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Nick Shinn Speaks Up

Humble and mild mannered may be among the qualities you may notice if you get the chance to meet him. With over 20 Typefaces to date, many of his designs have been published and/or distributed by a network of which include Fontshop International (FontFont), Phil’s Fonts and Veer - to name a few. So without further ado Speak Up proudly presents a veteran of the contemporary type scene, Nick Shinn.

> Read the interview

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Aug.14.2003 BY Christopher May
Armin’s comment is:

The thing that surprised me the most about Nick is how "curious" he is about everything. He wants to know, to learn and he will ask tons of questions. And he uses a Wacom Tablet, not bad for an old-timer (no offense Nick).

"Helvetica must die!"

Really? I rarely use Helvetica, but c'mon! It's Helvetica, how can you hate it? None of us would be here if it weren't for good ol' Helvetica.

On Aug.14.2003 at 09:36 AM
eric’s comment is:

despite the cringe factor involved in describing type as an ontological pursuit, i enjoyed the interview -- particularly the closing:

"NS: Don't use stock. Support your local photographers, illustrators, and type designers, or do it yourself. If you buy creative from the multinationals, you are digging your own grave."

thanks for the interview Christopher.

On Aug.14.2003 at 10:01 AM
Christopher May’s comment is:

much appreciated Eric.

but the true thanks should go to the people we interview. It's their answers that give us the insight and inspiration ;)

On Aug.14.2003 at 12:53 PM
Hrant’s comment is:

Nick is a very interesting type designer.

But I don't think Helvomita should die. I think it should be flogged in public with a composing stick for 200 years.


On Aug.14.2003 at 04:02 PM
Kevin Lo’s comment is:

I've worked with Nick's son on a couple of things here in Montréal, and I'm pleased to say that creativity and eccentricity run in the family.

On Aug.14.2003 at 09:29 PM
pk’s comment is:

nick is the person at fault for my starting my latest colelction of faces.

On Aug.14.2003 at 09:53 PM
James Arboghast - Sentinel Type’s comment is:

I admire Nick's openness of mind, and his courage to say it as he sees and feels it, whatever 'it' happens to be. And I am relieved to learn that somebody else has the guts to say they are angry about "the present state of typography"; the decrepidness of form and the dominance of antiquated, atrophied flotsam of the past. Even if he acknowledges Jenson as der ultima (well, it is difficult to surpass). The craft and its idioms are conservative in the extreme if the details, (not the structures) of virtually* every typeface are based in some way on one or another previous face.

*experimental and highly abstracted faces excepted.

>cringe factor involved in describing type as an ontological pursuit

What's so cringe-inducing about "ontological"? Ontological means, literally, the metaphysics of being or the essence of things, or abstraction thereof. A simpler definition: ontology=abstraction of the real. So the choice of word is spot-on, as abstraction is the very essence of type design. Those who cringe at such 'big' words could do better by adopting them instead of cringing. As typographers we are indebted to language and ideas as the objects of our craft.

On Aug.28.2003 at 07:58 PM
Claudio Piccinini’s comment is:

Hey, thanks to Christopher for the talk with Nick. Believe it or not, I've just find it.

I'm sorry, Armin, I don't visit Speak Up very often.

On your observation: people talk too much about Helvetica. How about doing something serious about it? Like kicking the H*ll out of it, for example...

On Nov.06.2003 at 04:37 PM
Claudio Piccinini’s comment is:

>Believe it or not, I've just find it.

*found* it.

My English stinks more and more each and every day it passes. I'm worried.

On Nov.06.2003 at 04:39 PM