Ephram “Ed” Benguiat passed away on October 15. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you probably aren’t a designer of a certain age. He was a graphic designer and typographer behind hundreds of typefaces, including his namesake ITC Benguiat and ITC Benguiat Gothic. (ITC is short for International Typeface Corporation, the foundry that distributed his work.)
Even if you don’t know him or his typefaces by name, you definitely have seen his work. Many of Benguiat’s fonts are mainstays of book publishing, such as ITC Bookman, a good one for early readers and elementary textbooks.
ITC Avant Garde, which he contributed to in the ’70s, goes in and out of style every few years. You might’ve unknowingly worn this work if you’ve ever donned Adidas.
And if you’ve received an invitation designed by an amateur in recent years, it quite possibly contained some Edwardian Script. (“Amateur” because the script is dated and overused at this point...)
While their names are often unknown and influence is unnoticed, type designers touch your life every day: They not only make critical information easy to understand (the use of Frutiger at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam comes to mind...), but also adorn products to be aesthetically pleasing and fun.