"Women can do anything when they put their minds to it," says typographer Jennifer Greive

 May 16, 2023

Meet Jennifer Greive, an Ohio-based graphic designer, illustrator, and hand lettering artist specializing in t-shirt design, stationery, stickers and enamel pins.

Jennifer's personal brand, Fueled By Letters, came from her love of typography and hand lettering. A lot of Jennifer's work revolves around mental health awareness and positivity, inspiring other artists to reach their dreams. 

Jennifer is one of the many talented women who responded to the call-out for entries to the IWD x Typism annual Lettering Challenge. Jennifer showed her support for the IWD Women Creatives Mission by creating unique artwork that celebrates the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme.

Jennifer Grieve

Inspired by freelance artists forging their own path


Jennifer established her brand Fueled By Letters after she was laid off from her employment, and struggled to find another job. During that time, Jennifer discovered other artists on Instagram achieving their dreams of becoming full-time freelancers who also helped coach other artists to do just that.

"I fell in love with hand lettering when I had the job at Market District, so I asked myself why not me? I know this is something I could do! I started practicing more with my hand lettering and posted my work on Instagram to get noticed," explained Jennifer. 

Searching for career fulfillment following health issues

Fueled By Letters

After finally finding a new job, a couple of months later Jennifer started feeling unfulfilled with her work and knew she had the potential to do more. Jennifer began doing hand lettering challenges on the side of her day job, and the more Jennifer practiced, the better she got. At this point, Jennifer started working on a new website and logo for her brand [pictured above].

In 2018, Jennifer was diagnosed with an eye disease in both of her eyes called Myopic Degeneration.

"As an artist I am completely terrified having this disease because I have no idea what that means for my vision in the future. Now more than ever I have really been trying to get my name out there to fulfill my goals in life. This has become one of my biggest reasons to finally have career fulfillment," explained Jennifer. 

Supporting her family through her art

Her daughter is another major reason that Jennifer wants to find career fulfillment through her art.

"I need to support them and I want to enjoy my life. [My daughter] is the happiest little girl, and I am a proud mom to how much she has learned. This is my reason why as I continue with my side business. I will continue to grow and do the best I can for them!" said Jennifer.

Outside of her work, Jennifer loves spending time with her husband and daughter, watching anime, playing video games, movies, reading, crafting, going for walks around the neighborhood, playing with her two cats Wheatley and Luna, and enjoying being creative.

"Don’t ever give up on your dreams even when it can get discouraging. The harder you, work the sooner you will get there!" said Jennifer.

If you're looking to collaborate on a project or looking for branding work for stickers, t-shirt designs or social media advertising don’t hesitate to e-mail Jennifer .

Representing all women through color

Explaining the concept behind her IWD design, Jennifer, who is a fan of 70s script, knew she wanted to incorporate flower illustrations before she even started working on her piece, but found the color palette the trickiest.

"I wanted to be able to represent all women by using pink and dark blue. Though, of course, when you think of women, you think of the color pink; it's imprinted into our heads from society. So I did want to try and go out of the norm and not use ALL pink for my color palette. I always find that dark blue and a mix of colors always turn out really well," explains Jennifer.

Gathering inspiration for her design

Discussing her design process, Jennifer always gathers inspiration and illustration references when she creates something. For the lettering, Jennifer referenced a previous piece she did for International Women's Day a while ago.

"I wanted that same vibe with the swooshes. I figured it would work to embrace equity as well," said Jennifer.

Supporting equality for all artists

Jennifer has always wanted equality and equality for everyone, believing no one is superior to the other.

"I always support other artists - men or women - we all need support somewhere. Showing support for each, no matter race, or gender, really helps in the long run in today's society. I never see someone as different. We are all the same and should be treated as such," added Jennifer.

Celebrating IWD all year round 

Speaking on what International Women's Day means to her, Jennifer explained: "I know it's just a day they put on the calendar, but we should celebrate International Women's Day all year, not just a day or month. We still all go through unfair advantages because we are women. I hope someday that it will change. Women can do anything when they put their minds to it."

Sharing her views on gender equality

Finally, Jennifer shared her views regarding gender issues relating to women in typography: "Sometimes we get perceived as having a lower standard and little praise. I know when freelancing in my career [not that I do it much now], there were many times when clients disagreed with my pricing. I have never wanted to downgrade my self-worth because of some client that can't afford me."


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