Todd Aldridge joined LGA as a graphic designer in 1994, and has been vice president/group creative director since 2010. He joined AIGA this year, and is currently serving as a mentor in AIGA Charlotte’s Mentor Match-Up program.
Where are you from?
I’m from Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina. My family has been there for a long time. And when I was born it was the largest town East of the Mississippi without a railroad. Not much has changed since then and I don’t expect much ever will. A few years ago the bright lights of Concord were calling, so we packed up and moved seven miles.
What’s your favorite font?
My favorite font changes over the years. We have to become experts with our clients’ identity, so you learn the subtle nuances of each. As far as my clients go, I love Bliss. I like what you can accomplish with the slight variations in weight. For me personally, I have always had a thing for Joanna. Most likely because I think I know it, or at least how to use it, but I can’t always make it work. But maybe one day I’ll figure it out.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think my inspiration comes from a lot of places. The earliest I can remember being influenced by design were with album covers. Loved that huge amount of space devoted to an image and the mood of the music. I still buy old albums solely for the art experience. Since I went to school to be a print maker/lithographer I draw upon a lot of early Art Nouveau poster artists like Alphonse Mucha. I tend to respond more to that illustrative style of combining type and images. Over my career I found that the unbelievable talent that I’ve been lucky enough to have on my team is probably the best place to keep me inspired, engaged and learning.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Early in my career Clay Andrews sat me down to talk about my kerning and type sensitivity. He took a word on the page and drew two vertical lines, one at the beginning of the word and one at the end. He said to think about that being a container and the letters are shapes within the container. And that when you pour a liquid in, the level of water needs to be as level as it can be, once it fills in around those letters. It may have been taught in every design class, but it really stuck with me. The best work advice I ever got was from my father who said you show up before your boss and don’t leave until after they’ve left.
What’s one goal (personal or professional) you have for the future?
One goal is to finish street rodding my 1951 Plymouth. It’s being completely rebuilt from the ground up. It’s my escape from the subjective world into a world of mechanics. The logic of this turns so — that spins. The subjective comes later on: what color to make the flames.
Each month, AIGA Charlotte strives to highlight one of its members. If you have any ideas for our next spotlight, please contact Mark Iafrate at email@example.com.