Mike Gold worked as a commercial lettering designer for over 30 years, mostly in the social expressions business. But his real passion is exploring the corridors of calligraphy that have been less traveled, the path where words and letters are design elements with which to play with line, shape and form, where creating a visual statement is more important than writing a readable text. In both his professional and personal art, Mike breaks traditional rules to create contemporary, non-traditional work.
Collaboration has been a feature of some of his personal work. He especially cherishes the work and teaching he did with Judy Melvin and his 25-year involvement with Scribes 8, a collaborative group based in New Mexico. Over the last 15 years or so Mike has worked mostly on his own, developing a practice that builds on the traditions of the past, influenced by art and artists of all kinds. Being a calligrapher in the 21st century, Mike has matured at a time when calligraphers are moving calligraphy in new directions, creating new traditions, just as all artists have done over time. He still makes beautiful letters and writes out texts, but also explores the abstract, the illegible and the conceptual.
Teaching calligraphy to inmates at a women’s prison is his most unusual teaching experience. His most unusual commission comes from Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, who reproduced one of Mike’s designs on a line of clothing. Mike has an M.A. in Visual Communications and has studied with many outstanding lettering and design masters over the years. Mike has taught and lectured around the country and at several international calligraphy conferences. His personal work has been featured in Letter Arts Review many times over the past 25-plus years. Mike also had the honor of co-jurying the upcoming Letter Arts Review Annual with Yukimi Annand. He is the author of Lines to Live By (available through John Neal, Bookseller), which is Mike’s take on being a non-traditional calligrapher in the 21st century.