A Work of Heart from Chemeketa’s Public Safety Department

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Dana Eckfield is one of the faces of Chemeketa’s Public Safety Department. As a public safety assistant, or “minion,” as she affectionately refers to her position, Dana has likely helped you acquire a parking permit, create an ID, or field your calls to the Public Safety Office. But what you don’t see are the meticulous hand lettering projects Dana works on behind the scenes.

Dana tracks her love of hand lettering back to third or fourth grade, when she won a Palmer penmanship contest. Penmanship was something that came natural to her; entering the realm of calligraphy unintentionally as she carefully copied different lettering styles as a child. 

Through countless craft projects, Dana discovered hand lettering, a medium that allowed her to express her artistic talents more freely than calligraphy. In simple terms, calligraphy is the art of writing, while hand lettering is the art of illustrating letters.

Card created by Dana

Dana incorporates hand lettering into her daily projects, making beautifully-crafted grocery lists, daily planners, and yearly calendars that seem to come to life as the words and designs jump off the pages. Her favorite works are her handmade cards, which she thoughtfully designs for her loved ones for every major holiday and event. Although she admits doing so in a pinch, she grimaces at the thought of using a store-bought card or using a typed font, as it takes away an opportunity for her to create. 

Her coworkers at Chemeketa quickly took notice of her hobby, encouraging Dana to put her talents to work whenever possible. Dana has designed signage for the Public Safety Department, created labels for file boxes, and has assisted other departments when an artistic hand is needed for a special letter or publication.

For Dana, she jumps at the chance to get involved at the College and help others, that’s why she came to Chemeketa in the first place. After a career that spanned more than 30 years in the non-profit and education world, Dana took a part-time position with Chemeketa in April 2019. She’s grateful for the opportunity to use the professional knowledge and experience she has gained through the years, but also take the time to slow down a bit, to focus on her family and passions, including her hand lettering.

Watch Dana create a hand lettering design