RIP Ed Benguiat

Ephram “Ed” Benguiat passed away on October 15. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you probably aren’t a designer of a certain age. He was a graphic designer and typographer behind hundreds of typefaces, including his namesake ITC Benguiat and ITC Benguiat Gothic. (ITC is short for International Typeface Corporation, the foundry that distributed his work.) 

Even if you don’t know him or his typefaces by name, you definitely have seen his work. Many of Benguiat’s fonts are mainstays of book publishing, such as ITC Bookman, a good one for early readers and elementary textbooks.

Ed Benguiat designed ITC Ed Benguiat

ITC Avant Garde, which he contributed to in the ’70s, goes in and out of style every few years. You might’ve unknowingly worn this work if you’ve ever donned Adidas.

ITC Avant Garde Gothic - Ed Benguiat

And if you’ve received an invitation designed by an amateur in recent years, it quite possibly contained some Edwardian Script. (“Amateur” because the script is dated and overused at this point...)

Edwardian Script by Ed Benguiat

While their names are often unknown and influence is unnoticed, type designers touch your life every day: They not only make critical information easy to understand (the use of Frutiger at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam comes to mind...), but also adorn products to be aesthetically pleasing and fun.

Marvel at his repertoire at Luc Devroye’s Ed Benguiat profile. (Mine by comparison is positively pathetic!)

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