TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Thu Nov 23 13:27:31 EST 2023






Richard Dick Jensen

American designer (b. 1926 in St. Paul, MN, d. 2000 in Edina, MN). Designer at the Visual Graphics Corporation of Serpentine (1972), Dingaling (1977) and Woodstock (1978). Mark Simonson says that he looked like Drew Carey.

In 2007, Canada Type revived Harry Villhardt's VGC font Venture as Chopper.

They write: In 1972, VGC released two typefaces by designer friends Dick Jensen and Harry Villhardt. Jensen's was called Serpentine, and Villhardt's was called Venture. Even though both typefaces had the same elements and a somewhat similar construct, one of them became very popular and chased the other away from the spotlight. Serpentine went on to become the James Bond font, the Pepsi and every other soda pop font, the everything font, all the way through the glories of digital lala-land where it was hacked, imitated and overused by hundreds of designers. But the only advantage it really had over Venture was being a 4-style family, including the bold italic that made it all the rage, as opposed to Ventures lone upright style. One must wonder how differently things would have played if a Venture Italic was around back then. Chopper is Canada Type's revival of Venture, that underdog of 1972. This time around it comes with a roman and an italic to make it a much more attractive and refreshing alternative to Serpentine.

His niece, Janis Smith, writes: Dick Jensen, my uncle was not only the original designer of the Serpentine lettering (which he designed for the Visual Graphics Corporation, and is today a trademark of VGC), but he was also an accomplished commercial artist, wood carver and painter. Over the years Dick worked as a commercial artist at Artist Inc., K&K Freelancer, Studio One, and for Tanaka Advertising before retiring in 1998. He won an art award during his career. Unfortunately, my uncle Dick Jensen just passed away this last June 29, 2000 peacefully at home from colon cancer in Edina, Minnesota. My mother, my brother and myself took care of him to the end. He was 73 years old at the time of his death. He was born July 31, 1926, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He left my family and me many beautiful paintings, woodcarvings and memories! Dick Jensen was the son of Anthony and Florence (Dahlquist) Jensen and the grandson of Swedish and Danish emigrants. His father Anthony Jensen was also a sign painter and artist. Dick attended the U of M, Grand Marais Art Colony and was a graduate of the Minneapolis Art Institute in Minnesota. Dick Jensen served in the U.S. Army from 1944-1946 during WWII in Germany, France&Belgium with the 10th Infantry-2nd Armory. He married Jane Manley, Oct. 1, 1954 at St. James on the Parkway church, Mpls., MN. His wife Jane, suddenly died when she was only 39 years old on New Year's Day, January 1, 1972 from acute pancreatitis. Dick and Jane were like a golden couple, they traveled to Europe, had parties and enjoyed life to the fullest. Jane's death broke his heart. Dick's spirit lives on in the hearts of all of those who knew him.

Serpentine was at the basis of some digital typefaces such as Serpentine (Linotype), Serpentine (URW++), Serpentine (Adobe), Serpentine (Image Club), Serpentine EF (Elsner+Flake), Serpentine Stencil (Apply Interactive), EF Serpentine Serif (Elsner+Flake), Serpentine Stencil EF (Elsner+Flake), Serpentine Sans (Image Club), Dungeon (Red Rooster Collection), Chopper (Canada Type), and Senator (Softmaker).

Klingspor link. FontShop link. Bio at Linotype.

Richard Dick Jensen
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file name: Adobe Serpentine 2000 110593

file name: Adobe Serpentine 2000 110594

file name: Adobe Serpentine 2000

file name: Red Rooster Collection Dungeon 2003

file name: Apply Interactive Serpentine Stencil 2005

file name: Elsner Flake E F Serpentine Serif 2001

file name: Dick Jensen Serpentine E F 1972

file name: Elsner Flake Serpentine E F 2001

file name: Elsner Flake Serpentine Stencil E F 2001

file name: Image Club Serpentine 2005

file name: Image Club Serpentine Sans 2005

file name: Linotype Serpentine 2000

file name: Red Rooster Dungeon after Dick Jensen Serpentine 1972

file name: Red Rooster Dungeon after Dick Jensen Serpentine 1972b

file name: Red Rooster Dungeon after Dick Jensen Serpentine 1972c

file name: Red Rooster Dungeon after Dick Jensen Serpentine 1972d

file name: Red Rooster Dungeon after Dick Jensen Serpentine 1972e

file name: Red Rooster Dungeon after Dick Jensen Serpentine 1972f

file name: U R W Serpentine 2000 22612

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