At the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to channel my existential anxiety into a long-standing goal of designing a typeface. It would actually be a second attempt, as back in 2007 I’d hacked together a pixel font based on little 16×16 icons. That one doesn’t really count though, and my frustration with the software available at the time discouraged me from making more type.
But in 2020 things were different. We were all locked down, and I’d remembered the lettering found on the side of a few banks in the area here in Massachusetts. I loved these “VAULT ALARM” boxes and I’d been walking past one every day for years here in downtown Salem.
“Someday I’ll make a font based on that”, I’d say, then remembering how difficult that was in my previous attempt. But now I had some time and motivation to make it happen.
With the help of some talented friends, the wonderful Glyphs app, and lots of trial-and-error, I managed to release Vault Alarm here on SimpleBits in 2020. More fonts followed as I was inspired to make them. Some based on other local signage or just letterforms I wanted to explore. I was hooked. I even wrote a little book about what I learned while making typefaces. But shoehorning a little type foundry into my existing shop on SimpleBits, while the easiest path, began to feel a little odd and forced.
Introducing Simple Type Co.
So, today, I’m pleased to announce a new venture: Simple Type Co. This will be my main focus going forward: A tiny type studio that makes display fonts and also goods with those display fonts on them.
Our motto is: Never perfect. Always a-okay. This new focus feels…really nice. I enjoy making things and figuring it out along the way, and STC will be a great vehicle to bring those things to life. My partner, Melissa Allegrini, will be Skipper of Operations here at our headquarters. It’s a family business, where we have our hands on everything coming out of our factory garage.
That means SimpleBits can return as our umbrella company and hypertext home. Heck, I’ve even ressurected the blog! We’ll see if that lasts. Simple Type Co. will be the shop now for my fonts, books, tees, stickers, etc. and I’m super excited about how it can evolve on its own as I continue to learn. After retiring from Dribbble, I’d been a little all over the place, creatively, so it feels really good to have a direction to settle on.