Characters

Last month, my friend Allan Haley asked us to design a web banner for fonts.com. When he sent us the typeface to promote, Ratio Modern, I immediately fell in love with the parentheses. This is what happens if you are a type geek. It’s so geeky that Star Wars fanatics at Comic Con would probably laugh at me.

Every day, I drive by a billboard in Hollywood of a Groucho Marx caricature. I have no idea what it is for, but it’s the best part of the drive. As I sat in traffic staring at the billboard, I realized that the Ratio Modern parentheses are like a wonderful moustache, and I couldn’t let this opportunity pass. This opened the Pandora’s Box of other type characters (no pun intended). I recall a sculptor telling me, “The figure is trapped in the marble. I only set it free.” And it turned out that this was true with typography. The barbershop quartet guy, surprised woman, uptight starlet with a beehive, Don Quixote dapper dude, and cranky queen all were alive hiding inside the letters.