Arthur Baker Designs (or: Glyph Systems)
American calligrapher in Andover, MA, who worked for many foundries, and ran several studios. He ran Glyph Systems in Andover, MA, and before that, Alpha Omega and Maverick Designs. Baker grew up in Berkeley, CA, and attended school on the West Coast and New York City. After serving in the U.S. Army, he studied under calligrapher Oscar Ogg and had private lessons with George Salter and Tommy Thompson. Some of Baker's earliest designs were made available through Photo-Lettering Inc., and his first widely-available commercial typeface was published in 1965. Baker's first book was published in 1973. Arthur Baker died in 2016 at the age of 86. Tribute by Allan Haley. His typefaces were all calligraphic:
- Amigo (Adobe), Amigo (Linotype). Designed by Arthur Baker in 1989 for Agfa Compugraphic, Amigo is based on spontaneous pen lettering and an exaggerated calligraphic look.
- Arrows (Arthur Baker). Made in 1995.
- Baker Signet (Monotype), Baker Signet (Bitstream), Baker Signet (Adobe), Baker Signet (Linotype). Originally designed as a photo type in 1965 for VGC, it was Baker's first commercial design. Baker Signet features in the word Coke on the Coca Cola bottles. Halley writes: Tall ascenders and angled weight transfer show a subtle foundation in late 15th century typefaces. Baker Signet can also be found at VGC as Baker Argentina No 1 (1976) and Baker Danmark One (1976). Baker Signet, in its display text weights, was at the basis of Sigvar (Softmaker).
- Calligraphica (Arthur Baker), Calligraphica (IHOF). Created in 1995.
- Cold Mountain (Arthur Baker). Designed in 1995.
- Collier Script (Arthur Baker). Designed in 1995.
- Daybreak (Arthur Baker). Designed in 1995.
- Duckweed (Arthur Baker), Duckweed Sans (Arthur Baker). Designed in 1995.
- Feathers (Arthur Baker), Fishface (Arthur Baker), Florettes (Arthur Baker), Flowery (Arthur Baker), Hands (Arthur Baker). Designed in 1995.
- Hiroshige Sans (Arthur Baker), Hiroshige (Adobe). Hiroshige was designed in 1986 by Cynthia Hollandsworth of AlphaOmega Typography, Inc. The typeface was originally commissioned for a book of woodblock prints by nineteenth-century Japanese artist Ando Hiroshige, whose work influenced many impressionist artists. Hiroshige Sans (Arthur Baker) followed in 1995.
- ITC Tiepolo (ITC), ITC Tiepolo (Adobe). Tiepolo was designed at AlphaOmega Typography for the International Typeface Corporation in 1987.
- Kigali (Arthur Baker), Kigali (Adobe). Designed by Arthur Baker in 1994 for URW, Kigali is a wide-bodied display type with bold, uneven pen-drawn strokes that taper dramatically downward. There also is a textured version called Kigali ZigZag.
- Marigold (Monotype), Marigold (Adobe). Marigold was first released by Agfa Compugraphic in 1989.
- Mercator (Arthur Baker), Mercator (IHOF). Designed in 1995. Based on the lettering of Flemish map maker Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594).
- The Maverick Designs Collection (1994): New Amigo (Arthur Baker), New Marigold (Arthur Baker), New Oxford (Arthur Baker), New Pelican (Arthur Baker), New Visigoth (Arthur Baker).
- Oakgraphic (Arthur Baker). Designed in 1995.
- Oxford (Adobe). Designed for Agfa Compugraphic in 1989. It is a robust and lively non-connecting script with several bi-form characters.
- P22 Matador (IHOF). P22 Matador (2007) is a contemporary Roman font based on the manuscript tradition (digitized by Michael Clark).
- Pelican (Linotype), Pelican (Adobe). Released by Agfa Compugraphic in 1989.
- Plumes (Arthur Baker). Designed in 1995.
- Sassafras (Arthur Baker), Sassafras (Adobe). Designed for URW in 1995, Sassafras is based on the natural inline effect created when writing with a split-metal nibbed pen.
- Swirls (1994), Swooshes (1994). Ornaments.
- Visigoth (Adobe), Visigoth (Linotype). Visigoth was created in 1988 by Arthur Baker for AlphaOmega Typography. He designed it specifically for setting the text of A Dante Bestiary published in 1989 for Ombondi Editions in New York.
Some explanations by Freddy Nader: The Baker Argentina and Danmark typefaces were variations on his Signet. Baker originally made Signet for Headliners International in the 1960s, where he worked full time. In 1972 he was approached by VGC and told that they would pay him royalties as well if he made the same typeface for them. Royalties were a relatively new thing back then - Tommy Thompson was the very first person to ever earn royalties in type (in 1944 for his Thompson Quill script for Photo Lettering Inc), and he wasn't a type designer per se, he was a calligrapher. Lured by the idea of royalties coming his way from two different directions for the same face, Baker did a Signet for VGC. When Bob Evans, owner of Headliners, found out, he threatened to sue VGC for trademark infringement (copyright for typefaces was unheard of at the time - every major photo type house had "similar" fonts, and whenever someone got exclusives made by outside designers under a royalty program, it was only a matter of weeks before they were knocked off and changed slightly by other type houses, big and small). So in order to avoid a trademark infringement lawsuit, VGC called their typeface Baker Signet, instead of just Signet, and went further by asking Arthur Baker to make a lighter version and a condensed version. The lighter version was called Baker Argentina, the condensed version was called Baker Danmark. The "Number One" prefix was added to both so that when the inevitable knockoffs happened, type buyers would know which type was made first. About Baker Sans, Freddy writes: The Baker Sans was a knockoff of Helvetica. It was a massive family of a lot of fonts, rendered very ugly by camera stretching and slanting. Eddie Bauer used it as their corporate typeface for a long time in order to avoid the expensive fees of licensing Helvetica. Tim Ryan ended up digitizing it for Arthur Baker in the mid 1990s for a lot of money. That digital version is now being sold by ITF under one of its many companies (either Arthur Baker Design, or Arthur Baker Designs, or maybe Maverick Designs).
MyFonts link. Klingspor link. View Arthur Baker's typefaces. Linotype link. MyFonts page. Another MyFonts page. And still another MyFonts page. FontShop link. View Arthur Baker's typefaces.
Arthur Baker Designs (or: Glyph Systems)
Klingspor Museum page
Type designers ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Calligraphic typefaces ⦿
Commercial fonts (small outfits) ⦿
Dingbats (original) ⦿
Type scene in Massachusetts ⦿
Brush script typefaces ⦿
Photo and film type era ⦿
Typefaces with arrows ⦿
Fists, pointing hands ⦿
Chancery hand, cancellaresca ⦿
Uncial typefaces ⦿
Floriated initial caps ⦿
Type scene in California ⦿