KATE WIDDOWS is an independent letterer and typographer with two decades experience in the design industry. Kate works with organizations, solopreneurs, and fellow creatives to craft impactful brand identities; original neon signs; and polished documents, from annual reports to conference presentations to pitch decks.

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Kate has developed custom typographic logos for the festival, startup, marketing, real estate, retail, television, music, and healing arts industries. She’s designed typefaces for Nike; record covers for Sublime Frequencies and Drag City; neon signs for bars, art shows, and cinemas; and neon GIFs for the Huffington Post, Selena Gomez, and Comic Strips TV show. A pioneer of animated neon lettering for the web, Kate’s original neon GIFs have exhibited internationally at design festivals, art galleries, and parties, and she teaches a Skillshare class on the subject. Kate has also helped several nonprofits and solopreneurs impress audiences with professional-looking reports and presentations.

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 design conferences, and given interviews for television, podcasts, and articles on the subject of typography and neon. Kate co-produces the annual Neon Speaks festival in San Francisco, and lives and works in Portland, Oregon, where she leads neon walking tours 6 times a year.

Kate has current WBE/ESB certification in the state of Oregon.


Selected Clients

NIKE

THE HUFFINGTON POST 

SELENA GOMEZ

DRAG CITY RECORDS

SUBLIME FREQUENCIES 

NEON SPEAKS FESTIVAL

BEGIN LABS 



QUEEN SHMOOQUAN

HAPPY LUCKY DESIGN

SIR RICHARD BISHOP

POLER

YETI MAGAZINE

PECK PROPERTIES

HIVE FX


DUWAMISH REVEALED

ABDUCTION RECORDS

VAYA CREATIVE

SCARLET FOUNDRY TAROT

TERESA LAUGHLIN

SCOUT STORY LAB

GESTALT GRAPHICS


Speaking Engagements

I'm available to give talks on the subject of neon, typography, and animated GIFs. Inquire here.

Neon Speaks 2018

I co-produced the Neon Speaks Festival & Symposium in 2018 & 2019 with my neon buddies, San Francisco Neon. In 2018 I gave a talk on typography and my process for neon GIF making...

Neon Speaks 2019

...and in 2019 about what I learned trying to save a large neon sign.

Typographics 2017

I was invited to speak at Typographics 2017 in the TypeLab – the first half covered what led me to making neon GIFs and how I fell in love with neon signs; the second half was a demo on making custom-lettered GIFs, from initial pencil sketch to final animation and output. I also wrote a blog piece for the conference.

 


Walking Tours

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.

I also created a Neon Map + Poster of Portland which you can buy here.

 


Education

I teach a pretty darn awesome Skillshare class called Electric Letterland: Building Animated Neon Lettering for Blogs & Websites. Join me and learn to make neon GIFs!

 


Blogs

My French neon GIF project, Neon Franco-Type, is on tumblr, and has been featured on Tumblr Radar several times.

My other tumblr, Eye Contact, is more like a regular old-fashioned blog. Tons of neon photos, project updates, and inspirations.

 


Instagram