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Mark Simonson

As a kid, Mark Simonson was always drawing pictures. “I sat at the coffee table in front of the TV, watching The Flintstones and Batman, drawing pictures of cartoon dogs and cars. I wanted to be some kind of artist or cartoonist when I grew up.” He got encouragement from two of his uncles, who were artists themselves, and spent a lot of time watching his engineer father “make things and fix things.” Although Mark doesn’t have a workshop like his dad did, “his love of gadgets and technical know-how definitely rubbed off on me. It takes both artistic skills and technical skills to make a font. I put on the beret when I’m dreaming of new typefaces, and insert the pocket protector when I sit down at the computer to start building a font.”

“It takes both artistic skills and

technical skills to make a typeface.”

Late bloomer

Mark’s first serious attempt at designing a typeface was in 1978, which he submitted to ITC (International Typeface Corporation). “My idea was to create an original design for the general market. It was not as good as I thought it was. Kandal, which I released in 1994, was a reworking of that design.”

But designing type didn’t become a full-time career until later. He spent many years as a magazine art director and designing packaging and brochures. Full-time type design “was more of a daydream and, for the most part, a hobby.” Then, after a few years of selling type online in the early 2000s, things were looking promising. “Sales grew substantially every year. By 2005, I was making enough from selling fonts that I quit doing other kinds of work.”

What compels Mark to create? “I imagine things that don’t exist. If I want them to exist, I have to make them. And I enjoy doing that.”

Products by Mark Simonson

Blakely
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Blakely
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Bookmania
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Bookmania
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Changeling Neo
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Changeling Neo
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Coquette
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Coquette
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Felt Tip Roman
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Felt Tip Roman
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Felt Tip Senior
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Felt Tip Senior
$29.00 USD
Felt Tip Woman
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Felt Tip Woman
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Goldenbook
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Goldenbook
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Grad
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Grad
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Kandal
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Kandal
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Kinescope
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Kinescope
$29.00 USD
Lakeside
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Lakeside
$29.00 USD
Metallophile Sp8
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Metallophile Sp8
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Mostra Nuova
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Mostra Nuova
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Proxima Nova
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Proxima Nova
From $29.00 USD
Proxima Nova Condensed
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Proxima Nova Condensed
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Proxima Nova Extra Condensed
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Proxima Nova Extra Condensed
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Proxima Nova Soft
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Proxima Nova Soft
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Refrigerator Deluxe
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Refrigerator Deluxe
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Sharktooth
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Sharktooth
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Snicker Bold
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Snicker Bold
$29.00 USD