Simon Garfield was born in London in 1960. He won the Guardian/National Union of Students "Student Journalist of the Year" award In 1981, and the same year became a sub-editor at the Radio Times (a UK guide to what's on TV and radio).
He wrote scripts for BBC radio documentaries in the early 1980s, and wrote for Time Out magazine (where he was acting editor from 1988-1989).
He has written for newspapers such as The Independent on Sunday and The Observer. He was named Mind Journalist of the Year in 2005. The award celebrates exceptional writing on mental health issues in the local, national, trade and consumer press.
He is the author of a dozen books of nonfiction including Just My Type, published in 2010 in the UK and 2011 in the USA.
This biography was last updated on 08/25/2011.
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Simon Garfield, author of Just My Type, discusses the extraordinary history of fonts; which of the more than 100,000 estimated font designs in the world he considers the best and worst; and explains why you should be cautious about downloading fonts off the internet.
How did you become interested in fonts?
I've been interested in fonts long before I knew any of their names or anything of their history. It began seriously for me when I bought my first album covers as a boy - I clearly remember going to a shop near my home in north-west London, buying David Bowie's Hunky Dory and Electric Warrior by T Rex, and gazing at their sleeves on the bus. That was the beginning of it. A fascination with book jackets soon followed, and then the credits on TV shows, and then computers.
Why are there so many different fonts?
I haven't counted them all, but there are an estimated 100,000 different font designs in the world, most of them available to download on your computer. Of course we don't need them all, but then again we probably don't need all the songs in the world either, or all the paintings. But we will always need to express our emotions in new and modern ways, and we are a creative race, so we need to keep on ...
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