Brian Willson backed into type design through a side door. A self-described “impostor” in the type world, Willson has no formal training and started designing typefaces in mid-life. Nevertheless, he has created some exceptionally popular designs—a few which challenge traditional boundaries.
Willson grew up in the 1950s and ’60s in Austin, Texas. After a short stint in a country-rock band, he turned his attention to other forms of the communication arts. “I floated around tetherless for years. I was a writer and a journalist in print and on the radio. In the late 1980s, I got my first Macintosh.” Even then, the Mac was a freelance magnet. “Small jobs began to come my way, newsletters, brochures; one thing lead to another. I bought my first copy of Fontographer to create a logo for an environmental newsletter and I’ve been making letters ever since.”