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Stone

Stone

Mathematics and calligraphy were the main courses for which the young Sumner Stone registered at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 1966. He was certain that the former would become his career and the latter his hobby. It turned out the other way around, though he did initially spend a few months teaching mathematics.

Stone’s love of typography took him first to work for the greetings cards manufacturer Hallmark. In 1982, he opened his own typography studio, Alpha and Omega Press, where he designed his first typefaces and worked for the typesetting equipment manufacturer Autologic. His big break came between 1985 and 1989, while he was working as director of typography at Adobe.

His fonts Stone Sans, Serif and Informal became the first Adobe Originals. In his work on the three font families, his soft spot for maths led him to eschew paper entirely. Sumner Stone was one of the first type designers of the time to merge design and digitisation into a single process.


“Stone-Age” typesetting? Sumner Stone was one of the first type designers to create a font family entirely at the computer (Image from PAGE 12/1989, Photo: Andreas Garrels)
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