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Jazzbo 2002–12

For my first experiments in typeface design I wanted to work within very simple parameters and constraints, that would enable me to defer some of the more complex aspects of vector drawing, while become a defining feature of the design. In practice, I chose to do this by designing a set of letters with no curves.

My model for this face was the lettering style used by several American graphic artists in the 1950s, exemplified in some of the work of Ben Shahn, and also the way that designers like Reid Miles made creative use of the limitations of headline photosetting systems to crop letters. Both appear in many jazz album covers of the time.

Jazzbo is a display face with no lower case. The three widths – Jazzbo, Jazzbo Slim and Jazzbo Fats – can be freely mixed.

Having established a very simple style, I wanted the typeface to reveal unexpected complexities and offer a range of creative scope to the user. This took the form of an extended range of ligatured and ‘nested’ letter pairs.

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