Phill Grimshaw, Type Font

Designer from England

Phill Grimshaw

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Phill Grimshaw was a type font designer who was responsible for development of at least 28 different fonts. He was born in Bolton and attended the Bolton College of Art. He apparently worked in his native Lancashire. He was married and had two sons. He died in Manchester in 1998 at the age of 48.

Webpage Credits

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Phill Grimshaw's Fonts

Examples of Works Employing Phill Grimshaw's Fonts

Phill Grimshaw Book

Phil Grimshaw's Obituary



Webpage Credits

Thanks go to Patrick Argent for preparing an excellent obituary for Phill Grimshaw.


Linotype Ad 

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The day Ottmar Mergenthaler demonstrated the first linecasting machine to the New York Tribune in 1886, Whitelaw Reid, the editor-in-chief, was delighted: "Ottmar," he said, "you’ve cast a line of type!"

The editor’s words formed the basis for the company label, and marked the beginning of Linotype’s success story. Four years later, the ingenious inventor founded the Mergenthaler Linotype Company. Little did he know that after more than 100 years of successful business the Linotype Library, a subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, would be following in his footsteps.

Today, Linotype Library has one of the world’s largest font libraries (see text below), offering more than 5000 high-quality typefaces.

Linotype Library’s goal is to be a partner for designers and typographers, and to support a global transfer of know-how and an open exchange of ideas and information in the field of typography. The ambitious and qualified staff at Linotype Library are dedicated to meeting this objective and making it reality.

The library

With the revolutionary invention of hot-metal setting, fonts were no longer just for the elite and soon became a popular tool of graphical and visual communication.

Many of today’s most important and internationally influential fonts derived from the Linotype Library and its predecessors. Original fonts that you can nowadays find on every PC as PostScript fonts have been licensed from this huge library.

The Linotype Library is one of the biggest libraries of the world. The importance of font usage and the loyalty and creativity of today’s highly renowned international type designers have made the Linotype Library the center of both traditional and innovative modern type design.

Mission Statement

The concept
We see the task of the Linotype Library in the production, marketing and licensing of high quality fonts. Proven methods have to be kept and continuously developed, while new ways have to be found and tested. As a developer of the communication vehicle ‘font’ for all visual media we see ourselves as a partner for both designers and typographers. Together we wish to promote global transfer and open discussion.

Phill Grimshaw – born 1950, died 1998 – English type designer.

Fonts: Arriba™, Banco™, Bendigo™, ITC Braganza™, Choc™, ITC Golden Cockerel™ Initials and Ornaments, Gravura™, ITC Grimshaw Hand™, Hazel™, ITC Kallos™, ITC Kendo™, ITC Klepto™, ITC Mistral™, ITC Noovo™, ITC Obelisk®, Oberon™, Pristina™, ITC Regallia™, ITC Rennie Mackintosh™, ITC Samuel™, Scriptease™, Shaman™, ITC Stained Glass™, ITC Stoclet™, ITC Tempus™, Zaragoza™, Zennor™.

Arriba, Bendigo, Braganza, ITC Golden Cockerel, Gravura, ITC Grimshaw Hand, Hazel, ITC Kallos, ITC Kendo, ITC Klepto, ITC Noovo, Oberon, Pristina, ITC Regallia, ITC Rennie Mackintosh, ITC Samuel, Scriptease, Shaman, ITC Stained Glass, ITC Stoclet, ITC Tempus, Zaragoza and Zennor are trademarks of International Typeface Corporation.

ITC Obelisk is a registered trademark of International Typeface Corporation.

Banco is a registered trademark of M. Olive.

Choc and Mistral are trademarks of M. Olive.


Phill Grimshaw's Fonts

Twenty-seven examples... 


