Morris Fuller Benton (1872–1948) was the chief type designer of the American Type Founders Company for four decades and is credited with well over 200 typeface designs. Yet he remains an elusive figure who never wrote about his work and whose achievements have been overlooked and even dismissed by historians. This talk is based on a painstaking examination of Benton’s typefaces and an analysis of his contribution to the design discipline. Benton is examined in the context of his times, an era of rapid technological change, and a new assessment of the man, his work, and his legacy emerges.
Juliet Shen has taught typography at the School of Visual Concepts
in Seattle since 1999, with a year off to get an MA in typeface design at the University of Reading
, UK. Her dissertation on the type designs of Morris Fuller Benton
has been published by Sherwin Beach Press
in a letterpress edition hand composed in Benton’s Cloister Old Style
. Juliet’s typeface Bullen
, released by Font Bureau, was inspired by her perusal of typefaces in the early ATF specimen books. She has had an independent design firm
in Seattle since 1989 and concentrates today on custom font design. Her Lushootseed
font for the Tulalip Tribes of Washington is the first newly designed Native American font to be cut as wood type by the Hamilton Museum and is used in efforts to revive the daily use of the critically endangered language. She is a board member of SOTA
, the producers of TypeCon, and the director of the Type Americana
conference in Seattle. Juliet received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and Certificate of Fine Arts from the Cooper Union.