Matthew Carter (born in London in 1937, and son of Harry Carter) is one of today's most influential type designers. He trained as a punchcutter at Enschedé in 1956. In 1963 he was hired by Crosfield, a firm that pioneered the new technology of photo-typesetting, to lead their typographic program. He worked for Mergenthaler Linotype (1965-1981), and co-founded Bitstream Inc. with Mike Parker in 1981, adapting many fonts to digital technology. In January 1992, he founded Carter&Cone with Cherie Cone, and often collaborated with Font Bureau. In 1995, he won the Gold Prize at the annual Tokyo type Directors Club competition for Sophia. In 1997, he received the TDC Medal for significant contributions to the life, art, and craft of typography. In 2010, he received a MacArthur grant. He lives in Cambridge, MA.
John Berry on Carter's art (2002). Apostrophe comments on Berry's article. Interview. His fonts:
- The Microsoft screen fonts Verdana (1996), Georgia (1996), Georgia Greek, Georgia Cyrillic, Nina and the humanist sans typeface Tahoma (1994). Georgia (in roman and italic only) is a screen version of Miller, Carter's Scotch design. Nina was designed to address the requirements on smaller screens such as phones, and was used in Windows Mobile smartphones before Microsoft switched to Segoe. The Greek and Cyrillic versions of Nina were developed by François Villebrod. Georgia Pro (2010, Ascender) was developed from Georgia with the help of Steve Matteson. For Verdana Pro (2010, Ascender), Carter was assisted by David Berlow and David Jonathan Ross.
- Apple's Skia (1993), a sans serif designed with David Berlow for Apple's QuickDraw GX technology, now called AAT. [Carter's Skia and Twombly's Lithos are genetically related.]
- Monticello (2003), based on Linotype's Monticello (1950), which in turn goes back to Binny&Ronaldson's Monticello from 1797, a typeface commissioned by Princeton University Press for the Papers of Thomas Jefferson. It is in the Scotch roman style.
- Miller (1997, Font Bureau), an extremely balanced family co-designed by Carter, Tobias Frere-Jones and Cyrus Highsmith. Carter explains: Miller is a Scotch Roman, a style that had its beginnings in the foundries of Alexander Wilson In Glasgow and William Miller in Edinburgh between about 1810 and 1820. It is considered that the punchcutter Richard Austin was responsible for the types of both Scottish foundries. Miller is a revival of the style, but is not based on any historical model. Now, there is also a 16-weight newspaper version, Miller Daily (2002), and an 8-weight Miller Headline (2002). This was followed by News Miller, a typeface designed for the Guardian. Note: Georgia (1996) is a screen version of Miller, and Monticello (2002) is a later modification. A comparison of these typefaces.
- Alisal (1995, +Bold).
- ITC Galliard (1978), a recreation of Robert Granjon's garalde letters. This typeface was originally conceived in 1965. Bringhurst recommends a Carter and Cone version of this font, called Galliard CC: it has old style figures and small caps. Further versions include Aldine 701 (Bitstream), Matthew (Softmaker), ITC Galliard Etext (2013, Carl Crossgrove, Linotype), and Gareth (Softmaker).
- The ITC Charter family (1987 for Bitstream and known as Bitstream Charter; licensed to ITC in 1993; see the Elsner&Flake version of ITC Charter). An upgraded commercial version was released by Bitstream in 2004 under the name Charter BT Pro.
- Vincent (1999), a font commissioned for use in Newsweek. It is named after Vincent Figgins, an English foundry owner and punch cutter who lived in the late 18th century.
- Walker (1994), designed for The Walker Art Center.
- Ionic Number One (1999, Carter&Cone).
- Mantinia (1993, Font Bureau), based on inscriptional forms, both painted and engraved, by the Italian renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna.
- Big Caslon (1994, Font Bureau), a display typeface based on the largest romans from William Caslon's foundry.
- Big Figgins (1992) and Big Figgins Open (1998, based on types shown in the specimens of Vincent Figgins of 1815 and 1817). Big Figgins was called Elephant and Elephant Italic in Microsoft's Truetype Fontpack 2.
