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Type Designer Among 2010 MacArthur Fellows; Receives $500K Genius Grant

September 28, 2010
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CHICAGO—Sept. 28, 2010—The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named 23 new MacArthur Fellows for 2010. All were selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.

The recipients just learned, through a phone call out of the blue from the foundation, that they will each receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations and reporting requirements and offer fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create, and explore.

Matthew Carter was selected for being a "type designer crafting letterforms of unequaled elegance and precision that span the migration of text from the printed page to computer screens." To date, Carter has designed over 60 typeface families and more than 250 individual fonts reflecting a staggering variety of styles, including revivals of classic type as well as eccentric, expressive, and experimental forms.



He has cut metal letterforms by hand in the manner invented over four centuries ago, created enduring works for machine- and phototypesetting, and produced many of the world’s most widely used digital fonts. Carter's recent work has focused on developing highly legible fonts for computer screens, including the small screens of low-resolution, handheld devices. While bringing a deep knowledge of the history of his art form to bear on each new project, he continues to respond to a stream of new developments in communication technology with a thoroughly modern sensibility.

Carter is a principal of Carter and Cone Type, Inc., which he co-founded with Cherie Cone in 1991. He trained as a punchcutter at Enschedé and Zonen type foundry (the Netherlands), was a designer at Mergenthaler Linotype (1965–1981), and was co-founder of Bitstream, Inc. (1981–1991), the world’s first independent digital type foundry. Since 1976, he has been a senior critic at the Yale University School of Art.

The unusual level of independence afforded to fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors. The work of MacArthur Fellows knows neither boundaries nor the constraints of age, place and endeavor.

“This group of fellows, along with the more than 800 who have come before, reflects the tremendous breadth of creativity among us,” said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. “They are explorers and risk takers, contributing to their fields and to society in innovative, impactful ways. They provide us all with inspiration and hope for the future.”
 

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