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Alphabet Innovations International -- TypeSpectra (Was: MM2000) [Phil Martin]

Born in Dallas in 1923, and retired in Florida, Phil Martin had an exciting life, which started as a bombardier in WWII, and went on as a piano bar singer, publisher, cartoonist, comedian and typographer. He died in October 2005.

Phil established Alphabet Innovations International in 1969 and TypeSpectra in 1974, and designed most of his 400 typefaces (read: film fonts for use in the VGC Photo Typositor) there: Agenda (1976), Americana (1972), Arthur (1970, by Roc Mitchell), Aurora Snug (1969), Avalon (1972), Baskerville (1969), Beacon (1987), Bluejack (1974), Borealis (1970, by Roc Mitchell), Britannic (1973), Bulletin (1971), Celebration (1969, by Roc Mitchell), Century S (1975), Cheltenham (1971), Clearface (1973), Cloister (1975), Corporate (1971, by Roc Mitchell), Corporate Image (1971, by Roc Mitchell), Courier B EF (2004, originally done at Scangraphic), Didoni (1969, a knock-off of Pistilli Roman with swashes added), Dimensia and Dimensia Light (1971, by Roc Mitchell), Dominance (1971), Egyptian (1970), Eightball (1971, some report this incorrectly as a VGC face, which has a different typeface also called Eightball: it was digitized by FontBank as Egbert. Alphabet Innovations' Eightball had other versions called Cueball and Highball, and all three were designed by George Thomas who licensed them to AI), Fat Chance (Rolling Stone) (1971), Fotura Biform (1969), Franklin (1981), Garamond (1975), Globe (1975), Goudy (1969), Harem (1969, aka Margit; digitized and revived in 2006 by Patrick Griffin and Rebecca Alaccari as Johnny), Helserif (1976---I thought this was created by Ed Kelton; anyway, this typeface is just Helvetica with slabs), Helvetica (1969), Introspect (1971, revived in 2012 by SoftMaker as Looking Glass, and by Castcraft as OPTI Looking Glass), Jolly Roger (1970, digitized in 2003 by Steve Jackaman at Red Rooster; Martin says that Jolly Roger and Introspect are his two most original designs), Journal (1987), Kabell (1971), Kabello (1970), King Arthur [+Light, Outline] with Guinevere Alternates (1971, by Roc Mitchell), Legothic (1973), Martinique (1970), Mountie (1970), News (1975), Palateno (1969), Pandora (1969), Pazazzma (1980), Perpetua (1969), Plantin (1973), Polonaise (1977; digital version by Claude Pelletier in 2010, called Chopin Script), Primus Malleable (1972), Quaff (1977), Quixotic (1970), Report (1971), Romana (1972), Scenario (1974), Sledge Hammer (1971), Son of Windsor (1970), Stanza (1971, by Roc Mitchell; this angular typeface was later published by URW), Stark (1970), Supercooper (1970), Swath (1979), Threadgil (1972), Thrust (1971), Timbre (1970), Times (1970), Times Text (1973), Trump (1973), Tuck Roman (1981), Viant (1977), Vixen (1970), Weiss (1973), Wordsworth (1973).

In 1974, he set up TypeSpectra, and created these type families: Adroit (1981), Albert (1974), Analog (1976), Bagatelle (1979), Cartel (1975), Caslon (1979), Criterion (1982), DeVille (1974), Embargo (1975), Heldustry (1978, designed for the video news at the fledgling ABC-Westinghouse 24-hour cable news network in 1978; incorrectly attributed by many to Martin's ex-employee Ed Kelton: download here), Innsbruck (1975: revived in 2018 by Olexa Volochay as Tyrol), Limelight (1977), Oliver (1981), Opulent [Light and Bold] (1975, by George Brian, an amployee at Alphabet Innovations), Quint (1984), Sequel (1979), Spectral (1974), Welby (1982).

His fonts can be bought at MyFonts.com and at Precisiontype. He warns visitors not to mess with his intellectual property rights, but I wonder how he can have escaped the ire of Linotype by using the name Helvetica. In any case, the fonts were originally made for use on photo display devices and phototypesetters. Some are now available in digital format.

Near the end of his life, Phil's web presence was called MM2000 (dead link).

Check his comments on his own typefaces. URW sells these typefaces: URW Adroit, URW Agenda, URW Avernus (after Martin's design from 1972), URW Baskerville AI, URW Beacon, URW Bluejack, URW Cartel, URW Cloister, URW Corporate, URW Criterion, URW Didoni, URW Fat Face, URW Globe, URW Goudy AI, URW Heldustry, URW Helserif, URW Introspect, URW Legothic, URW Martin Gothic, URW Martinique, URW Pandora, URW Polonaise, URW Quint, URW Scenario, URW Souvenir Gothic, Souvenir Gothic Antique (the Souvenit Gothic family was designed by George Brian, an employee of Alphabet Innovations at the time: it was AI's first text family), URW Stanza, URW Stark, URW Timbre, URW Viant, URW Wordsworth.

