This talk took place on June 10, 2019 in the Rose Auditorium at The Cooper Union as part of Type@Cooper’s Lubalin Lecture Series. This recording was made possible by the generous support of Hoefler & Co.
Matthew Rechs Business Letters, Moderator with guests Dan Rhatigan of Adobe, Joyce Ketterer of Darden Studio and Juan Villanueva of Monotype spoke about the secret life of fonts.
Everybody loves fonts. But where do they come from?
There are hundreds of fonts on your computer, and thousands more available for you to buy or try online. Since the days of Gutenberg, type has been made by hand, through an extraordinarily meticulous process known to a relatively small number of highly specialized designers.
Did you know that one of the few digital Type design programs in the world — and one of the best — is right here at Cooper Union? Tonight, we’ll learn not only about how type is made, but how it gets from the hands of the makers to your computer.
You’ll meet some of the most important names in Type design, as well as the folks who distribute and license type to you. You’ll learn how type is crafted, commercialized, bought, sold, and stolen — no secret of the type industry will be safe!
Matthew is CEO of Business Letters, a coaching and consulting firm for the creative industries. Before its founding in 2019, Matthew led the Fonts, Type, and Typekit teams for Adobe. He joined Typekit prior to its acquisition by Adobe in 2011.
His career on the internet began in the 1980s. At seventeen, he founded one of the first companies solely focused on designing and building dial-up bulletin board systems software for commercial applications. He spent the next 20 years leading the technical teams at several large digital agencies and client service firms.
As CTO of digital agency Schematic (now part of WPP) Matthew spent nearly a decade leading the teams that built hundreds of the largest web sites for the world’s biggest companies. Among many others, he led the development of the first streaming video players for the primetime TV networks for both ABC and NBC, as well as the first Beijing Winter Olympic Games — the first to stream every event.
Matthew Rechs lives in Montclair New Jersey with his wife Jennifer and two boys, William and James. He owns a sizable collection of ampersands drawn by famous type designers which travel with him (the ampersands, not the designers) everywhere he goes.