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If you don’t know Matthew Carter, You should.


Matthew Carter. Geoff Mayer.


Matthew Carter.


Matthew Carter:

The Most Important Typography Designer of Our Time. Geoff Mayer. Spring 2011. Intro to Type.


Read Easy. Early Life. Matthew Carter is a type designer born in 1937 in London, England. He currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. Carter spent a year studying punch-type at the Enschendé and Zonen type foundry in The Netherlands and was immediately drawn into the typographic community. Carter decided to pursue typography instead of going to Oxford for university, as he had planned to prior to his internship. Carter’s father, Harry Carter, fully supported his son’s decision, as he was a successful typographer in his own right.

Since Then. Currently Matthew Carter is MacArthur Fellow, an AIGA medalist, and is one half of Carter & Cone. Carter’s most successful font families include Verdana and Georgia. Carter has also designed type for Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, and Wired.

2—Matthew Carter­


Sample Work.

Carter Latin Design Sheet.

ITC Charter Sketches. Matthew Carter­—3


Contemporary Type. Currently Matthew Carter is MacArthur Fellow, an AIGA medalist, and is one half of Carter & Cone. Carter’s most successful font families include Verdana and Georgia. Carter has also designed type for Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, and Wired. Matthew Carter designed typefaces for Linotype for part of his life, including Bell Centennial. He followed his job at Linotype by co-founding Bitstream Inc. Bitstream Inc. is still going strong even though Carter left it after its creation. Bitstream was the first independent digital type foundry. Carter’s goal at Carter & Cone is to work on fonts to improve readability. Verdana and Georgia are both optimized for viewing on a computer screen. As it makes clear on Carter’s bio-page on the MacArthur Foundation page, his lifespan has let him train both in physical typesetting and digital type creation. This experience has given Carter an edge in creating type since the creation of digital typesetting.

4—Matthew Carter­


Verdana.

ABCDEFGHIJK LMNOPQRSTU VWXYZ abcdefghijklmn opqrstuvwxyz Regular 40pt.

123456789 Matthew Carter­—5


Mr. Carter.

6—Matthew Carter­


Backbone. Carter’s early fonts (mostly at Linotype) included Helvetica Condensed and Shelley Script. Carter was named Typographical Advisor to Her Majesty’s Stationery Office in 1980 (he was the Typographical advisor to Her Majesty’s Stationery Office for four years) and was Royal Designer for Industry in 1982. Carter’s background gives his font families and sets what he calls “backbones”. A strong sense of togetherness and coherence.

Sources: MonotypeImaging.com MyFonts.com The MacArthur Foundation, MacFound.org The British Design Museum, DesignMuseum.org AIGA.org Matthew Carter­—7

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