Interview. Bye Bye Blackbird performed by Phil Martin in Largo, Florida.

The final message on his last web page, posted posthumously read: MARTIN, PHIL, 82, of Largo, died Tuesday (Oct. 4, 2005) at Largo Medical Center. He was born in Dallas and came here after retiring as a writer, singer-songwriter, commercial artist, and comedian. As a high school student, he worked as an assistant artist on the nationally syndicated Ella Cinders, and at 18 wrote and drew Swing Sisson, the Battling Band Leader, for Feature Comics. He was an Army Air Forces veteran of World War II, where he served as a bombardier in Lintz, Austria. On his 28th mission shelling the yards in Lintz, his B-24 was hit and he was listed as missing in action until the war in Europe ended. He was a comedian on The Early Birds Show on WFAA in Dallas. As a commercial artist, he founded two multinational corporations to market typeface designs and is credited for designing 4 percent of all typefaces now used. He also wrote columns and articles for typographic publications. Locally, he sang original lyrics to old pop standards in area piano bars, and in 1999 produced 59 issues of the Web book Millennium Memorandum, changing the title to MM2000 when he issued the first edition of the new Millennium on Jan. 3, 2000. Survivors include his wife, Ann Jones Martin; and a cousin, Lorrie Hankins, Casper, Wyo. National Cremation Society, Largo.

Phil Martin's digital typefaces.

FontShop link. Klingspor link.

EXTERNAL LINKS
Alphabet Innovations International -- TypeSpectra (Was: MM2000)
 [Designer info]
Monotype link
Monotype foundry link
Klingspor Museum page
MyFonts search
Monotype search
Fontspring search
Google search

INTERNAL LINKS
Type designers ⦿ Type designers ⦿ Commercial fonts (small outfits) ⦿ Type scene in Texas ⦿ Type scene in Florida ⦿ Photo and film type era ⦿ Extinct 20th century foundries ⦿ Modern style [Bodoni, Didot, Walbaum, Thorowgood, Computer Modern, etc.] ⦿ Lapidary typefaces ⦿ Monospaced fonts ⦿ Garalde or Garamond typefaces ⦿ Courier and derived typefaces ⦿ Caslon ⦿ Frederic William Goudy ⦿ Cheltenham ⦿ Baskerville ⦿








file name: U R W Pandora by Phil Martin


file name: U R W Avernus by Phil Martin


file name: U R W Avernus after Phil Martin 1972


file name: U R W Avernus after Phil Martin 1972b


file name: U R W Avernus after Phil Martin 1972c


file name: Phil Martin U R W Adroit 1981


file name: Phil Martin U R W Adroit 1981d


file name: Phil Martin U R W Adroit 1981b


file name: Phil Martin U R W Adroit 1981c


file name: Cloister Old Style B Phil Martin Scangraphic


file name: Phil Martin Souvenir Gothic U R W 1977


file name: Phil Martin Souvenir Gothic U R W 1977a


file name: Phil Martin Agenda U R W 1976


file name: Phil Martin Cartel 1975


file name: Phil Martin Courier B E F 2004b


file name: Phil Martin Courier B E F 2004b


file name: Phil Martin Courier B E F Bold 2004


file name: Phil Martin Courier B E F Medium 2004


file name: Phil Martin Baskerville A I U R W Heavy 2001


file name: Phil Martin Didoni U R W D Normal 1969


file name: Didoni Graphic


file name: U R W Didoni b


file name: U R W Didoni


file name: Phil Martin Baskerville A I U R W Heavy 2001


file name: Phil Martin Goudy A I 1969


file name: Phil Martin Goudy A I Heavy Weight 1969


file name: Phil Martin Heldustry Demi 1978


file name: Phil Martin Helserif 1978b


file name: Phil Martin Helserif 1978


file name: Olexa Volochay Tyrol 2018 based on Phil Martin Innsbruck 1975


file name: Olexa Volochay Tyrol 2018 based on Phil Martin Innsbruck 1975b


file name: Olexa Volochay Tyrol 2018 based on Phil Martin Innsbruck 1975c


file name: Olexa Volochay Tyrol 2018 based on Phil Martin Innsbruck 1975d


file name: Phil Martin Legothic U R W Medium 1973


file name: Phil Martin Martin Gothic U R W 1987


file name: Phil Martin U R W Polonaise







Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html