In choosing a font for the current series of cryptographic paintings, I settled on one of the more durable and popular typefaces, Caslon. Created during 1725 by William Caslon at his foundry in Sheffield, England, it was based on some of the current Dutch fonts of the time, and includes well-developed serif characters that aid in legibility and aesthetic value.
Here’s the story of a ninth grader who failed algebra and later worked in a tire store. His specialty was the retreading machine: grind off the old tread, glop on the adhesive, align new tread on tire, seal the new tread. Repeat. Surely, this experience helped shape his later life, but it was the mediocrity of the occupation that eventually forced him to earn a degree in mathematics and send a resume to IBM. It was 1965 and IBM needed to train a few bright kids to function as electrical engineers.
Whilst a student at RISD I had several jobs as a custodian at various schools in the area, a skill set I still find valuable today. One day, while emptying a few barrels of middle school waste product, I noticed a large movie screen that was being thrown away. As it turned out, it was being disposed of because it no longer zipped back up like a venetian blind when it was tugged on. “Hey,” I said to myself, “That’s a great big white painting surface!”
Now that everyone has had their say about fonts like Comic Sans and Papyrus (I hope) it’s time to take a look at that curiosity known as Calypso. May it serve as an example for those that would like to mock it, and everyone can revel in their purist sense of style. Fine. Calypso is fascinating to me because it’s barely a font at all!