Search

Ed Benguiat, after 50-years of impressive work, is dead at 92


Ephram Edward Benguiat (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.


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. 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.


Career:

Benguiat started 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 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."


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. 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.


He was hired as a designer by Esquire magazine as a designer 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. He helped set up the International Typeface Corporation (ITC) in 1970, as an independent licensing company and served as a vice president.


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


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. 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. His "Benguiat Caslon" was used in the logo of Foxy Brown.


Benguiat's design aesthetic included dramatic display typefaces, tight spacing, also known as "tight but not touching" or "sexy spacing", 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. 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)."


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


Don't leave your dream, Benguiat's started as a jazz percussionist, but he found out his biggest dream and chase it. Whatever you are doing right now, keep in your mind on one day you have to reach your main goal. And fight to get it. life is not easy. Life is hard. But as long as you working hard and smart, you will get what you looking for.



0 views
  • instagram-01
  • dribbble-01
  • facebook-01
  • linkedin-01
  • behance-01