Joseph Churchward – New Zealand’s man of fonts

CoverIn the list of Queen’s Birthday Honours was the following Queen’s Service Medal:

Mr Joseph CHURCHWARD, of Wellington.
For services to typography.

With those letters, a man of letters was recognised, and honoured. Joseph has had an astonishing career. He has handcrafted over 570 original typefaces and this makes him the world’s most prolific typeface designer.

There was a lovely item celebrating him on TVNZ: More letters for NZ typographer. He talked about some of his fonts including Marianna, named after his daughter:

Mari­anna was fat in those days and it was a fat design … You were plumpy … it was plumpy.

Meena Kadri‘s article Full character set on Churchward, and the book about him by David Bennewith, reveals a character that New Zealand should cherish:

Unabated by less favour­able recep­tion to his typo­graphic endeav­ours, Church­ward has pur­sued unso­li­cited design work through­out his career. He dili­gently dis­patched these typo­graphic ‘sug­ges­tions’ to tele­vi­sion net­works, polit­ical parties and gov­ern­ment depart­ments. The book’s inclu­sion of some of the rejec­tion let­ters to this approach serve as a testi­mony of his ded­ic­a­tion to a life of let­ters and let­ter­forms – and amus­ingly includes a polite reply from the Rugby Union man­ager in 1998, set in Comic Sans.

Congratulations to Joseph on his well deserved honour.

Find out more at Christchurch City Libraries:

More about Joseph Churchward:

So…read any good books lately?

With the (can I say crappy?) weather we have been having lately, if you’re anything like me all you want to do is curl up somewhere warm with a good book.  (I started this blog last week and looking at the comments on A good book, a log fire, jazz and mulled wine –  many of us love to read somwhere warm in the winter.) 

So I thought I would take this opportunity to mention two books I have been recommended by library users, and to see if I can glean any more reads in return to get me through winter.  Firstly, a book I finished recently is The Senator’s wife by Sue Miller.  This is a wonderful character driven novel that made me want to go to bed early so I could read.

I think the same customer also recommended the book I’m reading now.  Another fantastic character driven read, especially if you like using novels as a form of escape. In the heart of the canyon by Elisabeth Hyde is about white water rafting trip down the Grand Canyon with an unlikely grouping of people and a stray dog that turns up their first night on the trip.  You’re suddenly transported to midsummer heat in Arizona – now that would warm you up! 

So any other recommendations to add to my list?