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House IndustriesWRITTEN BY NAME OF HANNAH CHI
House Industries is an internationally known prolific type foundry and design
studio based in Yorklyn, Delaware. The company was created on March 1st, 1993
when Andy Cruz and Rich Boat quit their jobs and set up Brand Design Co.,
Inc. in the space rom of Richs apartment in Wilmington, Delaware. Despite its
garage startup, the company has manifested into making a considerable impact
on the world of design as its fonts are widely spread throughout billboards, greet-
ing cards, consumer product logos, and mainstream mediaa few which include
VH1s Best Week Ever, Mission Impossible, Nickelodeons TV Land, Anne Taylor
garment bags, Lucky Charms, and etc.
Behind the apparent success of House Industries is a team of impassioned House
artists who have mastered a large cross-section of design disciplines that acts as
an infrastructure for the mesh of cultural, musical and graphic elements within
in the mastered typography. From early forays into distressed digital alphabets
to sophisticated type and lettering systems, House Industries work transcends
graphic conventions and reaches out to a broad audience.
Within the realm of House Industries broad clientele is a wide variety of an un-
conscious House aesthetic of the studios blue-collared designers. As House de-
signers draw from an exposure of areas in the American sub-cultural phenomena
of unsophisticated yet incredibly formative graphic design, despite the big names
of their clients, House designers ultimately create their own projects of design
and illustration. Each House Industries project attempts to administer a compo-
nent of an art history lesson of sorts by using their font collections to provide an
opportunity to draw attention to the impactful and under-appreciated art genres
that were a huge influence to the designers during their impressionable years.
The consistent element of art history embedded into the House aesthetics has
inevitably created a style that audiences identify House Industries with.
In accordance, because of the twentieth century metal type inspiration and the di-
verse references to popular cultural imagery, invariably, retro is always brought
up when discussing Houses work. Regardless of the indifferent categorization of
House aesthetics being retro, as the term is thoughtlessly used to describe any-
thing that from the past few decades, House designers focus solely in the craft of
everything they do. House Industries finds creating artwork by traditional means
to be more direct and efficient so ultimately, the hands-on approach preserves
the characteristic production techniques while drawing from personal interests,
which gives a unique flavor of making the House Aesthetic one of a kind.v
Jessica HischeWRITTEN BY WINNIW QUAN
Jessica Hische is a Pennsylvania-born, award-winning letterer, illustrator, and
graphic designer. Known for her Daily Drop Cap project, Should I Work for
Free flowchart, and beautiful type design and lettering skills, Hische is current-
ly based in San Francisco and works alongside friend and designer Erik Mari-
novich. While shes not in her studio space creating and working on designs, she
can be found traveling the world attending and speaking at conferences, finding
ways to help others do what they love.
Having worked for wonderful clients such as Wes Anderson, American Express,
and Penguin Books, Hische continues to work independently from her studio,
designing for advertising, books, weddings, branding, and companies, while still
finding time to work on fun side projects for herself. One of her biggest projects
included designing book covers for a 26-book classics series with Penguin Books;
each with an elegantly-designed letter that pertained to a classic author, and an-
other working with Wes Anderson to create film titles for Moonrise Kingdom.
Hische is also greatly acclaimed, having been listed in Forbes Top 30 Under 30
in art and design twice, nominated as GDUSAs person to watch in 2011, and fea-
tured in many major design and illustration publications. She is greatly admired
and respected by those in her industry and lettering-aficionados.
Her hand-lettering skills have been carefully practiced and refined for years,
mainly using the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator to develop a general skeleton and
adding decorations and ornamentations later on. While Hisches work for her
clients is incredibly expansive and ample, her style is a common element in all of
her lettering and illustrations; her work can be described as both whimsical and
sophisticated, as she finds inspiration everywhere she goes and through all the
wonderful people she meets around the world. Just when you think you figured
it out, you find some better way of doing things. The key is to always keep trying
to be better.
Michael BierutWRITTEN BY JOHN LUNA
The Ohio-born Michael Bierut is a highly awarded and famous graphic designer
that is attributed with the creation of designs ranging from the environmental
graphics for the New York Times building to the development of a new brand
strategy for the packaging of Saks Fifth Avenue. However, his work does not only
result from his ability to design but also his identity as a designer. He describes
the difference between those who design and those who are designers. The de-
signer is also a participant in the design conversation and, as a designer; Bierut
is a leader in creating a design community. He has served as the national pres-
ident of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, acted as a senior critic at Yale
School of Art, and is a founding contributor for the Design Observer. His works
and didactic contributions have affected the language of typography and the field
of design overall. With his book, Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design, Bierut
hopes to create a community for design conversation, which, he comments, was
fairly unavailable to a majority of designs despite the universality of design in the
world. He complains that, in the 1970s, there was only really one, inaccessible,
conference for designers to attend and that paid subscriptions to publications
tended to be costly creating a very isolated world of design. He grants insight to
the importance, especially due to the ubiquitous nature of design, of the graph-
ic and of the associated text. Mentions of his mistakes and experiences during
his design career inform him and allow him to offer readers advice on spurring
conversations about design and challenging the established design normative. In
Bieruts essay published in the Design Observer, he mentions that design is about
making connections between objects. Despite appearing to be an aggregation for
essays on design, he also comments on other topics such as politics or business.
