Type Designer Q&A: Jim Wasco


Ryan Arruda in Archive on July 19, 2012

Since the age of 12, Jim Wasco has possessed a passion for lettering. Whether through calligraphic endeavors or type design, his work presents a keen understanding of the symbiotic nuances of both disciplines.

A type designer with Monotype Imaging for 10 years, Jim’s recently released Neue Aachen typeface family is available in 18 styles and is rocketing up the Fonts.com New Best Sellers List.

Jim recently shared with us some insight into his type design practice:

Favorite text on typography
Writing & Illuminating & Lettering by Edward Johnston.

Personal design luminary
Leonardo da Vinci & Albrecht Dürer.

Favorite era of design history
Renaissance and 1950s Modern.

Learned to design type
By doing hand lettering.

Design mentor
My father, Lawrence Wasco.

Longest a typeface has taken to design
Elegy, which took three and a half months over a period of about a year.

Favorite typographic resource
Type specimen books.

Jim Wasco Typeface Designs

Habitually challenging glyphs to design
Sans-serif italics.

Percent of type design that’s art vs. percent that’s science
100% art.

Your typeface families that pair especially well
By contrast, Elegy with Neue Aachen Black.

Common personality of your typefaces
They all solve design problems.

Aspiring type designers should possess
A focus on legibility.

Endeavors which hone type design skills
[Activities] drawing from the right side of the brain.

Most egregious typographic error in common practice today
Script or Blackletter forms used in all cap settings.

Recommended online design resources
International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting


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