Matthew Carter: Reflects on type design

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Title: Matthew Carter: Reflects on type design
Author: Hoffman, Phyllis
Abstract: This project is an oral history about the type designer Matthew Carter. Through questions Matthew Carter's thoughts and ideas on type design have been explored. The resultant dialogue was recorded as an oral history of Matthew Carter. There are video and audio tapes along with the written project. The purpose of this research is to determine how Matthew Carter approaches designing letterforms as technology changes. A discussion follows in which Carter's core philosophy of letterform design is defined; his ideals and perception of type design, and any significant trends anticipated in the future of letterform design. The theoretical basis for this study is the changing technology and how or if it affects typeface design. A List of References is included as Appendix A. Based upon this review, no one has explored the idea of how type design has changed over time, from hot metal typesetting, through phototypesetting, to the age of digital typesetting. There are many surprises as Matthew Carter explained how his approach to type design has changed little over the period. The method in which one could set type has changed opening the way to new possibilities. Methodology included study of all of Matthew Carter's typefaces, formulation of relevant questions, travel to Cambridge, Massachusetts to interview Matthew Carter and record the interviews on both audio and video media. Questions of Importance include Matthew Carter's early years in printing, his professional life, the present and the future of typeface design. The appendices contain a list of all of the type faces designed by Matthew Carter.
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Date: 1999-05-01

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