Now we’re talking

After years of listening to fascinating, chasing interviews with a diverse bunch of smart people on Typeradio, I was really flattered when Donald and Liza asked me to sit down for a chat when I was in Den Haag last March at the Robothon conference.

You can finally listen to the interview here. This is one of a few interviews that I gave before I left Monotype that have trickled out afterwards, and they all feel slightly awkward now that I’m trying to establish my place in the world outside of my old job. I can hear in this one how careful I’m being when I describe the situation, since I was only recently getting past my first attempt to leave, and trying to make peace with the new role that I took on instead.

Typeradio has quite a body of work available now, and it was really great to see the tables turned recently when Type Journal interviewed Donald and Liza about the project.

I have a face for radio

Paper Cuts

Like this site, Pink Mince is another side project that’s been going for so long that its own history is part of why I can’t bring myself to call it quits. I may publish sporadically, but I’m really proud of the eleven issues (not to mention the Minis, the merch, and the far-more-active Tumblr moodboard) I’ve produced across the last 6 years or so.

Despite the body of work, it’s rare for a zine get much of a reach, so I don’t often get to talk much about what the overall project has been about over the years. Happily, book artist Christopher Kardambikis invited me for an interview on Paper Cuts, an online radio show he hosts, where he talks to zine makers and other DIY publishers about the things they do. It was great to ramble on for a bit, and finally explain what I mean when I say that Pink Mince isn’t just a gay zine, but is also a showcase for contemporary typeface design and vintage lettering that features pictures of dudes.

Sparky in Vienna

(That’s me sneaking a discussion of Pink Mince into a talk on Letraset I was giving in Vienna.)

Passion for Type

My very good pal Doug Wilson did this video interview with me last year, and side from the sound of my chest hair rasping against the microphone, I really like how it turned out.

Unfortunately, it languished a while since Monotype cancelled the initiative this was for. Some things that are out of date:

  • I don’t live in that little apartment anymore. It was a great place on E. 58th St, but it was an illegal sublet of a rent-stabilized studio, and I had to move out when the landlord found out. After that, I lived in Crown Heights for about 8 months — in the same building where I lived 9 years ago, even — but it was super annoying. I now live in a great little apartment in Inwood that I just bought. So I guess I’m an adult now that I have a mortgage.

  • I’m not Monotype’s Type Director anymore. Or at least, I won’t be after next Friday, since I recently resigned. I’m going to hang out and work on my own typefaces for a while, and probably do some freelance work if anyone needs some help.

  • I have a few of new tattoos on my right forearm.

Tattoo videos

[Note: The list of my tattoos is kept current on the Alphabet Man page.]

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, but the more time I spend talking about typography to people who are into it, the more people want to know as much about my nerdy type tattoos as they want to know about whatever I’m supposed to be talking about. As a result, I’ve been featured in a couple of videos that just take a look at my scrawny arms with their interesting markings:

The Alphabet Man

Dan Rhatigan on type…Type on Dan Rhatigan from Grey London on Vimeo.

Just for the sake of reference, here’s a list of my tattoos (as of August 2014, of course):

  1. R from unknown wood type
  2. & from Poetica by Robert Slimbach
  3. ü from Meta Bold by Erik Spiekermann
  4. s from Fette Fraktur
  5. K from the old Krispy Kreme logo
  6. g from Baskerville, based on types of John Baskerville
  7. § from Champion Gothic Middleweight by Jonathan Hoefler
  8. 7 from Century Oldstyle Bold by Morris Fuller Benton
  9. y from Cooper Black Italic by Oswald Cooper
  10. W from Whitney Bold by Tobias Frere-Jones
  11. z from Stilla by François Boltana
  12. r from Maple Medium by Eric Olson
  13. 2 from Ingeborg Block by Michael Hochleitner
  14. w from Actium Black Italic by Gerben Dollen
  15. a from Dolly Italic by Underware
  16. e from Sodachrome (Left and Right) by Ian Moore and Dan Rhatigan
  17. Y from Banco by Roger Excoffon
  18. Å from Leyton by Ian Moore
  19. C from De Little 30-Line 196
  20. H from Calypso by Roger Excoffon
  21. é from Gill Sans Ultrabold (Gill Kayo) by Eric Gill
  22. B from Festival Titling by Phillip Boydell
  23. ø from Bell Centennial Bold Listing by Matthew Carter

Century: 100 Years of Type in Design

This little bit of excitement has taken up a lot of my time and concentration for the last few months, and the last few weeks in particular.

[Century: 100 Years of Type in Design from Monotype on Vimeo.]

From the AIGA, our hosts: “Gathering rare and unique works from premier archives in the United States and London, “Century” will serve as the hub of a series of presentations, workshops and events held at the AIGA gallery as well as the Type Directors Club and the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography at Cooper Union in New York City. The “Century” exhibition features a range of artifacts representing the evolution from typeface conception to fonts in use. Typeface production drawings by the preeminent designers of the last 100 years, proofs, type posters and announcement broadsides are supplemented by publications, advertising, ephemera and packaging.”


And if you’re curious, here is some of the coverage:

[All photos by Bilyana Dimitrova. Video clip by Ben Louis Nicholas. Animations by Pentagram.]

Futura: The Typeface of Today and Tomorrow

James-Lee Duffy of We Are Shadows, and me

Just released: another in the series of short videos produced by D&AD that peer into the wonders of the Monotype archive. In this latest one, I have a chat with James-Lee Duffy of We Are Shadows about a stack of Futura specimens from the Bauer foundry, and how Futura is used today.

[Unfortunately I can’t embed the video, but you can watch it on D&AD’s site.]

James-Lee Duffy

Continue reading “Futura: The Typeface of Today and Tomorrow”