Ed Benguiat

Ephram Edward Benguiat (/ˈbɛnɡæt/; October 27, 1927 – October 15, 2020) was an American typographer and lettering artist. He crafted over 600 typeface designs including Tiffany, Bookman, Panache, Souvenir, Edwardian Script, and the eponymous Benguiat and Benguiat Gothic.

Ed Benguiat
Ed Benguiat 2008 (cropped).jpg
Benguiat in 2008
Born
Ephram Edward Benguiat

(1927-10-27)October 27, 1927
DiedOctober 15, 2020(2020-10-15) (aged 92)
NationalityAmerican
OccupationGraphic designer, typographer
Spouse(s)Elisa Benguiat

He was also known for his designs or redesigns of the logotypes for Esquire, The New York Times, Playboy, McCall’s, Reader’s Digest, Photography, Look, Sports Illustrated, The Star-Ledger, The San Diego Tribune, AT&T, A&E, Coke, Estée Lauder, Ford, and others.[1] Other notable examples of Benguiat’s work are the logotypes for the original Planet of the Apes film, Super Fly and The Guns of Navarone, and the typeface for the opening credits for Stranger Things.

Early lifeEdit

Benguiat was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 27, 1927 to Rose and Jack Benguiat. His mother was a driver with the Red Cross, and his father was a display director in the department store chain Bloomingdale's. He was exposed to design elements as early as nine, with access to his father's design tools.[2][3]

Although he was not old enough to enlist for the armed forces during World War II, he enlisted using a forged birth certificate and served in the Air Corps. He was stationed in Italy as a radio operator, and later performed photo reconnaissance.[2][3]

CareerEdit

Benguiat started out his career as a jazz percussionist playing in bands with the likes of Stan Kenton and Woody Herman. In an interview, he stated of his chosen career as a designer: "I’m really a musician, a jazz percussionist. One day I went to the musician’s union to pay dues and I saw all these old people who were playing bar mitzvahs and Greek weddings. It occurred to me that one day that’s going to be me, so I decided to become an illustrator."[4][5]

 
Ed Benguiat standing in front of a graphic of some of his typefaces at a talk in Berlin, 2008

He started his design career by working, in his words, as a "cleavage retoucher" during the restrictive period after World War II, when the Hays Code imposed restrictions on nudity in motion pictures. His role involved airbrushing and other techniques to do away with nudity in published works.[3] He went on to study graphical design, calligraphy, and typography at the Workshop School of Advertising Art under the Russian-American graphical artist and calligrapher Paul Standard.[6]

He was hired as a designer by Esquire magazine magazine in 1953 and subsequently went on to join Photo Lettering Inc. as a design director in 1962. It was here that he worked on utilizing photo technology for commercial typography and lettering.[7][8] He helped set up the International Typeface Corporation (ITC) in 1970, as an independent licensing company and served as a vice president.[3]

Over his career, he was one of the most prolific lettering artists, crafting over 600 typeface designs including Tiffany, ITC Bookman, Panache, Souvenir, Edwardian Script, and the eponymous Benguiat and Benguiat Gothic.[3] His Benguiat family was considered synonymous with Stephen King's works in the 1980s, and used in the logo and opening credits of Stranger Things. It was also used for the main credits in Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact.[9]

He was also known for his designs or redesigns of the logotypes for Esquire, The New York Times, Playboy, McCall’s, Reader’s Digest, Photography, Look, Sports Illustrated, The Star-Ledger, The San Diego Tribune, AT&T, A&E, Coke, Estée Lauder, Ford, and others.[1] Other notable examples of Benguiat’s work are the logotypes for the original Planet of the Apes film, Super Fly and The Guns of Navarone.[3][10] His "Benguiat Caslon" was used in the logo of Foxy Brown.[11]

Benguiat's design aesthetic included dramatic display typefaces, tight spacing, also known as "tight but not touching" or "sexy spacing",[12][13] and the very high x-heights popular in design in the 1970s, sometimes with flamboyant swashes, all features which were common in ITC's typefaces.[14][15][11][16] These styles are also seen in the design of Herb Lubalin, another of ITC's co-founders. Gene Gable commented "You could easily say that ITC designs put a face on the ’70s and ’80s...You couldn’t open a magazine or pass a billboard in the ’70s without seeing [them]."[17]

