Type giant Matthew Carter gives lecture

Hugely influential typographer Matthew Carter -- designer of faces including Verdana, Tahoma, and Georgia -- explores the influence of the past on contemporary type design in this year's Justin Howes Memorial Lecture 2009 next week.

The event, titled 'Genuine Imitations: a type designer's view of revivals', is organized by graphic design library St Brides and takes place on May 28.

A number of Matthew Carter’s designs have been based on historical types: ITC Galliard, Big Caslon, Big Figgins, Miller and Vincent among them. Others, like Snell Roundhand and Mantinia, were derived from non-typographic sources from the past.

In this lecture he explains his debt to the historical legacy – especially to the resources of St Bride’s. Matthew Carter's type revivals have varied in faithfulness to their models, which raises questions about the responsibilities of the continuator of traditional forms, about degrees of interpretation, adaptation to current technology, ancestor worship and travesty.

The lecture commemorates historian and fellow type-reviver Justin Howes.

Matthew Carter is a type designer with 50 years’ experience of typographic technologies ranging from hand-cut punches to computer fonts. He is a principal of Carter & Cone Type Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, designers and producers of original typefaces. His type designs include ITC Galliard, Snell Roundhand, Bell Centennial, Big Caslon, Skia and Miller.

For Microsoft he designed the screen fonts Verdana, Tahoma and Georgia. Carter is a Royal Designer for Industry and a recipient of the AIGA medal and the Type Directors Club medal. In 2004 he received the Special Commendation of the Prince Philip Designers Prize ‘for outstanding achievement in design for business and society’. He has taught for many years at Yale’s graduate school of Graphic Design.

The lecture is free but tickets must be reserved here and are going fast.

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