About - Tom Grace: typeface design, font development, and lettering

There is something almost magical about tuning a drum. It is an experience that is more tactile and sensual than it is cerebral. The feel of the wood, the tension of the head, the look of the surfaces, and the tones that ring from striking the head all contribute in the tuning process. With time, a drum can become cold or worn. It can sound incompatible with other instruments, or with the acoustic environment. Tuning helps a drum overcome all these factors, whereby the drum can reach its full potential.

Typefaces, in a sense, share much with musical instruments. They are rarely ends in themselves; created for creation’s sake. Their purpose is to communicate, not just in content, but in style. Yet, as they come into being, digital typefaces encounter their own particular limits—limits of usability and technology. Operating systems, applications, and information networks are constantly evolving, as well as the group of people who use them. The variety of languages used in science, humanities, and commerce are also constantly changing. Fonts, the usable forms of typefaces, need to complement this evolution.

Tuning a typeface involves improving upon its original concept by expanding its unique characteristics to perform to particular needs. A typeface enhanced in this manner breaks through its previous limits of usability and technology. As a result the typeface, and ultimately the expression it materialises, can achieve their full potential.

My professional pursuits are focused around the creation of letters—that is, the design and development of typefaces and logotypes; in concept, drawing, building, and refining.

back to top