- Sammy Roman (1996), loosely based on the 17th century romans of Jean Jannon. A beautiful typeface designed to accompany kanji and kana typefaces produced by Dynalab in Taiwan.
- Sophia (1993, Font Bureau), a mix with Greek, uncial and classical Roman influences.
- Shelley Script (1972), a family of formal scripts, split into Andante, Volante and Allegro. It is based on intricate English scripts of the 18th and 19th centuries attributed to George Shelley.
- Cochin (1977, at Linotype). MyFonts writes: In 1913 Georges Peignot produced a typeface based on Nicolas Cochin's eighteenth century engravings. In 1977, Matthew Carter expanded this historic form into a three part series.
- Bell Centennial (Linotype-Mergenthaler, 1975-1978), a legible heavily ink-trapped family designed by Matthew Carter as a replacement of Bell Gothic at Mergenthaler. There are also digital Linotype and Bitstream versions. AT&T commissioned the font to replace their previous typeface choice Bell Gothic for their 100th Anniversary.
- Cascade Script (1965-1966, Linotype, now also known as Freehand 471 BT in the Bitstream collection). Paratype's extension of Freehand 471 to Cyrillic is by Oleg Karpinsky (2011).
- New Century Schoolbook was designed from 1979-1981 in the New York Lettering office of Merganthaler Linotype based on Morris Fuller Benton's Century Schoolbook from 1915-1923. It was the second face, after New Baskerville, that was digitized and expanded using Ikarus (digital technology). The Bitstream version [Century Schoolbook] is a virtually exact copy, only being moved from a 54 unit to a 2000 or so unit design.
- Auriol (Linotype), an art nouveau family (including Auriol Flowers 1 and 2 and Auriol Vignette Sylvie) based on the lettering of the painter and designer Georges Auriol. MyFonts explains: Auriol and Auriol Flowers were designed by Georges Auriol, born Jean Georges Huyot, in the early 20th century. Auriol was a French graphic artist whose work exemplified the art nouveau style of Paris in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1900, Georges Peignot asked Auriol to design fonts for Peignot&Sons. The resulting Auriol font was the basis for the lettering used by Hector Guimard for the entrance signs to the Paris Metro. It was re-released by Deberny&Peignot in 1979 with a new bold face, designed by Matthew Carter. These decorative fonts with a brush stroke look are well-suited to display settings. The Peignot drawing office insisted on a more normal appearance in the boldface, calling it Robur. Matthew Carter has returned to Auriol's original design for the whole series.
- Helvetica Greek (Linotype).
- Helvetica Compressed (Linotype, 1974, with Hans-Jörg Hunziker).
- Wilson Greek (1995), compatible with Miller Text, and based on a type cut by Alexander Wilson for the Glasgow Homer of 1756. See here.
- Olympian (1970, Linotype), designed for newspaper use. This is Dutch 811 in the Bitstream collection. The custom typeface Milne (Carter&Cone) done for the Philadelphia Inquirer is based on Olympian.
- Gando, a French "ronde" typeface based on the work of Nicholas Gando (mid 1700s), and designed for photo-typesetting at Mergenthaler by Carter and Hans-Jörg Hunziker in 1970. Very similar to Bitstream's Typo Upright.
- Fenway (1998-1999, Carter&Cone), commissioned by Sports Illustrated to replace Times Roman.
- Snell Roundhand (1965-1966): a connected cursive script based on the 18th-century round hand scripts from English writing masters such as Charles Snell. Early in the digital era, Matthew published this in the Bitstream collection as Roundhand BT. A Cyrillic version by Isabella Chaeva and Vladimir Yefimov was released by ParaType in 2013.
- Auriga (1970). (Wallis dates this in 1965 at Linotype.)
- CRT Gothic (1974).
- Video (1977).
- V&A Titling (1981).
- Deface (in the FUSE 18 collection).
- Madrid (2001), done for the Spanish newspaper El País.
- Milne, done for the Philadelphia Inquirer (a revised version of Olympian). Not available.
- Durham, a sans serif family for US News&World Report.
- Century 725 (Bitstream, for the Boston Globe: after a design by Heinrich Hoffmeister).
