First, Favorite, Font, (500 px wide).

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Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
First, Favorite, Font, (500 px wide).
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Letraset was one of the first things that got me into type. I love watercolour painting, and one day about 25–30 years ago, while I was looking for porcelain mixing trays at the local art supply store, I noticed a stack of these “Letraset” catalogues. I was bored, so I picked one up, leafed through it, and noticed page after page of different types of letters. I had no idea there could be so many. And that was it. From that day on, I pretty much took that book with me everywhere I went. I covered it in clear packing tape to stop the wear, and I even wrote my name and telephone number on it in case I lost it, so some kind soul would return my valuable book to me. Believe it or not, I was a little awkward and nerdy as a kid. First, Favorite, Font, true story.

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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Sins from the past… ;-)

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
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Fifth grade, MS Word, and some

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Caxton. :-/
Luckily I can't find a copy to render a sample.

hhp

Ryan Maelhorn's picture
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Riccardo Sartori's picture
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Luckily I can't find a copy to render a sample.

There’s no really need ;-)
http://myfonts.us/td-4Zk8mg

James Michaels's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2010 - 12:54am
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Unfortunately it was...

Ryan Maelhorn's picture
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Blippo's not nearly as embarrassing as Arial Black.

riccardo, that link to Claxton doesnt work for me

Johan Palme's picture
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Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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that link to Claxton doesnt work for me

That’s strange.
How about this?
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/letraset/caxton/

Ryan Maelhorn's picture
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Joined: 24 Nov 2011 - 11:30am
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Yep, that works.

Craig Eliason's picture
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My first memory of noticing a font being cool was this type used on the box of [[http://www.videogamehouse.net/parsec.html|PARSEC]], a videogame for my primitive Texas Instruments 994A home computer.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture
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We had a T.I., don't remember the model number. Also a Timex Sinclair and a Radio Shack TRS-80. (My dad is an engineer). I remember loading some educational game (off of cassette) for the T.I. staring Walt Disney characters, that was meant to teach you all about letters and the difference between uppercase and lowercase, etc..

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am
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From my letterpress days in high school...

Marc Oxborrow's picture
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Joined: 26 Apr 2002 - 2:17pm
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I can't swear it was my first favorite, but it was the first typeface I knew well enough to point out to my girlfriend (now wife) at the grocery store. First encountered through a couple of sheets of hand-me-down rub-down lettering.

James Todd's picture
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Maybe it's because I spent a significant portion of my youth working in a movie theater.

Mark Simonson's picture
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I can remember noticing the way fonts look when I was learning to read. I think I even know what typefaces I was looking at in hindsight (one of them Century Schoolbook for sure).

For me, the first favorite font, where I knew the name and actually used it, was probably Times Roman. This was in about 1973, working as designer/editor on my high school yearbook. I thought it was beautiful. Other choices I can recall were Optima (never been a fan), Melior (too weird), ITC Souvenir (my second choice), and Bodoni (which looked old fashioned and ugly to me at the time).

Computers have kind of ruined Times Roman by making it so ubiquitous as a default font. But I still admire it.

Bert Vanderveen's picture
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Joined: 13 Jun 2004 - 8:19am
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In my mid teens. Typesetting cations for my (high) school magazine in the print shop of a neighboring art school. Seemed like the best typeface ever to me: Gill Sans (Bold Condensed).

Mili Carr's picture
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Joined: 17 Jun 2005 - 1:36pm
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I seem to remember liking

I worked for an ad agency with their own phototypesetters. For my daily tasks I had to use Eras (still dislike the gemena a), and was envious of those people who could use more elegant fonts. I could see most of the texts produced, as the ready processed film came out in the room I worked in.
There was once a spa opening, for which I had a chance to help with the teaser ads, using Optima!

Ryan Maelhorn's picture
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I still hate Bodoni

Mark Simonson's picture
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Bodoni Bold looked like every stodgy printed thing to me when I was in high school. I fell in love with Bodoni Book (ATF) later on.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture
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possibly I'm just reacting to it's overuse... possibly...

Mark Simonson's picture
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I think it requires more skill to use well than a lot of faces.

William Berkson's picture
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Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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Times New Roman for me as well. I still think it's a great typeface, though horribly misused in long lines on letter sized paper.

Aaron Thesing's picture
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And this was in 2003. It was my high school newspaper, I was 17, and it was probably the first type family (more than 4 styles) I had ever used.

A professional news designer was gracious enough to critique the paper once. She politely called our type a Garamond ‘knockoff.’ I became defensive. But it's name IS Garamond! Oh the things I would learn.

