On January 30th, MFA Design students got a glimpse into typographer, illustrator, author and prop-maker, Ross Macdonald’s prolific and fascinating career. Ross has truly done it all — from illustrating for the New York Times book review to creating the titular Book of Secrets for National Treasure II: Book of Secrets.
Ross began operating a letter press with his brother at the age of sixteen. He then went on to author and illustrate four children’s books and create editorial illustrations for the likes of Vanity Fair. Throughout his career, Ross had developed a set of skills including: expertise in typographic history, ability to conduct unorthodox research, illustration skills and impeccable craftsmanship. Ross soon found that the film industry had an appetite for his unique set of skills.
Ross regaled students with his fascinating Hollywood tales including the time in which he burned type into goat leather to imitate a tome bound by human skin.
Students were absolutely enthralled by Ross’ genre defying work.