Biography of Mark Lee Golden
    This gifted lettering artist and creative writer, was born in 1956 in Hollywood, California and raised in nearby Van Nuys. His father worked in a typography shop in Hollywood where Mark was occasionally employed. There he began to develop an understanding and awareness of fonts, typesetting and printing.
    He attended a few semesters at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA before choosing to be a sign painter/maker. He graduated from Los Angeles Trade Technical College's Sign Graphics program in 1979.
    In 1981 he relocated to Spokane, Washington where he currently resides. Over the last 25 years he has operated a one-man sign shop, producing thousands of signs. During that time he developed a deep, sincere love of and fascination with letter styles and well-designed layouts. He says, "I am able to enjoy a fine layout and drink it in just as much as watching a beautiful and captivating sunset!"
    In 1984, while reading the print trade magazine "U&lc." Mark saw an article with accompanying typographic illustrations, which significantly affected him. "His Typography Talks" was about the graphic designer John Langdon. Langdon's layouts forever changed Mark's creative direction. These clever, stark, black and white designs provided insight into the meaning of a word simply by the way the letters were laid out; there was little or no illustration.
    The origins of this innovative technique can be traced back to master graphic designer Herb Lubalin (1918-1981). He inspired a generation of typographic creativity due to his never-seen-before styles, which evolved in the 1950s and '60s.
  Over the years, when ideas showed up in his imagination, Mark doodled his own layouts on hundreds of sticky notes, napkins and handy scraps of paper. He always had hopes to someday see them in print for others to enjoy. This website features his works. (All layouts are original and copyrighted.)

    When asked about the intended meaning of his work, Mark says, "Some layouts are very obvious, yet people will interpret them differently. I want there to be quick recognition for some ideas and others to take longer to figure out, much like putting puzzle pieces together. People think and feel differently and so a layout can affect each person uniquely. Certain viewers see what I never intended!"

    Mark digitally creates his "words" using Adobe software.


My Illustrated Words may be described as conceptual typography, being expressive, descriptive word pictures. Some are typographic scenes that create visual puns using wit in a graphic manner.

Words are arranged in such a way that the layout describes the meaning, or a meaning, of a word.

In my word illustrations I utilize the power of type.

Layouts are intended to be thought-provoking, amusing, serious, or whimsical.

Words or letters will appear to have an emotional element or personality.

Words and letters can have an individual or group purpose.

Words or letters can be objects or elements of Nature set in a scene. I purposely avoid using illustration in order to make the message visually unusual.