KATE WIDDOWS is an independent designer and letterer with two decades experience in the design industry. Kate works with organizations, solopreneurs, and fellow creatives to craft impactful brand identities; original neon signs; sharp publications and pitch decks; and dynamic infographics.
Born and raised in “downstate” New York, Kate currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Kate has built vibrant visuals for a wide array of industries, including healthcare, governmental, nonprofit, engineering, real estate, startup, outdoor, festival, cannabis, retail, food and beverage, bar and restaurant, publishing, sports, television, and music.
Past projects include lettering art for Dunkin’ (Donuts); typefaces for Nike jerseys; neon signs for bars, retail shops, and cinemas; brand identity and publications for the Neon Speaks Festival; neon GIFs for The Huffington Post and Selena Gomez; branding and social media for Alameda County’s Health Department; and record covers for Sublime Frequencies and Drag City Records.
An early career in the newspaper and book publishing industries naturally spawned a type-centric practice, and Kate’s passion for letters permeates her life, guiding her travel destinations and wine purchases. She’s presented at TypeCon, Typographics, Design Week, Neon Speaks, and other events, and given interviews for television, podcasts, and articles on the subject of typography and neon. Kate is a former co-producer of the annual Neon Speaks festival in San Francisco and occasionally leads neon walking tours in Portland. She also co-founded PDX Neon, a vintage neon advocacy group.
Kate has current WBE/ESB certification in the state of Oregon.
- THE HUFFINGTON POST
- SELENA GOMEZ
- DRAG CITY RECORDS
- SUBLIME FREQUENCIES
- NEON SPEAKS FESTIVAL
- BEGIN LABS
- QUEEN SHMOOQUAN
- HAPPY LUCKY DESIGN
- SIR RICHARD BISHOP
- YETI MAGAZINE
- PECK PROPERTIES
- HIVE FX
- DUWAMISH REVEALED
- ABDUCTION RECORDS
- VAYA CREATIVE
- TERESA LAUGHLIN
- SCOUT STORY LAB
- GESTALT GRAPHICS
I was interviewed on live TV on Portland's KATU station on the show Afternoon Live, on October 4, 2019, where I describe how I came to love neon, my animated neon GIF series, and Portland's unique collection of historic neon signs.
I love Thai music and non-latin alphabets, so my trip to Thailand in 2013 was a splendid feast. See the results of 2 months of travel in SILLY FARANG: Music & Typography in Eastern Thailand.
I led a group of type nerds on a summertime neon walking tour for TypeCon 2018, when the conference came to Portland for its 20th anniversary. Portland has some gorgeous vintage neon, which I love to show locals and travelers alike. It was a fun tour and so I decided to offer it on a regular basis!
Go here to find out when the next tour is, and sign up for the Electric Letterland newsletter. Back issues can be perused here.
I also created a Neon Map + Poster of Portland which you can buy here.