Reaction to Abstract: Jonathon Hoefler

Another episode of Abstract, another inspirational artist. By far the coolest part of all of these episodes was the involvement of actually designing a font being a main focus throughout the Typeface Design episode. I loved observing Jonathon Hoefler’s creative process: taking walks down the streets of New York City and observing buildings, looking at old watches to find differences and uniqueness in certain number shaping, and going to the New York Public Library to find old fonts and draw inspiration from them. It was almost baffling how much goes into the design of a font, for it to look very similar to other fonts, yet still bring its own uniqueness to the table.

I really enjoyed some of the fonts that Hoefler created throughout his career that were showcased during the episode, including Knockout, Decimal, and of course, Gotham, which is actually what NYU uses, and to think about that is crazy! It was extremely cool to see examples of Gotham in the episode too, where he drew inspiration from the New York Port Authority, of all places, and it was later used in Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, as well as the 9/11 Memorial in FiDi.

The entire episode really just pointed out to me that there is a job for just about anything, and the thing that’s created through the job can be used anywhere and everywhere. It also gave me a sense of perseverance–he began with Sports Illustrated, then eventually ended up working with Apple, getting his font used by Barack Obama, then 69 other Congressional nominees the following election cycle, and ended up building his own popular brand and company that makes fonts. The idea of a job that requires me to build 3–4 fonts a year will forever be cool to me.

Student at New York University. Passionate about visual art and the intersection between technology and sports.