He mentions, Design is not everything. But design is about everything. Bierut
praises design for always being about something else. These connections allow
designs to become a universal entity that has driven Bieruts inspirations. As a
result of his contemporary advice on breaking the design standard, Bierut has
become a major, and powerful, contributor to the entire design community.
Herman ZapfWRITTEN BY KEELY VEDANAYAGAM
Herman Zapf is a German type designer who was born in 1918 in Nuremberg
during the German revolution and is still alive today at age 96! He is married to a
fellow typeface designer, Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. Zapf grew up with an interest
in technical subjects; as a kid he experimented with electricity and even built
an alarm set for his house. At a young age, Zapf was already getting involved
with type, inventing cipher-text alphabets to exchange secret messages with his
He left school in 1933 with the ambition to pursue a career in electrical engi-
neering. However, Zapf was not able to attend the Ohm Technical Institute in
Nuremberg due to the new political regime in Germany at the time, so he took
up an apprenticeship position in lithography where he worked for four years.
During this time, Zapf attended an exhibition in Nuremberg in honor of the late
typographer Rudolf Koch. This exhibition gave him his first interest in lettering
and he began to teach himself calligraphy. In 1938, he designed his first printed
typeface, a fraktur type called Gilgengart.
One year later, Zapf was conscripted into World War II and sent to help reinforce
the defensive line against France. Not used to the hard labor, he developed heart
trouble in a few weeks and was given a desk job, writing camp records and sports
certificates. Due to his heart trouble, Zapf was dismissed early from his unit and
shortly thereafter began training as a cartographer. After his training, he traveled
to Bordeaux and became a staff member in the cartography unit where he drew
maps of Spain. Zapf enjoyed working in the cartography unit. His eyesight was
so excellent that he could write letters 1 millimeter in size without using a mag-
nifying glass this skill probably prevented him from being commissioned back
into the army.
After the war had ended, Zapf was held by the French as a prisoner of war. He was
treated with respect because of his artwork and, due to his poor health, was sent
home only four weeks after the end of the war. Post-war, Zapf taught calligraphy
in Nuremberg before taking up a position as artistic head of a print shop.
Later in his career, he spent time developing two famous typefaces, Palatino and
Optima. He then worked for a while in developing computer typography pro-
grams before taking up professorship at the Rochester Institute of Technology
from 1977 to 1987. Today he is known as the artist of several famous typefaces
such as Palatino, Optima, Aldus, Venture, and of course, Zapfino his most re-
cent typeface which was released in 1998.
Bruce RogersWRITTEN BY RALEIGH WARD
Bruce Rogers was an American typographer and type designer that primarily
focused on book designers. Some claim that he was among the greatest book
designers of the twentieth century. He started his career as a political cartoonist
after graduating from Purdue in 1890. Later on, he worked as an artist for the
Indianapolis news which sparked his passion for book design. After falling in
love with Kelmscott Press edition books, Rogers moved to Boston, the center of
publishing at the time, and began his passion by producing fine books.
Rogers created his first typeface in 1901 when he worked for the Riverside Press
in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He started designing advertisements, and created
ornate designs, printed on handmade damped paper. He created the font Mon-
taigne which was a Venetian style type face, which was used in the book The
Essays of Montaigne. Rogers had a very clear style, and when the moderdism
trend began to spread across the art world, he continued to focus on his classi-
cal designs and avoided modern or sans serif fonts.
In 1912, Rogers then moved to New York City where he began his career as an
independent designer and house designer for the Metorpolitan Museum of Art.
Rogers was asked to design a limited edition of Mauric de Geurins The Centaur,
and he created his most popular font Centaur at this time. His new typeface
was recognized among the community and admired for its maturity and classic
design. From that point forward, Rogers specifically used Centaur for the rest of
Rogers became infatuated with book design. Whether he was overseeing other
designs or taking on his own special projects, he was always influencing the pub-
lishing world with his designs. One of his passion projects included a renovation
of the Odyssey. Rogers reprinted the book in Centaur type on gray handmade
paper and bound it with black Niger leather. He became obsessed with turning
iconic books into not only literary works of art, but design works of art as well.
Soon after, he spend six years producing the Oxford Lectern Bible. However, this
led to Rogers pairing up with Frederic Warde to develop an italic form of his
Along with his typography and type design, Rogers spent a focus on his career
designing bookplate designs that showcased his type designs. His designs usually
included small images with ornate borders and his own types. Today, his book-
plates and books designed throughout his career auction at a very high value.
Overall, Rogers impacted the book design world while finding a current way to
integrate serif and classic designs into the everyday world.
Max MiedingerWRITTEN BY JOSHUA KIM
In the discussion of most influential people in history, we throw out names like
Aristotle, Jesus, Louis Pasteur, Leonardo di Vinci, Alexander the Great, and Walt
Disney, but there is one man oft forgotten: Max Miedinger. Yes, I just compared a
typographer to Jesus, and Im not ashamed.
