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« Matthew Carter in WaPo

There was a new article about famous type designer Matthew Carter by Rachel Saslow, last Thursday in the Washington Post.

It’s mostly a really good article. Well written, entertaining, gets to a few good truths about the work and type design (though it never mentions that that most people would find the work insanely tedious).

There is just one goof that jumped out at me, which led me to some other thoughts:

When Carter designs a typeface, he typically starts with a lowercase h. It has an ascender (the stroke going up on the left), but it also reveals a lot about the character of the typeface. From a lowercase h, he explains, you can tell what a lowercase l, m and n will look like. Graphic designers, however, usually identify typefaces by more flamboyant letters of the alphabet, such as a capital “Q” or a lowercase “g.” The fact that Carter is more of a lowercase h guy says much about his design style.

I hate to break it to Ms Saslow, since it’s a great line, but no, it doesn’t say much about Carter’s design style:

None of which is to put down the article in general. I’m just a typographic curmudgeon, is all.

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