Arriba™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 4 font weights

Banco™ Font Family (Linotype Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

Bendigo™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 2 font weights

ITC Braganza™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 4 font weights

Choc™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 2 font weights

ITC Golden Cockerel™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 4 font weights

Gravura™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

ITC Grimshaw Hand™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

Hazel™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

ITC Kallos™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 6 font weights

ITC Kendo™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 2 font weights

ITC Klepto™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

ITC Mistral™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 3 font weights

ITC Noovo™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 2 font weights

ITC Obelisk™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 5 font weights

Oberon™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

Pristina™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

ITC Regallia™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

ITC Rennie Mackintosh™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 3 font weights

ITC Samuel™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

Scriptease™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

Shaman™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

ITC Stained Glass™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

ITC Stoclet™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 2 font weights

ITC Tempus™ Serif Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 4 font weights

Zaragoza™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight

Zennor™ Font Family (ITC Library) - consisting of 1 font weight


Examples of Works Employing Phill Grimshaw's Fonts 


Arriba™ and Arriba Arriba™

Arriba™ is the work of English designer Phill Grimshaw. The angular forms and the simulated broad brush style results in an alphabet which can be used in a variety of applications, whether print or new media. Arriba™ also includes a number of alternate characters for even more flexibility. This font is best used with its letters set close together. The lively Latin American look of Arriba™ make it perfect for work requiring a dash of spice.

A typographically eye-popping addition to Arriba™ that offers even more design possibilities: Arriba Arriba™. And the appropriate Pi font is now included with both fonts.

Arriba™ and Arriba Arriba™ are each single font weights.

Arriba is a trademark of International Typeface Corporation.



ITC Grimshaw Hand™

ITC Grimshaw Hand is based on the handwriting of its British designer Phill Grimshaw. Warm and lively, the typeface has the typical look of handwriting and lends a personal touch to documents generated on a computer.

ITC Grimshaw Hand is a trademark of International Typeface Corporation.


ITC Rennie Mackintosh™

Phill Grimshaw, 1996

ITC Rennie Mackintosh font is based on the handwriting and drawings of Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who was widely acclaimed for his highly original buildings, interiors and furniture produced at the turn of the century in Glasgow, Scotland.

The ITC Rennie Mackintosh font family includes two weights, bold and light. The bold font design is very close in weight and color to Mackintosh’s original hand lettering, while the lighter weight was designed to be suitable for use in smaller point sizes. Like his architecture, his hand lettering was revolutionary and designed to communicate not only his written words, but to fit perfectly into the precise nature of his architectural plans and proposals.

These fonts include many alternate characters as well as short word settings that Mackintosh created to use when space was limited. This innovative type family is the result of extensive research and collaboration between ITC and the Glasgow School of Art.

ITC Rennie Mackintosh is a trademark of International Typeface Corporation.



Phill Grimshaw Book 

Phill Grimshaw Book

A commemorative book celebrating the life and work of Phill Grimshaw — internationally respected lettering artist, typeface designer and calligrapher — who sadly died in 1998 aged just 48.

The book presents a broad cross-section of Phill’s work, and showcases the development of eight typefaces, from rough sketches to final font.

The 116 page book was designed in collaboration with Dan’s father, Tony Forster, himself a former tutor of Phill's.

Text written by Colin Brignall and Patrick Baglee. Paper by GF Smith. Print by Marshall Hayward.


Phil Grimshaw's Obituary 

Obituary: Phill Grimshaw

Patrick Argent

THE TYPE designer occupies a unique role in graphic design, creating printed lettering and alphabets which determine the look of all visual communications, and thus much of our environment. Phill Grimshaw had just such an influence. His skills as a calligrapher and natural feel for lettering enabled him to produce a diverse range of fonts, from painterly brush scripts to formal copperplate typefaces, evoking disparate moods, effects and historic looks. He created some of the most popular typefaces of the late 20th century, including 44 complete fonts for Letraset and the International Typeface Corporation of New York (ITC).