Max Miedinger was born in the most neutral place on Earth, Zurich, Switzerland,
but he was far from anything neutral. In fact, Max was a go-getter from the begin-
ning. It was widely rumored that when he was born from his mothers womb, he
was already rearranging his umbilical cord into various shapes and letters. Hav-
ing discovered his precociousness at the moment of birth, Maxs parents decided
to allow him freedom to become his own man, and become his own man he did.
At the age of 16, when plebeians like you and I were still sucking our thumbs and
just barely getting by basic calculus, Max was already beginning his apprentice-
ship as a typesetter. For the next four years, Max worked by day at the worth of
an unpaid intern and attended class by night at Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich.
By age 26, Max evolved into a full-fledged typographer for Globus department
stores advertising studio. For the next 10 years, he perfected his art. During
this rather uneventful period the Swiss typically call the grind or in German,
zerkleinern, Max was only able to travel the globe once, spreading the good word
of typographism throughout the four corners of the world. It should be noted
that he did successfully perform a cardiac bypass surgery in the jungles of Africa
and recreate the most famous stolen Rembrandt painting, Jacob de Gheyn III
in France. It should also be noted that those latter accomplishments are based
purely on rumor.
In 1956-57, he became a freelance graphic artist, and with Eduard Hoffmann,
they gifted the world the most important creation of the 20th century in the form
of the Haas-Grotesk typeface. Over the next two years, roman and bold version
were created, and in 1960, the typeface was renamed from Neue Haas Grotesk to
HelveticaTM. If you dont know what Helvetica is or looks like, finish this sen-
tence and then maybe consider exploring that place the rest of us call outside.
Read some signs, look at some advertisements, glance over a book cover and
youll have probably already experienced HelveticaTM. It is only the most widely
used typeface of the 20th century, and many sans-serifs that came after can thank
HelveticaTM for laying the way. Helvetica is the Jesus Christ, the Neo, the Dark
Knight of typography, it wasnt the typeface we deserved, but the typeface we
needed. It came down from the snowy mountains of the Swiss Alps to save us
from our sins of using so many damn serif fonts.
Of course, haters gon hate. Erik Spiekermann said:
Neue Haas Grotesk was a redesign of (surprise!) Haas Grotesk, which in turn
was partly based on Scheltersche Grotesk from Schelter&Giesecke in those days,
type was also quickly assimilated, copied, emulated, ripped-off; the success of
Akzidenz Grotesk had alerted Haas to the fact that they were missing sales be-
cause all the Swiss designers were specifying AG from Germany.
This is coming from the guy who thought Michael Jordan was overrated and the
Beatles would never amount to much. The fact of the matter is, HelveticaTM has
proliferated beyond all expectations and continues to be the standard in typeface
for advertisers and designers throughout the world. Whoever marketed Helvetica
is a genius and should seriously consider hiring me to wherever firm he works at.
Paul RennerWRITTEN BY RAJIV RAMAKABIR
Paul Renner was a world famous German type designer. Renner can be seen as a
bridge between the traditional 19th century and the modern 20th century design.
He attempted to fuse the gothic and the roman typefaces. While he was never
directly affiliated with the Bauhaus movement, he became an advocate of its aims
and principles and became a leading proponent of the New Typography. Ren-
ner sought to influence culture by designing, writing and teaching and he spent
most of his life in applied art, trying to bring high cultural standards to material
objects for use typefaces and books. Although Renner was not associated with
the Bauhaus, he shared many of its idioms and believed that a modern typeface
should express modern models, rather than be a revival of a previous design.
Renners design rejected the approach of previous sans-serif designs, which were
based on the model of traditional serif typefaces and condensed lettering, in fa-
vor of simple geometric forms: near-perfect circles, triangles and squares. It is
based on strokes of near-even weight, which are low in contrast. In relation to
typography, many people know Renner as the creator of Futura, one of the most
successful and most-used typefaces of the 20th century. In some respects, Futura
can be seen to reflect his views on the appropriate style for letterforms designed
in Germany an alternative solution to the choice of gothic or roman. When cre-
ated in 1927, Futura was based on geometric shapes that became representative
of visual elements of the Bauhaus design style of 191933. In designing Futura,
Renner avoided the decorative, eliminating nonessential elements, but used his
knowledge of how people perceive lines and shapes to make subtle departures
from pure geometric designs that allow the letterforms to seem balanced. His
creation of the sans serif typeface Futura marked a revolutionary change in ty-
pography. Futura is still used today because it is so bold and distinctive to ty-
pographers and graphic designers. Paul Renners work is a good example of how
form follows function. Every mark Renner made, he had a reason for making it,
not making any arbitrary marks or decisions just because of the style during the
19th and 20th century. Renner, as one of the most influential type designers of
the 20th century has successfully created a bridge from traditional typography
Saul BassWRITTEN BY ERIN NOGLE
Design is thinking made visual.
