Geoffrey Lee- Impact

alison's picture

I came accross your site through a google search and thought id join and post to see if anyone could help me out. I am currently doing a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and at the moment doing a type and typography project. I have been trying to find information about Geoffrey Lee and the design of his font Impact. I haven't yet found much and would be very grateful if anyone has any info they could pass on.

Thanx

dan_reynolds's picture

I don't have any info, but I'm curious as to why you chose "Impact." Do you have a special attatchment to the design? It isn't exactly the "favorite" of many posters here.

Here is what little I know about the font & it's design.
Both the Linotype and Veer website say that the design is very similar to Helvetica Inserat.

MyFonts said that he designed another font recently, named Camden (http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/geoffreylee/camden/familytree.html), and that he is now retired.

He used to work in advertising (also from MyFonts, http://www.myfonts.com/person/lee/geoffrey/y/), and Impact was released by Stephenson Blake.

I don't know what has happend to Stephenson Blake. Did anyone buy it? (Monotype Imaging has the rights to all of the old typefaces, I think)

geraintf's picture

not a lot of info online. old Stephenson Blake catalogues might help. perhaps get in contact with him? (although he's retired now)...

some basic info here:

http://www.myfonts.com/person/lee/geoffrey/y/
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/stephensonblake/impact/familytree.html
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/font.aspx?FID=7&FNAME=Impact

Stephenson Blake context: http://cgm.cs.mcgill.ca/~luc/stephensonblake.txt

good luck

geraintf's picture

gak! double post.

dan, stephenson blake is still around, sort of, although type is no longer their main concern and (AFAIK) they don't sell digital fonts. sadly, their website doesn't really do justice to their type heritage:

http://www.stephensonblake.co.uk/hfbt.htm

geraintf's picture

although, to be fair, there are some interesting notes here:

http://www.stephensonblake.co.uk/hist_1.htm

alison's picture

thankyou for the links

i dont av an attachment to the design... this is the first time i have ever worked with type and typography and we had to chose 6 fonts from a list and trace them, then develop analysing one font in order to produce a poster. I chose impact because i've thought about doing a simple poster with few words on it in large font to get across the message of giving 'impact'.

eriks's picture

Geoff Lee used to run a small typesetting studio in Clerkenwell, London. I

zeetree's picture

I recall him being at Pembertons Advertising. He's well into his 80's now BTW. Try him at geoff.lee1@ntlworld.com

gyl's picture

Hopefully I can answer some of the points raised in this discussion and give Alison some information for her project.
Q. Why design it in the first place?
A. In the days of metal typesetting many desirable designs were from foreign foundries, cost of importing was considerable, and in some cases type founts had to be planed down from European height of .928 inch to our .918 inch.and although adsetters could afford to pay the much higher prices, the average British printer could not.
Hence the need for a home-grown product. Efforts were made to get

dan_reynolds's picture

Mr. Lee, I'd love to see a copy of the brochure you mentioned that compares Impact with nine other typefaces. My e-mail address is dan@typeoff.de

Your contribution is certainly not to long. Welcome to Typophile!

alison's picture

Thankyou very much for your information.

My email address is alison1985@hotmail.com n I would be very grateful for any information that you could send to me as my project is due in on the 13th December

hrant's picture

Wow, the designer of Impact on board! How nice is that. Geoffrey, I hope you find to time to stick around. And to me anybody who uses an internet forum can't be feeling more than 40.

BTW, what about Haettenschweiler?

hhp

eriks's picture

GL Typographics Limited

Welcome, Geoff! Yes, I still have specimens, both from GL typographics and from Diagraphics. I just can

geraintf's picture

many thanks for your reply, mr lee. it's great to have you here.

you mention the need for a 'home grown product'. but surely, even in the 60s, stephenson blake's catalogue would have been full of british, late C19 / early C20 condensed grots, some of them highly condensed.

were these old grots still manufactured by then? or was there a feeling that these faces were too out-dated/irregular/inconsistant/'pre-modern' for display/advertising, and needed updating? (perhaps, after looking at akzidenz grotesk, haas produced helvetica for the same reasons..)

how aware, do you think, british foundries / type designers in the 60s were of recent continental sans (helvetica, univers, folio, eurostyle et al)... i would be very interested to hear your perspective on this. i suppose the context eludes me...please forgive the questions.

by the way, please feel free to post your pdf on this forum. (this can be done by clicking on 'upload attachment', and following the instructions). otherwise, i'd be grateful if you could cc me a copy at geraintfranklin_at_yahoo_dot_co_dot_uk


best regards

geraint

gyl's picture

hrant.
Thanks for your comment.
Haettenschweiler

hrant's picture

Haettenschweiler is a font that looks at lot like Impact.
I don't know its lineage, but does that MS page mean it came before Impact?

hhp

geraintf's picture



[type scaled to same x-height and tracking adjusted to aid comparison]

dan_reynolds's picture

Well, I would say that they look totally different.

geraintf's picture

here is the original (?c.1965) impact advertising leaflet (seperated into indivual pages). (reproduced with the permission of geoffrey and ken dickinson, the leaflet designer). the large and artefact-y nature of the files is entirely my fault.

geraintf's picture

You can now see for yourself why Stephenson Blake cut Impact. It is quite different and so good.

hrant's picture

Cool stuff, thanks!