([[http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=2577|A fun, related read]])

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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ITC Garamond is pretty horrid, but it's not a "kockoff". It's simply a Jannon (albeit an obese one) and for a long time the types of Jannon were (intentionally?) confused for those of Garamont. Although there's still some apologism (some of which does qualify as convenient terminological sleight of hand) concerning calling a Jannon a Garamond, it's merely an issue of naming, not design plagiarism.

hhp

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Joined: 28 Feb 2010 - 4:47pm
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It made me think about serifs:

Jacob Sievers's picture
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Joined: 9 Oct 2009 - 8:17pm
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I was a kid, struggling with learning calligraphy. Then I discovered Letraset and said "Forget this, I've got Old English!":

Héctor Muñoz Huerta's picture
Joined: 21 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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I can barely bear the shame of Arial Black..

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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Anyone else? Don’t be shy…

Maxim Zhukov's picture
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Around 1958, Goudy Old Style, or

Stéphane Darricau's picture
Joined: 21 Jan 2006 - 10:08am
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Didn’t even know about Pet Sounds back then, but this one was available in dry-transfer lettering from the local newsagent.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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I think dezcom is cheating!

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Nah, he's not that old. ;-)

hhp

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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LOL!!! Yes I am THAT old :-) Seven decades quickly approaches.

Maxim Zhukov's picture
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Yes I am THAT old :-)

Among type people longevity is common… When I first met Dr. Robert Leslie (in the fall of 1977) he was ninety-two. The event I attended was a talk given by Herb Lubalin in The Heritage of the Graphic Arts lecture series managed by Doc Leslie. You should have seen that skipjack slam-banging around.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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That might be a side-effect of something I've noticed about type designers: they tend to not have a lot of kids.

hhp

Chris Lozos's picture
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I only have 2 kids but they are jobcase full :-)

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
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@ Hant, they tend to not have a lot of kids.

There could be a number of reasons for that - Mostly not very flattering... Sort of like why 35 year old die-hard Star Wars fans with life sized cutouts of all the main characters in their living rooms also tend not to have a lot of children.

I think, however, your evidence is mostly hearsay.

I had no 'first favourite' font. I began my career in graphics cutting vinyl and Amberlith lettering at a silk screen printing shop. It was an intensely intimate introduction to the beauty of typefaces. I loved them all.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Russ,

I think I still have amberlith under my fingernails :-)

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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@russellm: But if you were trapped on a desert island, and you could only have one font…

Dave Rowland Schizotype Fonts's picture
Joined: 19 May 2009 - 6:33pm
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A big one that could easily be made from pebbles, clearly legible from the sky, only the letters H, E, L and P would be required.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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This might suit your needs, except that its teeny tiny. Taken from http://reubenmiller.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/09/21-unexpected-a.html#more

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
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And what would I do with a font on a desert island Mr. Dean?

OK... I got the most fun from cutting 15' tall Futura Bold for an installation on the top of the CN tower (in Toronto)...

(edited to add recently found pic)

... Garamond. The process in the screen printing shop was to set the type on a piece of paper, blow it up to the required size with a projector and roughly trace the characters on a large piece of paper. We used the 'slip-sheet' roll that came with the Amberlith to keep the gel side from sticking to the backer. Then I'd tape th the paper to a large table be clean up the tracing, making sure weights, cap- heights, x-heights, etc. were consistent and correct and after that it's moved to a light table and cut. Garamond was a very satisfying font to cut. Every line and every shape somehow made sense and could be resolved with smooth, fluid and, I felt, very human gestures.

Chris,
Amberlith and Rubylith
and little knives that swivel....

(sung to the tune of Mares Eat Oats And Does Eat Oats, of course)

About that time I saw the first CAD plotter. It could cut a circle in 100 straight line segments, and not very fast. I thought, that's cool, but it will never do the job of skilled artist like me.

Hahahahahahahaha!

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
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@ Christopher This might suit your needs...

very cool... Must have taken a LOT of beach time to collect those stones.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Russel,
I had spent some time as a stripper in a print shop. This involved peeling bunches of that orange stuff. Those people had great skill with a swivel knife. By the 90s, they were all out of work.

Steve Marston's picture
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Publisher's Powerpack -- an add on for WordPerfect from. Atech software.

The first "real" font I ever bought was

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
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our shop never had strippers... (The boss & his friends) had to go down the street and around the corner for them.

:o)

We called it weeding, probably because Canadians weaken more quickly when it comes to really bad puns.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Well, I guess peeling off clothes and peeling of Amberlith are close enough ;-) Perhaps the boss and his friends went to a Raw Bar ?

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mjr
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At my college's television station, we needed on-screen graphics. This was in the late '70s, before electronic graphics were available, so that meant art cards, white on black. But almost all of the Letraset we could find were black letters. We found just one typeface in white, so we did everything with it. It isn't well suited for TV graphics, but we managed quite well with

(0nly back then it was called Microgramma Bold Extended).