One Face Wonders

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

It's hard for me to imagine someone only creating one typeface and no more. It would be like someone only painting one painting, or someone writing only one song. To gather enough passion for something to do it completely and in whole once, but at the same time not enough passion to want to even do it one more time before you die, seems like a hard spot to land on.

hrant's picture

Passion can be for quality rather than quantity.


Nick Shinn's picture

In the past, many lettering designers would have liked to have had more than one kick at the can, but even that was a rarity.

Max Miedinger worked for 30 years as a graphic designer and typographer before he joined Haas.

dberlow's picture

How many glyphs?

quadibloc's picture

From the title, I thought this thread was about something like like the "one hit wonder" in popular music; a type designer who, unlike Frederic W. Goudy, Morris Fuller Benton, or Hermann Zapf, only designed one successful face that anyone remembers.

Many amateur designers might well just make one font and decide it's just too much work.

Jan's picture

Only designer I can think of is Otl Aicher: Rotis.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

K. Sommer: Dynamo.

altsan's picture

Did Bruce Rogers do any generally-released typefaces besides Centaur?

I know he did Montaigne but as far as I know that was only used for one or two in-house jobs (in one point size) and was never made generally available...

dumpling's picture

Why wouldn't someone make only one face? Maybe one face is all that they need.

hrant's picture

I know a guy who only made 1/2 a face: Stanley Morison.


oldnick's picture

Peter Max’s Riverside Drive…

JamesM's picture

> like the "one hit wonder" in popular music

Or in movies where some actors may have been in many movies but are remembered mostly for one role, like Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Linda Blair (Exorcist), or Margaret Hamilton (witch in Wizard of Oz).

hrant's picture

Yes, typecasting! :-)

Which brings me to something I've been wanting to do for a while: would it be possible/useful to make a list of type designers showing what they're best at and/or best known for*? For example Alejandro Paul would have "script fonts", James Montalbano might get "highway signage", Gerry Leonidas and Maxim Zhukov would obviously get "Greek" and "Cyrillic" respectively, etc. Although there's a risk of pigeon-holing it would also be useful to direct people to specialists. Maybe?

* No snide remarks about yours truly please. :-)


HVB's picture

Is Ryan suggesting that other type designers are two-faced?

Nick Shinn's picture

Gerry Leonidas and Maxim Zhukov would obviously get "Greek" and "Cyrillic"…
Have they ever designed or published any typefaces?

hrant's picture

I think Maxim has, but it sort of doesn't matter because they get paid good money to consult on those scripts by many foundries, all of whom can't be that stupid or magnanimous.

BTW, I don't pretend it would be a one-to-one mapping; clearly more than one person could end up with a "Cyrillic" tag or anything else.


dezcom's picture

Michael Jordan never scored a touchdown but he was one hell of an athlete just the same.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

yeah, idk, should government sponsorship really count?

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

The little red dots.. strange.. the only place I'd use them, the 6 and the 9, they aren't there

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Jackson Burke -- "Trade Gothic"

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