Benguiat was a teacher at the School of Visual Arts, in New York, starting in 1961 and serving for over 50 years.[18][3] He was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame in 2000.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Benguiat was married to Elisa (née Halperin) Benguiat for 38 years until his death. He died on October 15, 2020, twelve days before his 93rd birthday, at his home in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.[3]

He was an avid hobby pilot and was a member of a flying club called 'The Flying Birdmen'.[20][21]

Published fontsEdit

Most of Benguiat's published work was released through International Typeface Corporation. This includes ITC Barcelona, ITC Benguiat, ITC Benguiat Gothic, ITC Bookman, ITC Caslon No. 224, ITC Century Handtooled, ITC Edwardian Script, ITC Modern No. 216, ITC Panache, ITC Souvenir, ITC Tiffany. In addition, there were collaboration releases including ITC Avant Garde (condensed styles only), ITC Bauhaus (with Victor Caruso), ITC Cheltenham Handtooled (with Tony Stan), ITC Korinna (with Victor Caruso), ITC Lubalin Graph (with Herb Lubalin).[22]

Ed Benguiat CollectionEdit

The Ed Benguiat Font Collection is a casual font family designed by Benguiat and released by House Industries. The collection includes a series of whimsical icons, dubbed "bengbats". Unlike Benguiat's earlier, pre-computer work, the family uses extensive OpenType programming to replicate the feel of custom lettering or manual phototypesetting, similar to classic film posters and record sleeves. Some of the fonts in this collection included Ed Brush, Ed Gothic, Ed Interlock, Ed Roman, Ed Script, PL Benguiat Frisky.[23][24][11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Halperin, Elisa. "TYPO Berlin 2008 Image". Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Edward Benguiat". ADC • Global Awards & Club. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Genzlinger, Neil (2020-10-16). "Ed Benguiat, a Master of Typography, Is Dead at 92". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  4. ^ "Q&A with Ed Benguiat". Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-06.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Jay, Alex. "Creator: Ed Benguiat". Tenth Letter of the Alphabet. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Ed Benguiat | GD 203". go.distance.ncsu.edu. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  7. ^ "Photo-Lettering - History". Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Grant, Angelynn. "The Ed Benguiat Collection." Communication Arts 46.7 (2004): 194-197. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web.
  9. ^ "Ed Benguiat, Legendary Designer Who Created Font Used In Stranger Things, Dies At 93". TV Shows. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  10. ^ TypeRoom. "In Memoriam: Ed Benguiat (1927-2020) - TypeRoom". www.typeroom.eu. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  11. ^ a b c Schwartz, Christian. "Back with a flourish". Eye Magazine. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  12. ^ Shaw, Paul. "Tutorial no. 6—Tight but not touching kerning". Paul Shaw Letter Design. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  13. ^ "Seventies are hot! Sexy spacing & more typography from an over-the-top decade of brilliance". Typeroom.
  14. ^ Hardwig, Florian. "Love & Guilt & The Meaning of Life, Etc". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  15. ^ Bomparte, Natacha. "Ed Benguiat: New York Times". History of Graphic Design. NC State University. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  16. ^ "In Memoriam: Ed Benguiat (1927-2020)". Typeroom. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  17. ^ Gable, Gene. "Scanning Around With Gene: Part 2 of That '70s Type!". Creative Pro. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  18. ^ https://www.linotype.com/1515/edward-benguiat.html
  19. ^ Bruckner, D. J. R. "DESIGN VIEW; How the Alphabet Is Shaping Up In a Computer Age", The New York Times, September 10, 1989. Accessed November 27, 2007. "This autumn he will receive the Type Directors Club award, and two retrospectives of his work are scheduled for early next year, one at the School of Visual Arts, where he teaches, and one at the International Typeface Corporation's gallery on Hammarskjold Plaza."
  20. ^ TypeRoom. "In Memoriam: Ed Benguiat (1927-2020) - TypeRoom". www.typeroom.eu. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  21. ^ "Ed Benguiat | GD 203". go.distance.ncsu.edu. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  22. ^ "Edward Benguiat « MyFonts". www.myfonts.com. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  23. ^ Twardoch, Slimbach, Sousa, Slye (2007). Arno Pro (PDF). San Jose: Adobe Systems. Retrieved 14 August 2015.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ "Ed Benguiat font collection". House Industries. Retrieved 26 January 2016.

External linksEdit