When the Glasgow School of Art celebrated their centenary in 1996 Grimshaw developed hand-drawn lettering by the architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh into a full production typeface. It was used, reversed out, on a series of huge banners between the massive entrance columns of the Metropolitan Museum of New York in the winter of 1996-97 to announce the Mackintosh retrospective being staged there. This had originated at the McLellan Galleries in Glasgow, and subsequently travelled to the Art Institute of Chicago and the County Museum of Art in Los Angeles.

Grimshaw was born in Bolton in 1950. He attended Bolton College of Art where his tutor was the internationally-renowned lettering designer Tony Forster, who later became a close friend and ally. With Forster's encouragement and guidance, Grimshaw earned a place at the Royal College of Art in London (1972-75), where he shared a sink with David Hockney. Here he was taught by another eminent practitioner, the graphic designer John Gorham.

His early designs were influenced by the "ideas" graphics - rather than decorative graphics - of Bob Gill, a partner in the 1960s design group Fletcher/Forbes/Gill (later to develop into the international consultancy Pentagram), yet his leaning towards letterforms, be they formal, informal or calligraphy-based, indicated his true future vocation.

Returning to his native Lancashire after graduating from the RCA, he established his own commercial lettering studio. With an idiosyncratic yet pragmatic approach to his work he began to earn a formidable reputation as a type designer.

Grimshaw was passionate about both disciplines of letterform creation: calligraphy and typography. His typographic design was subsequently influenced by calligraphy and vice-versa, a cross-over technique typical of his experimental methods. In particular his more calligraphic work was much sought after by art directors in the London advertising industry; among the companies for whom he worked were the British Council, Marks & Spencer, Gale's Honey, Littlewood's, Scottish and Newcastle Brewery, and BBC North.

His first typeface design for Letraset was Oberon, in 1986. This marked the debut of his professional liaison with Colin Brignall, then Letraset's Type Director, who recognised the outstanding quality of his work. During the Seventies and Eighties Brignall was a key figure in the development of British type design at Letraset's drawing studio in London, responsible for the production of over 500 dry transfer typefaces - i.e. that transfer on to paper.

Under Brignall's patronage Grimshaw embarked on a productive and creative period in which his type ideas flourished, fuelled by his ability to recognise gaps in the typeface market. Due to the increasing move towards computerisation in the graphics profession, Grimshaw's 1992 typeface Hazel became the last type design to be produced by Letraset as a dry transfer product.

The advent of the Apple Macintosh computer in the mid-Eighties provided him with the ideal medium with which to develop his designs into marketable commercial typefaces: providing speed and accuracy as well as flexibility - a means of manipulating designs on screen; where hand-drawn lettering might take a day to draw, on a machine the same task might take an hour. His natural skills as a designer and draughtsman combined with the computer's capabilities as a studio tool made the later years of his career particularly successful.

From 1992 to 1995 he contributed alphabets to Letraset's Fontek range of digital typefaces (available on disc or CD-rom). From 1995, when Letraset relinquished its interest in type development, Grimshaw and Brignall continued their collaboration under the auspices of ITC, generating a number of type designs including Braganzo (1996), which won the New York Type Directors Award for that year. Another, ITC Kendo (1997), a calligraphic-based font, illustrates Grimshaw's dexterity and ability to marry balance, form and curve with sweeping exuberant pen strokes and a decisiveness of line, typifying the spirit of freedom and gusto prevalent in all of his work.

Phill Grimshaw was essentially a robust, no-nonsense Northerner, but he was also a diversely talented man: an accomplished watercolour artist, a self-taught musician and a model maker. His scholarly enthusiasm for megalithic monuments led him to become an expert on them. His legacy is the typefaces that enjoy world-wide usage in advertising and graphic design.

Phill Grimshaw, type designer, calligrapher and artist: born Bolton, Lancashire 1 February 1950 ; married 1987 Penny Air (two sons); died Manchester 27 July 1998.

Copyright 1998 Newspaper Publishing PLC

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.






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Webpage posted February 2005. Updated July 2007 with obituary by Patrick Argent.