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Matthew Carter talking with individuals

Matthew Carter, (1937–)
Goudy Award Winner 18, 1986

Matthew Carter has made that now rare transition, as a designer of type, from the traditional hand-cut punches for metal types to the computerized digital type designs of today. When he had finished school he chose to spend a year in the type foundry of Enschede in Haarlem studying hand punch cutting with P. H. Raedisch. He then returned to England where he was engaged in cutting replacement punches for the historic Fell types at the Oxford University Press in Cambridge.

The early sixties found him serving as typographic advisor to Crosfield Electronics where he was involved in supervising the manufacture of fonts for the Lumitype phototypesetting machine.

A long association with the Mergenthaler Linotype Company began in 1965 when Mr. Carter became a type designer for them in New York. It was during this period that he designed Snell Roundhand, a design based on the principles of Charles Snell, the English writing master. Linotype released Snell Roundhand in 1965. He also designed Cascade Scripts, three compressed versions of Helvetica, Helvetica Greek and Hangul for the Korean language. A new family of types called Olympian was designed for newspaper text setting as was the Video series of sans-serif types for the Linotron 505 CRT typesetter.

Mr. Carter returned to London in 1971 in order to pursue more effectively type design for Mergenthaler's international market. Through the following decade his designs included Shelley script and an original Greek design, Cadmus.

It was also during this period that he designed the Galliard type family, available in four weights. It is a classical roman with italics and is probably his best known type. About this type, based on the models of Robert Granjon, he has stated that "the object was not to make a museum replica but a vigorous and saleable typeface that would set well on Mergenthaler's machines; and no one of Granjon's Romans or Italics has a monopoly of his most personal letterforms, so Galliard is really an anthology." The two bolder roman weights of Galliard were computer-aided designs in which a design system known as Ikarus was used. Galliard was launched by Mergenthaler in 1978.

Mr. Carter is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale; chairman of the type designers' committee and member of the board of directors of the Association Typographique Internationale and a Senior Critic at Yale's Graphic Design School. He was the Typographical Advisor to Her Majesty's Stationery Office (the British government printer) from 1980 to 198+ In 1982 he was elected a Royal Designer for Industry.

Mr. Carter is a co-founder and Vice President for Design of Bitstream Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is responsible for the overall design standards of the company and the creation of new type designs. A new type design, Bitstream Charter will appear this fall.