Bezier Experts - The Best Vector Drawing Typographers

Kannery's picture

In an attempt to learn from the best, I have been looking at the work of established Bezier masters. The short list of typographers that I came up with is just based on my limited prejudices:

Matthew Carter
David Berlow
Lucas de Groot
Gerard Unger
Leslie Cabarga
Tobias Frere-Jones
Robert Slimbach

I would love to learn more, and I feel I have overlooked many vector drawing heros.

If you could nominate five people to the Bezier Drawing Hall of Fame, who would you choose?

5star's picture

Yukio Miyamoto. I've been an admirer of his vector talents since Illy 10!


sevag's picture

In no particular order here are some designers that come to my mind:

Akira Kobayashi
Jean François Porchez
Robert Slimbach
Christian Schwartz
Cyrus Highsmith

(The list could go on, so here are some other designers whose works I admire: Fred Smeijers, Nick Shinn, John Hudson, Peter Biľak, Mário Feliciano, Panos Vassiliou, František Štorm, Martin Majoor, Zuzana Licko, Veronika Burian and José Scaglione)

1996type's picture

Bezier masters or typedesign masters?

oldnick's picture

Ale Paul deserves mention, surely...

daverowland's picture

Tim Ahrens, for making everyone else's beziers better.

hrant's picture

What Jasper said.

Evert Bloemsma
Jeremy Tankard
Cyrus Highsmith


daverowland's picture

You could test by getting everyone to vectorize a spiral. Even tracing, it's pretty hard.

Kannery's picture

Dang! Three points to Nick Shinn!

Thanks for all the great suggestions. By calling this the "Bezier Hall of Fame" the thought was to call attention to typographers with a strong command of vector drawing, or who use beziers in innovative ways. For example, I had somewhat admired the printed forms of Garage Gothic since the 1990's, but when I finally took a look at Frere-Jones' vectors I was blown away, impossible! was my first reaction. Just seeing those vectors created a sense of fresh possibilities for me.

There are typographers who keep vector shapes "extremely" simple, so as to make later adjustments easy and flexible. Still others employ secret "trappy" tricks to get gaps to behave. Its possible to be too myopic with technique and have the final forms suffer, but knowledge of the bezier possibilities is a great toolkit to have in your pocket.

John Hudson's picture

There are [type designers] who keep vector shapes "extremely" simple, so as to make later adjustments easy and flexible. Still others employ secret "trappy" tricks to get gaps to behave.

I usually maintain simplicity of outline definition as long as possible, also allowing outline overlaps in source data. As you say, this enables flexibility and ease of editing. My preference is to do this even through interpolation sources if these are to be used. Then I create a separate copy of the source file in which I go through the glyphs removing overlaps and adding 'trappy tricks' and other refinements to produce the final design. Of course, the only reason I can do it this way is that, after many years, I have a pretty good idea what refinements are going to be necessary and what affect they will have, meaning that I don't need them for early testing of letter shapes because I can mentally apply them.

piccic's picture

I’m not sure it’s so easy to choose and judge but I would add Mark Jamra to the list, and possibly Kunihiko Okano (among the "new entries" :-) ).

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