Saul Bass was an incredibly versatile American designer who forged a career in
designing everything from corporate identity logos to movie title treatments and
filmmaking. Throughout his 40+ years in the industry Bass worked with leading
corporations such as, United Way, Continental Airlines, AT&T, Warner Brothers,
and the Girl Scout Organization. Bass logos are dynamic yet streamlined, and
creative yet informative. Bass was one of the most prominent designers of the 60s
and 70s. The logos and brand identity guidelines of which most of these major
corporations still use today, decades after their creation. Additionally, a study in
2011 proved that the average lifespan of a Saul Bass corporate logo was 34 years,
an unusual longevity. Additionally, this analysis cited the most common end to
a logo was the merge or demise of the company, not a corporate re-branding.
Discussing his logo designs, Saul Bass once stated, If I do my job well, the iden-
tity program will also clean up the image of the company, position it as being
contemporary and keep it from ever looking dated.
Although Bass work in logo design is impressive, his innovations in title credits
for movies left an impression on the film industry forever. Prior to Bass title
treatments movie titles were used solely to display information. The revolution-
ary idea to use title credit sequences in movies as an opportunity to introduce
viewers to a films deeper themes was, in fact, Saul Bass. Creating a compelling
title sequence can make a first impression on an audience by providing a short
visual metaphor to viewers and overall they can contribute to the effectiveness
of a film. Bass designed for Hollywoods most established filmmakers, such as:
Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder. Bass last title sequence was
for modern director Martin Scorsese, in his film Casino. Regarding his sequence
for Casino, Bass stated, The intent of this opening was to create a mood spare,
gaunt, with a driving intensity [that conveyed] the distortion and jaggedness,
the disconnectedness and disjointedness of the addicts life the subject of the
film. Bass designed titles for over 30 films.
Aldus ManutiusWRITTEN BY SHIRLEY SUN
If asked about the functional purpose of this soft covered book you are currently
reading, what would you say is its main advantage compared to a hardcover?
Similarly, reflecting on a time you bought a paperback, what was it that drove you
towards this purchase? If the affordability and portability attracted you, then you
have Aldus Manutius to thank. What he called libelli portatiles, or portable little
books, had soft covers, were small in size and of great use to travelling scholars at
the time, and for the masses today.
Aldus Manutius was born 1449 in Bassiano, Papal States (Italy), and passed away
in Venice, 1515. During this time, typographical art was in its very early stages of
development. Designs and text were crudely etched into wood.
Growing up, literary texts were scarce, and many elementary books were pain-
fully dry and unintelligible. Doctrinale Alexadri de Villa-Dei, was a grammar
study that Manutius was said to have despised reading. His future works may
have been influenced by just this.
Manutius became a printer and publisher, whose printing press changed the di-
rection of book formatting and typography at the time. His focused was on print-
ing inexpensive editions of classic texts, Aristotle, Dante, and Homer to name a
few, with the hopes that all may have access to literary works.
The italic type was first used by Manutius to print an edition of Virgil in 1501.
This slanted design was critical for the production of his pocket sized books; the
format allowed letterforms to fit in narrow and compact spaces. Whereas italics
are more contemporarily used to emphasize and/or bring attention to a certain
word and/or phrase, Manuthius had a much more economic intention. By using
italics, smaller pages could hold more words, meaning fewer pages and decreased
This smaller format in book production revolutionized the availability of knowl-
edge, similar to how laptops and smartphones have influenced lives in the twen-
tieth-twenty first century. Aldus Manutius helped mobilize information.
The Contemporary Wordsmith
Donald KnuthWRITTEN BY JACOB ROTH
Often when we think if new technology, we automatically think that it will make
our lives better. Sometimes this is true, but in the world of typography new tech-
nologies actually made print quality worse. Typesetting was traditionally per-
formed on printing presses where metal stamps were meticulously and pains-
takingly arranged to achieve the best product. Because the printing press was
labor intensive and required extensive training, publishers were excited about a
new technology, phototypesetting, which drastically reduced the time and skill
required to typeset books.
While the technology was initially limited to low quality publications like news-
papers and magazines, the price eventually forced the new technology into more
premium products like text books. Donald Knuth, a professor of computer sci-
ence at Stanford University, in 1978 received a gallery print of his second edition
textbook. Compared to the original version, he lamented, The quality of typeset-
ting was abominable. It was a pain to read. You couldnt look at this because they
had changed printing technology. In retaliation, Mr. Knuth decided to create a
computer program to typeset his new book instead of using the phototypesetting
method he loathed.
Just like any self-respecting typography student would, Mr. Knuth began his re-
search by tracing out the letters from existing typefaces onto paper. After many
hours of studying the shapes he came to the conclusion that the phototypesetting
system failed because, whereas letters were designed by human beings which
something in mind for them, the typesetting process had no way to capture the
intelligence or intentions of the type designer. Mr. Knuth decided that in order
for a computerized system to produce beautiful text, it must preserve the past tra-
ditions of typesetters instead of throwing them out like current technology had.
