This is a sample from Hagmann’s typeface collection, Cholla, which was created in 1999. The artist was commissioned while at the¬†Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, to work with art director Denise Gonzales Crisp and associate designer, Carla Figueroa, to develop unique fonts that captured the artistry and creativity of the school. Hagmann named the collection Cholla after the cactus, which she saw while in Mojave Desert in California.

It’s notable that the artists were commissioned prior to create this collection, because usually, independent artists create projects and fonts in hopes of someone purchasing it in a license deal. Soon, the typeface was featured in Emigre, a visual communication publication. This typeface¬†won honorable mention in I.D. magazine and was featured in Eye No. 31.

You can see how Hagmann and her colleagues played with letters and curves to give the font character while still being legible, intense, and professional. It is modern and futuristic yet retro and even classical, with its strokes widened and thin, almost like calligraphy. It even reminds me of Old English, especially the a’s and y’s. This collection is also special because it looks different when it’s bolded, italicized, and thinned.

I would use this for a desert hotel or restaurant, which is funny because it was named after a desert plant. Still, I can see where it compliments an art school, which was the goal.

The collection consisted of twelve fonts that were similar but distinct and for which people continue to purchase 0ver twenty years later.