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Phill Grimshaw


The late Phill Grimshaw was a prolific designer who delighted in the sheer fun and challenge of drawing display typefaces. His fonts reflect his understanding of calligraphy, his own imagination for dynamic letterforms, and his knack for drawing a great variety of styles. After studying at the Royal College of Art in London in the 1970s, he settled in his native Manchester in northern England to work as a lettering artist. He developed a specialization in type design, influenced and encouraged by the calligrapher and typographer Tony Forster and by Letraset’s innovative type director,Colin Brignall.

From the mid-1970s until his death in 1998, Grimshaw created dozens of typefaces that all have his characteristic verve. His early work includes the typefaces,Oberon and Hazel. Later types for Letraset and ITC include the spicy Arriba the willowy ITC Braganza, the dashing Kendo, the bouncy Scriptease, and the spontaneous ITC Grimshaw Hand.

His last font projects were digital expansions of the Roger Excoffon from the 1950s Banco, Choc, ITC Mistral,and in-depth interpretations of the Art Nouveau lettering done by Scottish architect Charles Rennie, Mackintosh ITC Rennie Mackintosh. Grimshaw was a modest man with a wry sense of humor. He enjoyed the intimate pleasures of music (he played the mandolin and guitar), the joys of good beer and good friends, and the thrill of a snappy letterform.

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