My First and Last Typeface Design

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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I recently recovered this from the junk heap. It is a yellowing photostat of my first and only typeface design (1969-70). Total folly! At the time I was smitten by art moderne lettering. I called it “Klaus Boobala Bold” because I liked the K and B. I’ve lost the letters S through Z, which were made. The letters were drawn with compass, Techno pen (that frequently clogged). as well as a triangle and T-square. The inline and outline made no real logical sense.

I based the design, in part, on Kabel, Avant Garde and it was a product of whatever I could accomplish with those tools. The caps-only alphabet was photographed and produced as a film negative that was cut in foot-long strips and spliced to fit on a Typositor reel. Sadly, the negatives made for the font were too brittle and the splice snapped apart in the Typositor. I worked on it for well over a month and used the face only once. I realized with this attempt, like so many other times I attempted different challenges, that type design — indeed mechanical drawing — was not my strong suit.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →