Dan X. Solo - R.I.P

Diner's picture

Saddened to have learned recently via a tweet from Steven Heller that our good friend Dan X. Solo has passed . . . http://twitter.com/#!/thedailyheller

Nick Shinn's picture

He spoke at TypeCon in San Francisco.
And when I say he spoke, that’s all he did—no pictures.
In spite of, or more likely because of this, his presentation was brilliant.
An original.

HVB's picture

Thank you for the information. I haven't yet been able find any further information, but I'm sure it will be out there soon. Has was instrumental in preserving some of the vintage typefaces and in both digitizing them and promoting others to do so, in order that they won't be lost and available only on old, poorly maintained and reproduced images from foundry catalogs.

- Herb

idiotcountry's picture

A great loss indeed.

I will go ahead and ask the indelicate question - what will become of his remaining type archive? As I understand it, he kept all the 'good' stuff after he closed up his shop, yes?

Nick Shinn's picture

But what I really want to know is, what does the X stand for?

HVB's picture

His article in MyFonts says that he sold about half of his collection of 12,000 fonts (all on paper or film) when he closed up shop and started his mind-reading / magic act on board cruise ships with his wife. Who can tell what happened with the remaining 6,000 in the intervening years.

- Herb

Diner's picture

@ Nick - Xavier . . . Asked him when I saw him in SF . . . Named after a relative many times removed up the Solo line that had a really long name including the name Xavier contained within . . .

Otherwise there really wasn't much left of his archives after he downsized to apartment living as I understand it . . .

5star's picture

Interesting chap - sad loss.

On from HVD's post, are not fonts much like a magic act???

Don't they (mis)lead the mind's eye??


Norbert Florendo's picture

Sorry to hear of Dan's passing.
Just cracked open his Solotype's Cheap Catalog No. 14 (1985) to read his hysterical marginal notations and typeface descriptions.
He and I discussed releasing a CG Solotype series back in the eighties, much like we did with T.J. Lyons' collection.
R.I.P. Dan.

.00's picture


Mark Simonson's picture

I remember being surprised at his appearance at TypeCon in SF—older, taller and more dapper than I expected.

I thought his name was made up when I first started acquiring his series of type specimen books (published by Dover) back in the early '80s. "The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces" is still the over-all best reference for identifying display film fonts. I owe a lot of my ability to i.d. fonts from years of poring over those books.

Sad to seem him go.

Diner's picture

FWIW, I found this on Dan which I believe to be accurate and correct as well as the comments below . . .


Also, while I still haven't located a formal obit, he passed on April 15th, 2012 . . .

Mark Simonson's picture

Great link!

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