BTW, it's really nice how the hyphen can be flipped depending on if it's for lc or UC use. And the colon can be filed to become a bullet/midpoint! And the alternate "r"* and "J" are just brilliant. BTW, did you notice the slight flaring at the ends of strokes? Most notable in the "t". Lost in the digital version. :-( Time for a full revival? Somebody should do with Geoffrey what House does with Benguiat.

* And from now on if somebody complains about the "r" in Mana I'll tell them S&B thought that shape has "warmth and character". :-)

hhp

hangedup's picture

A question: What does mean the words under the sample text, e.g. 32 A, 65 a, etc.?

eriks's picture

What does mean the words under the sample text, e.g. 32 A, 65 a

That is the amount of characters per set of one minimum, the smallest amount of type you could buy. The foundries had a list against which you could check how many of each letters would be contained. If there were 7 l/c a, there would have been 10 or so e, 5 s, etc. For international sales, these combinations were different, as languages have different frequencies for each character.

I must admit that I cannot remember the name of that font listing; in German it was called a Gie

gyl's picture

Eric.
Rudolf Hostettler

gyl's picture

Sorry folks,
For Spxxxxx read Spring 1965.

Problem with what should be three separate pictures. How does one move the jpegs within the message board?

gyl's picture

Does anyone know how to sort out the problem of my
three jpegs in a row and subsequent width trouble?

Have e-mailed forum-support for assistance but
have not had a reply.

royalmajestics's picture

the magic should happen when you use HTML code in your message.
i can't put an example for you here, cause this textfield would take it as code.

gyl's picture

Width now sorted, thanks to Moderator Yves Peters

geraintf's picture

i absolutely agree with all of hrant's post 7563.

>Somebody should do with Geoffrey what House does with Benguiat.

well, how about this? as long as the outlines were not based on the existing m/s digital data, i don't see a problem. indeed, and new version could be based on the metal, or existing designs such as those posted above.

what do you think, geoffrey?

ps. thanks yves.

hrant's picture

> post 7563

BTW, did anybody notice that the old-timer-but-new-to-Typophile Geoffrey came up with the best way to refer to individual posts? Sure it seems obvious post-facto, but none of us young* digitheads had managed it. I for had been using a bulky date/time stamp approach. This is much more elegant, and equally robust.

* For the sake of argument in my case.

hhp

speter's picture

Hrant, that system is in regular use in the critiques section, including in threads you participate in. :-) (I'm glad that Geoffrey is paying attention, though.)

hrant's picture

Really? I could blame my adoption of heavy skimming since this summer, but maybe I have to blame age instead... For the record, could you point me to such a thread?

hhp

speter's picture

Look here, where Daniel Weaver says, "I like the direction of #4 on post 45" (which follows one of your time-stamp references). The system gets picked up by several other posters in the same thread. Or this thread, where Gregory Egedi says, "Post nr 43 is very nice suprice as well." In general, look for the longish threads in critique.

hrant's picture

I guess those numbers were far too low for them to register in my head as post counts... :->

hhp

gyl's picture

General.
Sorry for delayed response, due to illness. Because of it the following item is of
academic interest only.

Hrant 7563 and Geraintf 192.
Your

speter's picture

To what am I supposed to have paid attention?

Actually, I was saying that you did pay attention in the way you were quoting. It was Hrant who wasn't.

Blendedesign's picture

Hi,
ive also been given a project based on Impact the comments on here have been useful, but i wondered if anyone knows when Impact was converted to a digital form and who by?

Thanks

Mark Simonson's picture

The Monotype digitization may not have been the first, but it's possible, and it's the only digital version in distribution, AFAIK.

Rob Mientjes's picture

Something else entirely: I've noticed this before on other threads (can't recall which) that were from an older Typophile version, but most of gyl's posts are cut off. A great loss, I'd think. It renders the thread incoherent as well.

— Rob Mientjes
robmientjes.nl / rbmntjs.nl

Rob Mientjes's picture

Excellent, Mark, thanks a lot. This really is a glorious thing to have archived online.

— Rob Mientjes
robmientjes.nl / rbmntjs.nl

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