Typographer: Carol Twombly

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Carol Twombly was born in Massachusetts on June 13, 1959. She was the youngest of five children. Growing up, she spent summers at her parent’s lake house in New Hampshire. She enjoyed skiing, camping, swimming, and playing tennis. A hard working student, she earned A’s throughout high school. She loved her art classes. After receiving her diploma, she followed her architect brother to the Rhode Island School of Design. Initially she had planned to pursue a degree in sculpture, but after learning more about the graphic design program and typography specifically, she decided to switch her focus. Her reason being, "I discovered that the communication of ideas by positioning black shapes on a white page offered a welcome balance between freedom and structure. Graphic design seemed a more practical choice for me (Arteaga, 2003).” During her summer breaks, Twombly worked for the firm of Bigelow & Holmes. Charles Bigelow – noted type historian and designer - was her typography professor at RISD. He asked for her assistance in producing typeface designs for a German digital type foundry. It was here that she learned the intricate processes involved in designing type. Kris Holes, Bigelow’s studio partner, taught her how to draw outline letters by hand, and to operate the Ikarus system, an early computer program for producing graphic images. After graduating and spending a year in a Boston graphic design studio, Bigelow invited her to join a small group of students enrolled in Stanford University’s digital typography program in Palo Alto. Here she earned a Masters of Science degree after learning how to combine her skill in graphic art with the science of computers. Her first typeface design, Mirarae, was an upright italic, with a slant of 3 degrees from vertical, and a large x-height. She entered it into the 1984 International Typeface Competition sponsored by Morisawa & Company, Ltd., of Japan. To her surprise, she was awarded the gold prize in the Latin text...
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