Typographer Laureate, Rod McDonald


One more typography post and then it’ll be given a rest of a couple of entries. This one comes from the current issue of Step Magazine; a story about Canadian designer and magazine-proclaimed Typorgrapher Laureate, Rod McDonald. It’s a terrific short piece about this brilliant artist’s history, as well as short discussions about three of the typefaces he designed. It makes for a very interesting story, given that he’d been such a large figure in type, but had not yet put his hand to creating a new typeface until fairly recently. It’s also one of those articles you read where someone is talking about type as this amazingly personal, beautiful thing, which, even if you are in design, you don’t always hear all the time. Makes you appreciate it a lot more, even if you’re still relatively clueless about it all. Here’s an excerpt from McDonald talking about Smart Sans:

McDonald’s next typeface is a personal tribute to Leslie (Sam) Smart, the first type director to be hired by a major typesetting house in Canada. Smart was a design pioneer who was instrumental in raising the standards of Canadian typography in the middle of the last century.

Shortly after Smart’s death in 1998, McDonald decided that something should be done to commemorate his life and achievements. A typeface family turned out to be the perfect answer. According to McDonald, “I had first thought of establishing a scholarship in Sam’s name, but a typeface design soon replaced this idea. Once I decided to design a typeface, however, it became a forgone conclusion that it would be a sans serif—for no other reason than it could carry the name Smart Sans.”