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.
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 created a Skillshare class on the subject, which was active for 5 years. 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.
THE HUFFINGTON POST
DRAG CITY RECORDS
NEON SPEAKS FESTIVAL
HAPPY LUCKY DESIGN
SIR RICHARD BISHOP
SCARLET FOUNDRY TAROT
SCOUT STORY LAB
I'm available to give talks on the subject of neon, typography, and animated GIFs. Inquire here.
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!