Monday, 19 October 2020

font specimen

Boing Boing brings us a nice retrospective appreciation of the life and work of the recently departed typographer Ephram Edward (Ed) Benguiat (*1927), whose expansive family of fonts every one of us has surely encountered and used—Bookman, ITC Avant Garde, Panache, Souvenir—plus his formatting, layout and logotype for periodicals including Esquire, Playboy, Reader’s Digest, the San Diego Tribune newspaper and Sport Illustrated.

Beginning his work in graphic design just after World War II as a so called “cleavage retoucher,” Benguiat was part of a team assigned to airbrush out nudity or otherwise suggestive images in film and magazines to comply with Hays Code impositions, however by the 1970s his signature aesthetic for display typefaces and titles was in the kerning—regarded as “sexy spacing” between letters, flirtatiously not quite touching. Aside from movie posters and corporate campaigns for Super Fly (1972), Planet of the Apes (1968) and Foxy Brown (1974, ITC Caslon, № 224), Benguiat also was responsible for the opening credits sequence for the prestige television series Stranger Things. Learn more at the links above.