Q&A with Letterer and Illustrator Claire Bischoff
There is no shortage of inspiration to be found within national parks. You can marvel at the spectacular beauty of their landscapes, learn about the captivating stories they preserve, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritages they celebrate.
The over 400 national parks across the country offer endless ways to find your park – be it through passions such as kayaking, museum exhibits, or even art.
We connected with Claire Bischoff as she embarked on her own #FindYourPark adventure to discover the breadth of the park system through her lettering and illustration. Her creative project – a virtual road trip through the parks, which she shared through her Instagram profile – was inspired by the “amazing natural resources and historical sites of America.”
With the virtual road trip now complete, we wanted to catch up with Claire and ask her to share all about her 50 parks in 50 days project. Check out the Q&A below!
What inspired you to design the #50ParksIn50Days collection?
For the #50ParksIn50Days project, I picked a national park in each state and created an illustrated lettering piece featuring that park. I did this every day for 50 days.
Our family has a goal to visit as many national parks throughout the U.S. as we can. That’s really what inspired me to create this project. It was a great way to plan out where we wanted to visit and learn more about each park.
How did you select the parks you featured?
I researched national parks in each state and selected one that I most wanted to experience first-hand or, in some cases, one that I had already visited and want to go back.
It was really difficult to only pick just one for each state! There were a few parks that I would have enjoyed featuring but they didn’t end up making it into this project.
How did you create the designs?
Once I picked the park I was going to feature, I researched it and then drew a small illustration and hand-lettered the name of the park. I tried to cater the style of the lettering to the personality of each park, when possible.
Once the drawings were complete, I scanned them into my computer and composed the final image in Photoshop.
Do you have a favorite from the collection?
I really liked how the Fire Island National Seashore piece turned out. The Illustration and the lettering both came together the way I’d imagined and it was really fun to work on. With a daily project like this, there isn’t extra time to really fine-tune each design. It was good practice getting ideas from my head to paper quickly.
Where did you first find your park?
My Dad was involved in state and private-lands natural resources management and so we had the opportunity to live in some wonderful places. When I was a little girl, we lived near Yellowstone.
In my teens we lived about a half-hour from Zion National Park in Utah and then later right next to Glacier National Park in northwest Montana. Now my husband and I are fortunate to raise our daughter near the parks and forests of northern Arizona. Getting to experience those great parks on a regular basis was and is incredible.
Based on your research for the virtual road trip, which national park would you love to visit next?
That’s a hard question! This project provided a wonderful opportunity to learn about national parks throughout the country and there are quite a few that really caught my interest.
But since I have to choose one, I have wanted to explore Yosemite for a while. It’s not too far from where we live, so that will probably be our next adventure!
Claire Bischoff is letterer and illustrator living in Flagstaff, Arizona with her husband and one year-old daughter. Claire graduated in 2011 from Montana State University, (just up the road from Yellowstone National Park) with a degree in Graphic Design. Claire has been blessed to live in some of the most beautiful parts of our country; in addition to Northern Arizona she has lived in Southern Illinois, Idaho, Utah, and Montana. She and her family love to explore the great outdoors and these experiences are reflected in her work.You can enjoy more of Claire’s design work on her website and Instagram page.