The systems Mr. Knuth developed changed typesetting from a problem with met-
allurgy to a problem of mathematics. In contrast to previous methods, his sys-
tem does not rely on static characters but instead digitally creates each character
based on the parameters given such as point size and weight. The advantage of
using digitally created characters is that each character is a perfect reproduction
of the designers intentions whether printed on paper or displayed on a computer
screen. Additionally, because text was represented in an abstract way inside a
computer, Mr. Knuth applied complex algorithms, such as automatic river reduc-
tion, that where time and labor prohibitive on traditional presses.
The typesetting systems that Mr. Knuth developed made great progress towards
digital publishing but the systems were not perfect. Specifically, the system re-
quired many different commands to achieve the desired results. While many ac-
ademics were able to effectively use the system, graphic artist publishers found
the system difficult because they had little computer experience. In the end, Mr.
Knuths digital publish system never gained much acceptance outside universi-
ties. All of his work in not in vein, however, because many of the algorithms and
principals he pioneered are now integral parts of the most widely used software
EmigreWRITTEN BY JT WANG
Emigre was a magazine about the global artist who juggles cultures, travels
between them, and who is fluent in the cultural symbols of the world. It was
founded in 1984 in Berkeley, CA by wife and husband Zuzanna Licko and Rudy
VanderLans, who created the type foundry. The word migr, which often refers
to a person who has migrated out of of something, perfectly defines the found-
rys take on art and design. Emigre resisted typical design rules that had existed
during its beginning and used its wild creations to offset long-accepted imbalanc-
es between form and content.
The foundry was the first of its kind to create and distribute fonts made for and
by a computer, and their work was made possible the advent of the Macintosh
computer. Licko and VanderLans used the magazine to explore and experiment
with new and radical pieces that were created by computers using bitmap design,
dot matrix printing and vector-based design, rather than by hand and letterpress.
This wasWr a surprise to the design community whose convention at the time
placed a high value on calligraphy; the norm was to create typestyles by hand be-
fore manipulating them on the computer. However, for Zuzanna Licko, the com-
puters tools opened a variety of opportunities because she was left-handed and
thus had never been able to do calligraphy.Though the pair of designers had not
intended to break rules, Emigre started a typographic rebellion as a result of their
explorations of the new tools and capabilities created by the computer.
Emigres radical design choices drew a great deal of attention from designers and
critics alike, and in the beginning, they faced severe opposition. Some critics
saw the creations as barbaric and described Emigres postmodern design as the
degradation of culture and The Cult of the Ugly. However, after awhile, the
arguments subsided and Emigre grew to become an influential record label, mer-
chandise vendor, and journal for design dialogues, and since then, the foundry
has designed and licensed over 300 different typefaces from a variety of artists.
Erik SpiekermannWRITTEN BY SARAH ANNE NAKAMURA
Erik Spiekermann is a German typographer and designer who started his edu-
cation at Berlins Free University studying art history. During his stay at the uni-
versity, he funded himself by running a letterpress printing press in the basement
of his house. He later went on to establish FontShop, in 1988, the first mail-order
distributor for digital fonts, with his wife Joan. This later evolved into many other
companies that strived to publish and distribute fonts to artists and designers all
over the world. During this time, he worked at MetaDesign, a global design con-
sultancy. He currently holds an honorary professorship at the Academy of Arts in
Bremen as a board member of German Design Council.
As an established designer, he has written many books such as Stop Stealing
Sheep & Find Out How Type Works and redesigned the magazine The Econo-
mist, a publication based in London. Through out his career, he has created many
commercial typefaces such as Berliner Grotest, Lo-Type, ITC Officina Sans, FF
Govan, and FF Meta Serif.
Spiekermann had achieved many milestones in his career, one of them being a
Honorary Doctorship for his contribution to design in April of 2006 from Art
Center College of Design. He later collaborated with designer Christian Schwartz
where they successfully designed the Deutsche Bahn family typeface. This won
them the Gold Medal at the German Federal Design Prize in 2006. The following
year, he was elected into the European Design Awards Hall of Fame.
Erik Spiekermann has the opportunity to participate in First Things First 2000
Manifesto, a collaboration of a group of international graphic designers in 1999
that followed the publication of First Things First Manifesto in 1964. The goal
was to generate discussion about the education and press exposure in the design
profession. Erik Spiekermann was one of the thirty-three designers to sign the
manifesto with the concerns of free design and the right to take a stand on who
and what they are designing for.
Spiekermann is currently residing in Germany and runs his own company called
edenspiekermann. Fun Facts include: His first love when it comes to typefaces is
Reklameschrift Block; He believes FF Info Office is underrated; One of his proud-
est projects is making the buses and trams in Berlin as well as designing the Ger-
man Railways corporate design.; He believes Arial is the most overrated font in
Herb LubalinWRITTEN BY DAWN LEE
Recognized for his unique contributions to the world of design, Herb Lubalin is
one of the most successful and foremost American graphic designers and typog-
raphers of the twentieth century. Although he is colorblind and started working
back in the day when designers utilized drawing boards and workstations, Lub-
alins design is still perceived as futuristic and innovative. As the creative mind
behind the culture-shocking magazines of the 20th century, including Eros, Fact,
Avant Garde, and U&IC, the designer introduced a fresh and groundbreaking
style to his audience. In fact, his logotype for Avant Garde magazine was so high
in demand that he later released the complete set of the font called, ITC Avant
The expressive typography of ITC Avant Garde is reflective of Herb Lubalins
vision in his design. The form of the tight, all-majuscule, and sans-serif typog-
raphy is slanted to the right, as if headed towards the future and embracing the
futuristic context of its existence. By giving the letterforms the shape and voice of
the meaning of the word Avant Garde itself, Lubalin manipulated the form into
an inseparable part of the words meaning.