- For Microsoft: Georgia, Verdana, Tahoma (1994), Nina.
- Freehand 471 (Bitstream). A chunky slightly angular script.
- New Baskerville. [Matthew Carter says that this is wrongly attributed to him. It was directed by John Quaranta.]
- Postoni [or Post-Bodoni], for the Washington Post, which is still using it. See here.
- Le Bé, a Hebrew typeface that was used in the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible.
- Rocky (2008, Font Bureau, with Richard Lipton), for the Herald in Scotland.
- Time Caledonia.
- Wiredbaum, for WIRED.
- Wrigley (for Sports Illustrated). Matthew Carter designed Roster in the 1990s, and it was adopted as a display face for Sports Illustrated under the name Wrigley. Jesse Ragan was instrumental in later expanding the family from its original seven styles to the current 60. In 2015, Carter & Cone and Font Bureau released an expanded 60-style family of this typeface under the new name Roster.
- Benton Bold Condensed (for Time Magazine).
- Foreman Light (for the Philadelphia Inquirer).
- Newsbaum (for the New York Daily News).
- Carter Latin: Matthew was commissioned in 2003 to create a new design to be cut in wood type by the Hamilton Wood Type&Printing Museum in Two Rivers, WI. He came up with an all-caps, chunky, Latin-serif design.
- Times Cheltenham (2003), which replaces in 2003 a series of headline typefaces including Latin Extra Condensed, News Gothic, and Bookman Antique.
- The Yale Typeface (2004), inspired by the late fifteenth-century Venetian typeface that first appeared in Pietro Bembo's De Aetna, published by Aldus Manutius. This extensive family is freely available to members of Yale University.
- DTL Flamande (2004, Dutch Type Library), based on a textura by Hendrik van den Keere. Since 2018, available from URW++.
- Meiryo (2004, Microsoft, with Eiichi Kono): this font is part of Microsoft's ClearType project, and includes full Latin and kanji glyph sets. Suntory corporate types (2003-2005), developed with the help of Akira Kobayashi and Linotype from Linotype originals: Suntory Syntax, Suntory Sabon, Suntory Gothic, Suntory Mincho.
- Rocky (2008, Font Bureau): A 40-style high contrast roman family that is difficult to classify (and a bit awkward). Developed with Richard Lipton.
- Carter Sans (2010, ITC), based on epigraphic letters used in inscriptions. Created for the identity of the Art Directors Club 2010 class of its Hall of Fame, one the laureates in the 2010 Hall of Fame. Codesigned by Dan Reynolds, this chiseled typeface is loosely based on Albertus.
- In 1997, he designed Postoni for the The Washington Post's headlines, a sturdy Bodoni.
- MS Sitka (2013). A typeface with six optical sizes that are chosen on the fly if an appropriate application is present. Developed at Microsoft with the help of John Hudson (Tiro Typeworks) and Kevin Larson (who carried out extensive legibility tests). German link. Typophile link. Sitka won an award at Modern Cyrillic 2014.
- Van Lanen Wood Type (Hamilton Wood Type, 2002-2013). Carter started work on the wood type in 2002, but technical accuracy issues postponed the implementation. Digital versions were finally done in 2013 by P22's Hamilton Wood Type.
- Big Moore (2014, Font Bureau): A 1766 specimen by Isaac Moore, former manager of Joseph Fry's foundry in Bristol, England, shows many types inspired by John Baskerville. But a century later, standardization had foisted inept lining figures and shortened descenders upon these designs. Matthew Carter remedies the tragedy with Big Moore. Oldstyle figures, full-length descenders, and historic swashes are restored to this regal serif in two styles. Big Moore won an award in the TDC 2015 Type Design competition.
Speaker at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam.
Linotype link. FontShop link. Favorite quote: Watching me work is like watching a refrigerator make ice. Another quote: A typeface is a beautiful collection of letters, not a collection of beautiful letters.
View Matthew Carter's typefaces. Matthew Carter's fonts. The typefaces made by Matthew Carter. See also here. Wikipedia page. Klingspor link.
Klingspor Museum page
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