fonts by Adrian Williams
ADRIAN WILLIAMS began his career converting many established (second generation) hot metal typesetting designs for the then new (third generation) phototypesetting devices in 1969; an era when many equipment manufacturers prevailed, offering their own preprietory device - its own kind of unit system for their particular machine. Systems included: Monotype, Linotype, Scangraphic, Berthold, Bobst, Compugraphic.
FONTS, a Company specialising in providing custom made film fonts began during the 70s. Work centred around converting typefaces to 'fit' those various' photo systems working with each Manufacturer to make fonts for their unique format. He is responsible for many of their typefaces which he redrew. Other custom work followed along with Corporate Identity and Branding commissions, including the new Renault identity and badging.
CLUB TYPE was founded in 1985 and established to offer a range of exclusive typefaces, designed by Adrian Williams, arising from a demand for quality typefaces on dedicated photo typesetting systems, as the range of typefaces available on film or CRT was still based largely on existing hot metal designs. Members received the entire annual design output as flim, plastic or glass fonts meeting their specific machine requirements, with four-colour specimen books imprinted for Members' distribution.
The progress of the next generation of font technology did not really take off until a PostScript controller for the Apple LaserWriter printer was commissioned by Steve Jobs in 1984. PostScript and Apple, together with groundbreaking Aldus PageMaker software, is when (fourth generation) digital fonts became interesting and a typographic game changer - for the world.
The new technology was quickly taken up and between 1986 and 1990, nine families were converted from original drawings to start the Club Type Collection, which continues to grow.
My interest has always been to design typefaces for a particular purpose. Whether for advertising commissions like telephones, selling gas shares, branding a car, or the typefaces I create for my own range of fonts sold by major Vendors world-wide, they have all had a flavour of their own ideally suited to the message being conveyed.
Involvement with letters is a vocation, driven by a love of all things typographic. So from the day I met Rosemary Sassoon, on a bus in Germany at a conference in 1981, I became interested in helping to develop her concept - better typefaces to help children's reading skills. Her research convinced me there was a need for well designed typefaces based on solid evidence. So I offered to digitise her typeface. The fonts available at the time in the UK seemed to have been highjacked from other Countries and not suited to British preferences. I wanted to be involved in seeing this worthwhile project to a successful conclusion.
Together, we developed a whole range of font products that are now used worldwide in schools for teaching reading, handwriting and phonics. Reading fonts were the first priority. It took time. Rather than pushing our ideas, to which teachers have an aversion, we relied on a single website and waited for teachers to visit. Enlightened visitors were won over and soon, through recommendation, others bought into the Sassoon principle. Adults too benefited from the enhanced legibility factors built into typefaces developed specially for them.
I had an idea the project would go well, but no clue it would be so successful. After many years, realising that letters that joined together would be the next logical step, we developed joined handwriting fonts and thought that would be the end of the development journey. But more than 30 years after the start of the project, it continues to develop, extending the same simple, juvenile and adult-friendly letterforms to which pupils and can easily relate.
Just as the original Sassoon Primary fonts have exit strokes, now, our wealth of experience has given us the opportunity to develop Cyrillic and Greek language fonts. Importantly, they offer a different written form to the traditional letters found in print for reading. Exercises can now be created in the print letterforms for reading and pre-cursive letterforms for handwriting — all with the same font.
This continues the concept of bridging the gap between the type children are given to read and the type used in copybooks for handwriting. Demonstrating this crucial step in learning how to join letters in their copybook worksheets provides teachers with a valuable resource.
THE CLUB TYPE COLLECTION continued to offer further original typeface designs of relevance. To achieve more awareness, in 1994 a specimen book was produced aimed at Typographers, Creative Directors, Advertising Agencies and Design Groups - the specifiers of type. Newly released typefaces update the Collection from time to time.
During 1995, the FONTfitter software was developed in response to a growing number of Users making their own fonts. The software calculated widths of letter spacing (sidebearings) essential for Type Designers when developing typefaces.
From May 1996 fonts were being offered on the Club Type website. Advances in technology have made the Club Type Collection widely available for many popular electronic publishing systems' formats such as PostScript, TrueType, OpenType. Club Type now offers its products to Users world-wide through distribution agreements with major font vendors such as Adobe, Ascender Fonts, Monotype Imaging, MyFonts, Linotype.
In 2013 examples of the fonts were displayed on the Club Type website where Users are directed to purchase from Authorised Distributors.
Now retired, the Golf Course occupies much of his time.