in the Los Angeles print community and in the AIGA community? How have those complimented each other?
I don’t know if I see myself as a leader, certainly not in the print community. My involvement is much more in the design community than the print community. I’m reluctant to call myself a leader in the design community. I more want to serve. I want to educate designers on how to work with printers. I want to focus on education, which has been a natural thing for me. For example the Printing 101 classes that I’ve done for AIGA, Art Center, USC and other schools.

Since becoming involved with AIGA in 1997, is there one thing that stands out that you are the most proud of?
Yes, receiving the Fellow Award. It was humbling and touching to be acknowledged by the community for the work I’ve done during my 10 years on the board from 2002-2012.

You received the AIGA Fellow award in 2012. How did you feel receiving that and how has it inspired you in the years since?
I was deeply honored and moved by the award. I think receiving that acknowledgment from the community empowered me and informed my desire to honor the community. That empowerment and desire came together in the Pushing The Press exhibition, which would not have happened without Haven Lin-Kirk and Steve Child.

I know I’m excited for the Pushing the Press event on January 28th. How excited are you to be one of the featured speakers?
I’m humbled to be sharing the stage with Sean Adams and Kim Baer. It’s amazing to me. I’m extremely grateful to Kim and Sean for being a part of this project and I honestly hope that this exhibition contributes to the print design community in LA because the community has given so much to me.

Are there any projects you have coming up that you are excited about?
Yes. Today we’re printing a book with Stefan Bucher for L.A. Louver on Keinholz’s Televisions. It has a metallic silver and spot gloss varnish on Sappi McCoy Silk paper. It’s going to be a beautiful book.

How did you know you wanted to work in print? Was there a specific moment you can remember? Or is this something you have always been passionate about?
Not at all. Choosing printing really was kind of an accident. It wasn’t an intentional thing. It was something to study to get me through the Job Corps program. When I finished I had a certificate so I could go to a print shop and apply for a job.

If there was one piece of advice you could offer for designers, what would it be?
Establish thorough, clear, and detailed communication with your printer early on about your projects because printing can be so complicated. It’s always a challenge to make sure that all the details come out correctly. There are an incredible number of pieces that we’ve printed that you can be inspired by and learn from in the Pushing the Press exhibition because the best designers in LA have done them. Please take advantage of this collection to help make your print designs better.

To find out more about Typecraft and Pushing The Press, check out: , and

Lauren Forbes is the Communications Co-Director of AIGA LA

By AIGA Los Angeles
Published January 25, 2016
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