Jim Wasco, a second-generation lettering designer, began his lifelong passion for lettering when his father taught him calligraphy at the age of 12. He started with a reproduction of the book Operina, by Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi, and an instruction sheet for Chancery Cursive (based on Arrighi’s Operina typeface).
Jim’s father taught him about lettering, proper spacing, letter proportions and balance. It was this knowledge, along with his illustration skills, that formed the fundamentals for a California-based type design business Jim founded in 1974. Early career highlights include assisting Jim Parkinson with his alphabet design for Rolling Stone Magazine.
Jim Wasco explains, “I realized I had a gift of understanding letterforms. These things came to me naturally as common sense.”
Jim transitioned to designing type on computers at SlideTek, and later spent 13 years in the type department at Adobe. His signature style can be found on typefaces such as the Tekton Bold and Mythos designs.
Today, Jim is an award-winning senior typeface designer at Monotype Imaging. His work includes custom typefaces for Microsoft, AT&T and Gatorade, and his most recent designs include the Neue Aachan, Elegy and Harmonia Sans typefaces. Jim can also be found directing outside designers and coordinating collaborative design teams. In addition, he served for three years on the review board at Silicon Valley College and has taught workshops on hand lettering and making fonts for software companies at SoTA (Society of Typographic Aficionados).
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