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The following article appeared on April 2, 2002 in The Evening Post, published in Wellington, New Zealand, on the Money & Business page. Special thanks to Ramsey Margolis for bringing it to our attention.
OUR MAN OF LETTERS DRINKS FROM FOUNT
By Mathew Loh Ho-Sang
A world-renowned Wellington commercial artist and fount designer is
rejoicing after clinching a deal that will see his art released digitally in
computers throughout the world.
Hataitai resident Joseph Churchward, 69, whose fount design Wellingtonians
see every day when looking at The Evening Post masthead, says he is
"absolutely honoured" that a highly-regarded American-based design firm,
chank.com, has decided to resurrect his work.
"I drew my first letters in the sands of my Samoan birthplace way back in
the 40s," Mr Churchward said.
He went on in the 70s to become one of New Zealand's most successful fount
designers, with his work marketed globally by a German company.
Now more than 30 years on -- after having had his career stall when he lost
his fortune following the 1987 sharemarket crash -- Mr Churchward is back
with as much enthusiasm for his art as ever.
"In my time I have designed 300 alphabets, which I believe is the most done
by any living artist today," he said.
"Therefore I am tremendously excited and absolutely honoured that chank.com
are treating me so well and have signed a deal with me to digitally release
my 300 alphabets in 20 separate volumes with 15 fount designs in each."
Chank.com founder and chief executive, Minnesota-based Chank Diesel, said it
wasn't easy choosing 15 founts for the first volume "from a collection of
exquisite craftsmanship but we believe this initial release is a snapshot of
the innovation and diversity found in Mr Churchward's typography work".
Mr Churchward is now busy designing new founts, some based on ancient Maori
and Samoan designs.
"At the moment I'm busy on new designs and therefore by the time my 300
previous designs are released there will be another 100 to add.
"My design interests reflect New Zealand and my own rich heritage of
Chinese, Samoan, Scottish, English and Tongan ethnicity," Mr Churchward
saide. "It is very exciting getting my work back out to the world after so
long and I'm totally inspired."