Art Within Reach

Dispersed throughout 417-land is a buzzing art scene that is constantly evolving and growing.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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Graphic designer, film producer and director, Photos by Kevin O'riley

After two years of working on his first film, Linotype: The Film, Doug Wilson is finally comfortable calling himself a filmmaker. On top of that, he’s a graphic designer. Making the move from computer geek to graphic designer to filmmaker might seem like an odd move, but listening to Wilson outline his serendipitous journey, it doesn’t seem that weird. 

Stepping foot into his freshman year at Missouri State University, Wilson had no idea what graphic design was. He liked computers and art, and that was it. “It just so happened that I loved graphic design,” he says. “I see it as a great mix of aesthetics and purpose. It’s all about taking graphics and images and packaging those in an easier way for people to consume.” While plugging away at Missouri State University, Wilson stumbled upon a hoard of long-forgotten printing equipment stored in one of the school’s basements. Those rusted-out machines became Wilson’s senior thesis, which led him to discover the linotype machine, which then became the inspiration for Linotype: The Film—a historical overview of the linotype’s crucial role in the history of moveable type and graphic design in the 21st century. 

At the time, Wilson had zero experience making a movie, let alone a full-length documentary. “I went naively into film and was too far in to the filmmaking process to quit,”  he says. Luckily for Wilson, Brandon Goodwin jumped in as director of photography, and Jess Heugel took over audio and sound design. “I have no idea how, but thankfully, I convinced them to join me on Linotype,” Wilson says. 


Two years later in 2012, after quitting his day job at a local ad agency to really invest his time in the film, Linotype premiered in New York City and has now been screened in more than 75 locations around the world including Brazil, Argentina and London. “I think I fall in between graphic design and film,” Wilson says of his professional trade today. “I don’t see a big difference between film and graphic design. Both are ways of communicating visually.”     

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