Analysis Of Matthew Carter's Works

1621 WordsApr 4, 20157 Pages
Letters; they don’t just make up the words on a page or a screen. Forms, counterforms and volumes of shape that interact with other characters and space are important considerations in a character. Matthew Carter took the in-depth knowledge he gained of the physical forms of letters and transcribed new and ever-lasting typefaces from it to become one of the most impactful typography designers of current times. From the Beginning Born in 1937 in London, Carter grew up with an expanded knowledge of typography. His father, Harry, worked in the same field, designing books and type. He was also a type-founding and punchcutting historian. Upon leaving school, he worked in the Netherlands at the Enschedé type foundry in Haarlem. This was the…show more content…
This style was not readily available, nor exploited much in Britain. He created several typefaces, including one used in the Heathrow Airport terminal. Carter moved back to New York after his years of freelancing in Europe and worked for Mergenthaler Linotype, where he created Snell Roundhand, “a script that perfectly illustrated the comparative virtues of photosetting (Design Museum 1),” as well as Helvetica Condensed and various foreign typefaces. By the 1970s, he was back in London, still working with Linotype but also freelancing. In 1974 he created Bell Centennial (Figure 1) for AT&T which is still used in telephone directories today. After years of freelance work, Carter eventually moved back to the United States and established his own company, Bitstream, in Massachusetts. When traditional typesetting became less profitable and the digital age set it, Bitstream created a collection of digital typefaces. A decade after its creation, Carter left Bitstream to pursue more design work. The Phone Book Bell Centennial was the first digital typeface design that Matthew Carter worked on in 1974. Originally, AT&T had wanted to use Helvetica. Erik Spiekermann notes that Helvetica is meant to be consistent and homogeneous. The letters are all similar to one another. In his TED talk, Carter mentions the constraints a designer has to conform to at times, unlike fine art. This is a situation that had to be
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