Sara Wong
Product Design


A typeface design for Melissa Chessher, an outstanding writer and journalist.


Assigned a muse, this typeface was created for Professor Melissa Chessher, Director of Magazine, Newspaper & Online Journalism at Syracuse University.

‘Chessher’ is a novelty typeface created with a Japanese pen brush. Brush strokes were then scanned and digitalized in Glyphs Mini software. After it was created into a downloadable typeface by kerning each letter in more than 500 combinations.



In order to create a typeface that fully represented and respect Ms. Chessher, I conducted one-to-one Interview with her and sat in one of Ms. Chessher’s 3-hour lecture. After drafting several mood boards later, I had a late-night phone call, several emails, and finally came to a conclusion.

The Process

In order to create a typeface that is fully representative of Melissa, I decided to create a novelty brush stroke typeface. Despite the fact that I wasn’t supposed to create a novelty font, I petitioned for this in order to do Melissa justice.

Went out and bought a Japanese brush pen and then made a template on Microsoft Word to give myself some guidance. I then spent every minute in-between class and work breaks to experiment with various letters forms.

After many iterations of feedback rounds, I then scanned each letter into illustrator to adjust color issues and then moved into Photoshop to edit each pixel till cohesive letters started forming. Each letter was then kerned and created into a font for use.

The Result

Drawing inspiration from the interviews filled with conversations of Basquiat and Alice in Wonderland, I create a two-piece exhibition piece that reflects Melissa’s expressive and thoughtful character. The first piece showcases the alphabet, the second piece is one of Melissa’s favorite quotes that I find quite fitting for this typeface!

The typeface was exhibited in a university wide show and featured on Syracuse University news.