By Vincent Sherry:
Sometimes it takes well-used fonts to suffuse words with power. From elegant scripts to angular, militaristic styles, they are artful and inspired, each with its own story. They evoke historical eras and distinguish our favorite brands. They pay tribute to the continuum of human emotion, conveying joy, sadness, anger and calm. Most important, they propel expression beyond mere diction.
Since 1994, Buffalo’s own P22 Type Foundry has established itself as a digital font institution. The company began by making packaged sets for museum gift shops and specialty stores but now sells online exclusively to spare packaging costs. Today its customers range from large corporations to everyday individual users. Over the years, it has added four divisions but remains a small company run primarily with no central office but rather via remote sites. It has designers in countries such as Japan, Norway and Canada.
Selections from P22’s 400-plus fonts have been featured in the Oscar-nominated film “Coraline,” on the cover of the “Twilight” novels, in “National Geographic,” on Roswell Park projects and inside the Harry Potter books.
Kegler said the successful venture began as an “accident.” He was unable to find a casual handwriting font for quotations by French artist Marcel Duchamp that he used in his master’s thesis, so he digitized Duchamp’s actual handwriting.
The company continues to draw its inspiration for fonts from a perceived void. “If I think of something that doesn’t seem to exist, I create it,” Kegler said.