Milton Glaser wouldn't have described himself as a type designer. But it's hard to argue against its significance to his work, which includes typefaces such Hologram and Babyfat, as seen on a 1967 Simon & Garfunkel concert poster he produced. Though people insist they see Elvis in Glaser’s Dylan poster, his Babyteeth typeface does make a clear and intentional appearance.
Inspired by a local business’ shop sign, this type will be familiar to many music fans, as it has made additional appearances on posters and covers, especially in the 70s and 80s. In addition to Dylan, Babyteeth has also been used on covers for albums by Herbie Hancock, Otis Redding, and a poster for Mahalia Jackson, to name a few.
“The inspiration for my Babyteeth typeface came from this sign I photographed in Mexico City. It’s an advertisement for a tailor. The E was drawn as only someone unfamiliar with the alphabet could have conceived. Yet it is completely legible. I tried to invent the rest of the alphabet consistent with this model,” Glaser once said.
Foundry P22 met with Milton Glaser before his passing and started work on digital versions of Babyteeth. Based on original notes, drawings, and prototype proofs, P22’s Babyteeth is the only digital version approved by Milton Glaser Studio and the Glaser estate. Open versions allow for chromatic play and layering and a total of 8 fonts are available.