TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sat Mar 23 09:45:03 EDT 2019






Richard Southall

British font software specialist and type designer, 1937-2015, who was universally liked for his modesty even though he knew more than most about the theoretical and technical aspects of type design in the twentieth century. A graduate in natural sciences from Cambridge (1960), he joined Crosfield Electronics Ltd in London, where he was responsible for producing photomatrices for the Photon-Lumitype direct-photography photocomposing machines sold by Crosfield in Europe. From 1974 to 1983 he was a lecturer in the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. Between then and the end of the decade he worked in California and France, at Stanford University (where he worked with Don Knuth from 1983-1986 on the Metafont project), Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and the Université Louis-Pasteur in Strasbourg. Since then he has been a consultant type designer with the American Mathematical Society, BT, the Civil Aviation Authority, National Air Traffic Services and US West Dex (now Qwest Dex).

Author of Printer's Type in the Twentieth Century Manufacturing and Design Methods (British Library Publishing, 2005; Sumner Stone's review of this book).

He wrote many type-technical articles such as Designing a new typeface with METAFONT (Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 236, pp. 161-179, 1986), Shape and appearance in typeface design (in J H Miller (ed) Protext III: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Text Processing Systems, 1986), Interfaces between the designer and the document (in J. André, R. Furuta and V. Quint (eds) Structured Documents, 1989), Problems of font quality assessment (with Debra Adams: in Jacques André and Roger D. Hersch (eds) Raster Imaging and Digital Typography, 1989), Presentation rules and rules of composition in the formatting of complex text (in Rosemary Sassoon's Computers and Typography, 1993), Character description techniques in type manufacture (in Rosemary Sassoon's Computers and Typography, 1993), Character generator systems for broadcast television (in Information Design Journal 2:1 (1981), Metafont in the Rockies: the Colorado typemaking project (in Roger D Hersch et al (eds) in Electronic Publishing, Artistic Imaging, and Digital typography, 1998), and Prototyping Telephone-directory Pages with TEX (in: Cahiers GUTenberg 28-29, pp. 283-294).

With Ladislas Mandel, he designed the telephone directory typeface Colorado in 1998 for US West. It is one of the few examples of a practical application of a typeface coded in Metafont.

Obituary by Gerry Leonidas.

Richard Southall
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file name: Richard Southall Madsislas Mandel Colorado 1998

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file name: Richard Southall Madsislas Mandel Colorado 1998c

file name: Richard Southall Printers Type In The Twentieth Century 2005

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