A few years ago I was lucky enough to attend a Typeface Design class at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The tutor was Ed Benguiat. I was always a fan of his work along with other notable designers of that time in New York such as Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnase. Ed’s enthusiasm for type was infectious, he was incredibly funny and wise in his distinct Brooklyn way. You get a sense of this from this great interview by Ilene Strizver for the Type Directors Club.
I remember him showing us some of his work, and coming to ITC Tiffany he said “This is one of the most successful fonts I’ve designed, but it’s the biggest piece of shit….go figure.” Then he said something that has stuck with me since and is as pertinent today as it was then “Don’t worry if sometimes you work on shit, we all do. Just as long as you know it’s shit!” For the record I quite like ITC Tiffany, maybe he was using it only to illustrate his point.
Ed really made his mark working for Photo-Lettering also known as PLINC. House Industries have digitised some of the thousands of fonts that Photo-Lettering created and now own the rights to the complete library. They’ve also collaborated with Ed on the Ed Benguiat Font Collection.