Andrea Bosnak’s name and face might not immediately look familiar, but many Kansas Citians have definitely seen her signature work across the metro.
The Spur & Serif lettering artist’s craft is featured at local hotspots like The Nelle, Café Corazón, Alma Mader Brewing, Classic Cookie, Rye, and now Cafe Cà Phê’s new brick and mortar location in Columbus Park.
“I’ve always been really into calligraphy and drawing and sketching — all of that stuff — design and typography,” she said.
Bosnak started her own business — with a typography-inspired name — about three years ago, mainly beginning with chalk design for menu boards at coffee shops and sidewalk boards.
“Then I started doing a lot of hand-painted signage, mostly on windows and stuff like that,” she explained. “(I did) a lot of wedding jobs — day-of signage, sort of stuff. So it’s sort of all snowballed from chalkboards and now most of my work is actually windows. So I’m really, really happy with how it evolved.”
Click here to learn more about Bosnak’s passion for lettering.
Design of some sort was always the goal, Bosnak said, although she didn’t expect windows to become her main medium.
“I’m really glad that’s what I’m doing mostly now,” she added. “But it’s interesting how life sort of takes you places you didn’t think of going.”
On top of the hand-painted signage, she also does graphic design work — logos, business cards, and wedding invitations — and hand-generated calligraphy.
Click here to learn more about Spur & Serif, then keep reading.
“I used to call myself a graphic designer,” she said. “And now I’ve sort of started saying that I’m a lettering artist, because I feel like that’s a better way to encompass all of those things.”
About eight months ago, Bosnak took her design work full-time, she said, noting she loves to work with other small businesses, especially those owned by women and minorities. So she jumped at the chance to collaborate with Cafe Cà Phê owner Jackie Nguyen.
“I just love her,” she said. “I love what she’s doing. I love what she stands for. I am a huge, huge fan of Jackie.”
When she saw a photo of Nguyen’s new space in Columbus Park, she became even more excited about the job.
“It’s pretty much all windows,” she explained. “I was like, ‘Oh, man, this is even better than I thought it was gonna be.’ So we filled the storefront. It’s full of lettering, artwork, everything. She put some lovely messages on her storefront that were just so fun to paint. It was a blast.”
Click here to learn more about grand opening plans for Cafe Cà Phê — and the slow drip story behind it.
Bosnak’s work is mainly on the exterior of the coffee shop: the Cafe Cà Phê name in the top windows, the dragon on the front door, the flowery border on the windows, the message of inclusion, the hours, a Virgil’s Plant Shop logo, and even her own little handle at the bottom. She also painted “Hella Good Coffee” over the bar inside.
“It took eight custom colors that I mixed, which was really, really fun,” she added. “Most of the jobs are like a maximum of three colors.”
All of the other painting inside was done by Love Letter Creative, Nguyen’s branding team out of North Carolina. And the mural outside was done by local graffiti artist Daniel Bartle.
Bosnak started working on the windows in March and just finished a few weeks ago, although there were several breaks in between.
“It was a labor of love,” she said. “I’m really happy with it.”
Nguyen is also happy with Bosnak’s transformation of the exterior.
“She’s been a dream to work with,” Nguyen said. “I can’t wait to see her blow up and take over.”
Painting with heart
Bosnak’s lettering work was also featured in the recent Parade of Hearts in Kansas City.
Her heart — which read “together we’re better” on the front and “mejores juntos” on the back — was featured on the Country Club Plaza near the Capital Grille.
“I really value minorities and immigrants and people who have had a very different background from a lot of us here,” she said. “I think it is better when we have all of that in a community, I think it’s really important to value all of the diversity that we have and I wanted to illustrate that. I wanted that on display. I really believe in that message.”
The artists received the 5-foot by 5-foot hearts in November and then turned in their finished works in January. The hearts were on display from March to June in spaces across Kansas City and then were auctioned off to raise money for those most affected by the events of 2020 and 2021.
“It was so fun to do that heart,” Bosnak said. “It wouldn’t fit in my studio at home. So it lived in our living room while I worked on it.”
Bosnak’s heart found its permanent home at a law office in the Kansas City area.
“Their law offices are in an old church,” she added. “They call it the church of civil rights, which is super cool. I’m really happy with where it ended up. It was a fun project.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.