October 6, 2011

Insanely Great

Below is a citation by Steve Jobs that I'd added to a post written (click) about a year ago. I used it to illustrate a point I was making about Letterforms, and ways we land where we do (simply put):

"... Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand-calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

Next is my favorite part:

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.

Did you notice the typography used in his computer? Oh, beautiful serif! He truly was sincere…

What can I say? It really comes down to this:

Dear Steve Jobs,
You changed my world. Thank you for your open mind, your quest for learning (traditional or not), your willingness to take risks, and your ingenuity. May you rest in peace.
Respectfully yours, Victoria

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