Herb Lubalin was a designer who constantly sought for ways to create typograph-
ic innovations. His wildly illustrative typography is a result of his imagination
and insight, combined with his talent. His inventive typographic designs go be-
yond the twenty-six alphabet characters; by bringing a new aesthetic that empha-
sizes the shock of meaning to the world of design, publishing and advertisement,
Lubalin has changed the course and constraints of design for those who were to
follow. Lubalins typography is significant because it is a representation of how an
idea is conveyed from one to anotherhow meaning is communicated through
its form. The designers ability to incorporate sensitivity and meaning into his
typography has profoundly influenced young designers and continues to inspire
those who desire to push the boundaries of contemporary design.
Ed BenguiatWRITTEN BY ALBERT MONTGOMERY
Ed Benguiat is a scrapper - Ex-military, musician, Illustrator, typography. Sup-
after walking into the musicians union one day saw other older musicians, who
played wedding receptions and bar mitzvahs. He was like screw this I want to
be an Illustrator! Fortunately for Benguiat, his father was a lead illustrator for a
New York department store so he was around those type of tools, influence, and
opportunity, since the age of nine.
Ed Benguiat became a prolific lettering artist and became the typographic design
director at a company called Photo-Lettering, which failed by the way. But Ben-
guiats impact on the type community involves more than just design. He played a
critical role in establishing the International Typeface Corporation, the first inde-
pendent licensing company for type designers. Ed jump-started the type industry
in the late 60s and early 70s.Eventually he became known for logo designs for
Esquire, The New York Times, Coke, McCalls, Ford, Readers Digest, Sports Illus-
trated, and Estee Lauder. He created new ITC typefaces such as Bauhaus, Tiffany,
Korinna, Panache, Modern No, 216, Bookman, Caslon No. 225, Barcelona, and
Avant Garde Condensed to name some of them. At some point, The Ed Benguiat
Font Collection came into being, which is listed as a casual font family, named
after the designer, which includes not only five typefaces
but a series of dingbats, or what House Industries staff dubbed, during an in-
terview, bengbats. This was a collection of glyphs bases on his jazz percussion
background. Benjuiat laments that student designers now show more interest in
learning the computer rather than mastering the art of designing letterforms.
Too many new designers substitute technology for talent, thinking theyve got
a Mac and now they can draw a logo or a typeface. You have to learn to draw
first. The computer wont do it for you. Hes convinced that showing a font in
an A-B-C format is not the best way to sell it. Youve got to SEE IT in action,
typographically arranged exactly the way the designer had in mind. Each piece of
designed typography should be, so to speak, a beautiful work of art within itself.
Thats what typographic communication is all about, Liberating the
Ed Fella WRITTEN BY VICTORIA HORNG
Ed Fella was born in 1938. He grew up in Detroit Michigan and studied at Cass
Technical High School where he studied hand lettering, illustration, and com-
mercial art. After that he went into the graphic design industry where he did a lot
of work for automobiles. He then went back to school and studied at Cranbrook
Academy of Art where he was able to experiment and explore art and design
Today, he is an extremely well recognized graphic designer, artist, illustrator and
educator. His work is very different from what we usually expect from graphic
design in our time, which is expected to be clean and structural. He deconstructs
and distorts letterforms, using various different shapes, forms, spaces, and thick-
nesses. His hand lettering is an outburst of fun movement and combinations of
aspects belonging to different categories. Although at first glance his work may
look disorganized or too free, each part of it is done extremely skillfully.
He combines serifs with san serifs, dingbats, scripts and much more. Since he
pushes so many boundaries of peoples common perceptions of design, he is
known as a controversial designer. Nevertheless, his design has a great influence
in the industry, is extremely well received, and is followed by many people.
His way of mixing and matching, creating work that looks perhaps crazy, very
quirky, and extremely eccentric really changed how the current generation of
designers think and work today. In a world where the definition, methods, and
role of design are continuously changing with the transformation of society and
culture; his work helps us to once again question what exactly defines good de-
sign by pushing the boundaries of innovation and creativity, yet still creating
work which communicates and gives purpose.
Neville BrodyWRITTEN BY KATHERINE VUONG
Neville Brody is perhaps one of the most popular graphic designers of his gen-
eration. He studied graphic design at the London College of Printing and first
worked on record cover and magazine designs, establishing his reputation as one
of the worlds leading graphic designers. In particular, his innovative artistic con-
tribution to The Face brought his artistry to another level. Brody also won much
public acclaim through his ideas on incorporating and combining typefaces into
design. Later on he took this a step further and began designing his own typefac-
es, thus opening the way for the advent of digital type design.
