First text typefaces

Through Letraset I got my first serious commission to design a text typeface for International Typeface Corporation in New York. ITC was founded by Aaron Burns and Herb Lubalin, and was one of the first companies to commercialize typefaces. The older type manufactures who where tied to selling the hugely expensive computer type setting systems treated type design as a secondary by-product. Along came ITC releasing every three months a new fashionable typeface.

They did not have their own typesetting system but licensed their designs to the type manufactures leaving them to implement the new designs in their systems.

ITC was very clever their magazine U&lc was highly influential and sought after by designers everywhere. The new designs releases where shown in each new issue, Herb Lubalin was an outstanding graphic designer and made fabulous use of the typefaces, young designers could not but want to use them and the type manufactures had to license them. With both ITC and Letraset commercializing typefaces was the beginning of the typeface explosion, which is still with us today.

ITC Quay Sans was my first serious attempt at a true text font. I wanted to design a font specifically for magazines that could be set in fairly narrow measures and save space. I submitted the idea in the form of the word, ‘Hamburgefontsiv’ which contain most of the main characteristics in an alphabet. When I presented Quay Sans to ITC in New York Erik Spiekermaan was also presenting his Officina. Coincidentally both typefaces, which appear quite different where both answering the same question — a font to work in a similar environment. Both typefaces were accepted.