NEW TYPE DESIGNER

anonymous's picture

I just recently was exposed to type design via the Fontographer program. I love to look at letter forms. This site is pretty good for new people like me.

I have searched the Internet for more information on some questions that I need answering but I was not able to get the answers.

I will post them here for discussion.

8 Are there any prominent African-American type designers.

8 What is the difference between the following terms; gothic, grotesque, grotesk, and sans.

8 Who made the first computer or digital font.

8 Who is considered the best in this field as far as individuals and foundries. Is there a font considered the best font. These examples I could study and use their accomplishments as models.

Thank you in advance.

Terry Wilson

hrant's picture

> Maybe a graphic design forum would be cool.

There's almost too many forums, actually.
What I would recommend is becoming a member of Typo-L* first, and then asking there for more leads.

* Somewhere in here: http://listserv.heanet.ie/

> I'd like to pick one and be somewhat of a pioneer.

Now that's called planning ahead! And a killer plan it is. Don't be afraid to leverage your minoritiness - as long as you don't let that on...

Anyway, I hope you choose the craft of type design, but wherever you go, good luck! BTW, although this list is representative of type design as a whole in *some* ways (like the obsessivity, and the bickering), it's not really a reliable way to gauge what it *really* is. Not that it's the same thing to each of us anyway, especially these days of so called "democratized" type design.

> I also know that there are alot of great type designers who are women.

There are? I've always felt there aren't enough, and some of the ones we have (and have had) tend to get "celebrity" syndrome - like Warde, who wasn't even a designer. I would point to Jill Bell as a very good type designer who doesn't get enough attention.

hhp

anonymous's picture

Thank you for your responses. Were there any others.

Two more questions. Are there more forums like this on the internet. Maybe a graphic design forum would be cool.

Also how can I find out who made the first computer font.

As far as being an African American woman, there are a lotof other fields that are under-represented. I'd like to pick one and be somewhat of a pioneer. Though I have gone through this site and I'm not sure that type design is for me I'll definitely keep it in mind. I also know that there are alot of great type designers who are women. I would like to use my painting background but be more than just a painter. I'll figure it out.

Sincerely,

Terry

hrant's picture

> I love to look at letter forms.

Then you're halfway there! Well, at least a quarter.

> Are there any prominent African-American type designers

You know, that's a question *nobody* dares to ask... I think the fact that there are virtually *none* in the field (go to an ATypI conference, and you'll see) means nobody wants to face the issue.

The only one I've seen in a picture (I've never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, so I'm not 100% sure) is Joshua Darden*, and I think he might be half (if that matters).

* http://www.typography.com/profile/index.html

> What is the difference between the following terms; gothic, grotesque, grotesk, and sans

Depends who you ask. My advice is: don't ask. :-/

> Who is considered the best in this field as far as individuals and foundries

Terry, it takes somebody fresh like you to ask such a brazen question. Thank you. Some people would call that a simple-minded question, but at its heart is the desire for insight - and that's a great thing.

Dead people, I'd would cite two: Robert Granjon, Eric Gill.
Living people: If I were *forced* to choose one person, I would have to say Matthew Carter. But I would quickly add some of my favorites, like Gerard Unger and Lee Schulz and Evert Bloemsma and ....

The thing is, you don't have to look for *the* best - there's so much to learn from so many designers, almost any of them, in fact - as long as you know what to look for. For example, a designer could be very good at making pretty letterforms, without the ability to space the font properly. Or a designer could be very good at making text fonts, but couldn't make a hip display font if you held a gun to his head.

To elaborate further, different people are good at different things, so if you can focus on individual aspects of the craft and ask again (like right here), then you might get some very specific recommendations of whose fonts to peruse. Just one thing, in case it needs saying: if/when you open the fonts of others, don't re-use the actual curves! Also, whenever you draw substantial inspiration from a specific design or designer, try to give credit, in public.

BTW, Terry: thank you so much for being here!!

hhp

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