He was one of the founding members of FontShop in London and over time has
designed 24 font families. A distinctly notable font is the updated font Times
Modern for the Times newspaper. In addition to pouring himself into design,
he was also partly responsible for starting the FUSE project, holding conferences
to bring together speakers from design, architecture, sound, film and interactive
design, and web.
What resonated with me more than his multiple decades of provoking design
and typographic work are his views on creativity and the future of innovation.
Brody believes that designers should take more risks and help draw attention to
social issues. He advises that with regards to politics, young designers have to find
their own platform. The point he makes is that its more about being a conscious
designer than anything else. Some designers dont think about the consequence
of their work, they are just motivated by money and making things look nice.
Then therere others who are only interested in designing for other designers. He
hopes to teach by giving context and getting students to engage with the idea that
everything they do will somehow affect the society that they live in.
He admits that for a time graphic design had lost its relevance with many design-
ers halting experimentation and simply conforming. Their work became a case
of style over substance. Brody that the main medium holding designers back is
the digital screen. Digital is becoming a utility. A few decades ago when people
first started thinking about the potential of the internet, he expected much more
innovation and experimentation by now, and so he tries to push out from being
boxed in in order to be great and hopes the same from other designers.
David CarsonWRITTEN BY TREVOR THORPE
Despite his indisputable influence in graphic design, David Carson manages to be
a controversial designer to this day. Compared to many influential typographers,
Carson does not come from any ordinary formal art school background. Rather,
into his mid-twenties, Carson was a professional surfer in California. It was not
until he was twenty-six and enrolled in a short design course that exposed him
to the wonders of typography. This unorthodox entry into the field is quite likely
responsible for his unique impact. He experimented with type in ways that other
artists with more formal typography education did not, manipulating text and
throwing letters around that often rendered them illegible. Hence, Carsons most
distinguished work was the source of debate seeing that it destroyed much of the
communicative value of typography that many hold to be its primary purpose.
However, at this expense he enhances the expressionistic qualities of type before
a viewer even reads the text.
Carson has worked on a variety of publications over the course of his career, and
his first role as an art director was for Transworld SKATEboarding in the 1980s.
Over the course of his time there, he refined and began to gain notoriety for his
distinct style of design. The covers he designed demonstrate early decisions to
manipulate and combine different typefaces, type sizes, and colors into individ-
ual headlines. In doing so he successfully captures the youthful and countercul-
tural idealizations of skater culture. Similarly, his other work facilitates its own
messages through the messy layouts of text. He became the first art director of
Ray Gun, a surf and music magazine in 1992. Seeing that the beginnings of this
publication were rooted in Carsons vision, it very much had a distinct style, add-
ing to the cutting-edge aesthetic that the magazine embodied. His work in par-
ticular building elaborately chaotic typographical designs for Ray Gun garnered
him enough fame to be featured in publications such as the New York Times.
After Ray Gun Carson went on to found his own design agency, David Carson
Design, which still operates today. As the head of the agency, Carson revisited
his passion for publications and created his own travel magazine, Blue which cir-
culated for three years. David Carson Design has done work for companies with
as high of profiles as NBC, American Airlines, Pepsi Cola, and Toyota amongst
many more. His agency has maintained his unique aesthetic, with text all over
the place and designs with aesthetics reminiscent of collage. Carson relays the
significance of his upbringing and unique background to be a driving force in his
typographic work. Today, he largely lectures including appearing on a TED Talk,
and he emphasizes the importance of the individual voice, and that each persons
own unique experiences should shape what he or she produces. Ultimately, Car-
sons work is admirable not only in its own inventiveness, but also that it encour-
ages peers and other type designers to think about communication in new ways.
Vincent ConnareWRITTEN BY BRANDON SINGH
The Story Behind the Typeface You Probably Hate The Most
Comic Sans MS is one of the most polarizing typefaces in the design community.
Even people who arent designers have learned to dislike the typeface. Its almost
a force of habit for most to despise Comic Sans. While the typeface itself is rel-
atively known by many, neither the man behind the it nor the story of Comic
Sans have been brought to light. The history behind Comic Sans and its designer
provides interesting insight about the typeface and can perhaps enlighten many
on a typeface that they have grown to dislike.
Vincent Connare designed Comic Sans when he was working for Microsoft in
1995. Connare is also the designer behind Trebuchet MS as well as one of the de-
signers behind Webdings. He began working on Comic Sans in 1994 after seeing
a beta version of Microsoft Bob, a personal assistant software being developed by
Microsoft in the 90s to appeal to younger users. The software featured cartoon
characters with word balloons and messages set in Times New Roman. Connare
found the typeface to be inappropriate for the given context of the software, so he
started to design Comic Sans. As implied in the name, the typeface was based on
the lettering style in comic books that Connare had in his office, namely The Dark
Knight Returns and Watchmen. He was careful not to copy the lettering used, but
instead pay close attention to the shapes the letters made considering that comic
letterforms were usually manually written at the time.
Comic Sans wasnt actually completed in time for the launch of Microsoft Bob.
A rough copy was made when Microsoft Bob was finished, but the typeface was
larger than Times New Roman, so it interfered with the metrics of the program.
While it was too late for Microsoft Bob, the programmers of Microsoft 3D Movie
Maker--which also used cartoon characters and speech bubbles--began to use
the font in their software. Comic Sans was later included in the Windows 95 Plus!
Pack and then became a standard font for Windows 95. The typeface eventually
became one of the default fonts for Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Internet
Interestingly enough, such inclusion of the typeface in other programs was not
what Connare had intended. Connare designed Comic Sans for applications that
were primarily targeted toward children, which was what Microsoft Bob was at
the time. It was the widespread inclusion of the typeface in so many programs
that allowed it to gain popularity among people of all ages. Connare believes
that people liked the font because it was fun and simple. Apple even used Comic
Sans as the default font for Apple iCards when they were first released. Ironically,
this lead to wider use of the typeface, perhaps overuse of it in appropriate situa-
tions, similar to the situation that lead to Comic Sans being created. According to
Connare, the main designer of Twitter said that the most server space is used by
complaints about airlines, Comic Sans, and Justin Bieber--in that order.
Lawrence WeinerWRITTEN BY ANDREW HURLBURT
Lawrence Weiner was a leader of the Conceptual Art movement of the 60s. Thus,
in order to understand Weiner as an artist and typographer one must understand
the Conceptual Art movement as a whole. Conceptualism, like its counterpart
Minimalism, is more easily described as a philosophy than as purely an artis-
tic movement. As a reaction of the Contemporary and High Modern art scene
during its time, Conceptualism was arguably born through Marcel Duchamps
works known as readymades. These readymades have made it possible for the art
world to expand its mind into accepting more conceptual works.
Weiner is most well known for his typographic pieces. One of the initial pieces
that he made based in typography was his book Statements which contained
exactly that, statements, throughout the entire book. Weiners work despite being
made primarily in text has been described as embodying every aspect and di-
mension of physical art. Weiners most famous works use a phrase or statement
and typographically lay them out onto a wall or site. Through his typography he
was able to transcend his art from a conceptual realm into a metaphysical one.
One other approach that Weiner uses is site-specificity to encapsulate the site as
a whole and adding his statement into the site thus creating a new meaning for
the site as a while.
Lawrence Weiners Bits and Pieces piece spells the line bits and pieces put to-
gether to present a semblance of a whole on the side of a building with a crevice
going through the middle of the text. Weiner uses crevice as a guide for his work
by aligning some words to it and more cleverly kerning evenly but also words are
not obstructed by the crevice. Other pieces he has made use this same method of
combining site and type to create a piece that is greater than each individually.t
Comic Sans and HelveticaWRITTEN BY IVY LI
Comic Sans has been the most hated font of this era by designers, and Helvetica,
too, is receiving a rising controversial reaction from the design community, and
there are historical, technical, and subjective reasons to account for the phenom-
First of all it is the exposure. Comic Sans is a casual, non-connecting script
font that was made by Vincent Connare for a very specific situationa friendly
speech bubble for Windows 95. And it was then carried out by Microsoft as one
of the default fonts in its operating system, and very soon it was largely cele-
brated by the public, and reached its high time of misuse. It quickly appeared
everywhere and on any publications, as it seemed to draw more attention from
the general public in the pool of traditional fonts. The exposure resulted in back-
lash, especially when they are used in inappropriate situations like formal emails,
legal documents and serious notifications. Helvetica, at the same time, is used
massively around the world as a professional Swiss font since 1957, when first de-
veloped by Max Miedinger. It was so loved and there is even a film for it. Its wide
popularity makes it one of the most used fonts in the entire planet, and several
large companies have used it for their brand identities.
These two fonts also have technical reasons for the controversial reactions they
are getting. Comic Sans has very poor kerning when used as the body copy. And
in terms of font design, it is constituted of inconsistent edges and weird angles.
Besides, it may not even be a good comic font due to its awkward and unnatural
strokes. However, it is often praised for its legibility. Helvetica, despite that it is
a professionally designed sans serif typeface that follows design principles, has
strokes that are too ubiquitous that barely communicate to the contemporary
audience at all.
And sometimes we designers just hate popular things, especially design related
stuff that are mindlessly used by the average people. When some fonts are used
too much, they are perceived emotionally different in the social context. Comic
Sans would imply bad taste and everyone knows immediately that you are not
are well-trained designer. Helvetica, on the other hand, means tasteless bor-
ing and playing safe. Partially due to these implications, Comic Sans and Hel-
vetica are generally not favored as much by contemporary designers.
Interestly, there is a revival of Comic Sans going on right now. The Comic Sans
Project includes some very impressive examples to use Comic Sans the right
way, which really emphasize its playfulness and try to avoid some technical issues
it may have. Overall, the conversation around type showcases the awareness not
only from within the design community but also the general public, which is an
achievement by itself.