Jim Wasco, a second generation lettering designer, began his lifelong passion for lettering when his father taught him calligraphy at the age of 12. He started with a reproduction of the book Operina, by Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi and an instruction sheet for Chancery Cursive (based on Arrighi’s Operina).
His father taught him about lettering, proper spacing, letter proportions and balance. It was this knowledge, along with his illustration skills, that formed the fundamentals for the California-based type design business he founded in 1974. Early career highlights include assisting Jim Parkinson with his alphabet design for Rolling Stone Magazine.
Jim explains, “I realised that I had a gift of understanding letterforms. These things came to me naturally as common sense.”
Jim transitioned to designing type on computers at SlideTek and later spent 13 years in the Type Department at Adobe. His signature style can be found on typefaces such as Tekton Bold and Mythos.
Currently Jim is a Senior Type Designer in Monotype Imaging’s Font Development group. At Monotype Imaging he has designed customised fonts for Microsoft (Wasco Sans), AT&T (Sphere) and Gatorade. His most recent designs are Elegy, Harmonia Sans and Neue Aachen. When he’s not creating his own typeface, Jim can be found co-designing award-winning fonts, directing outside designers and co-ordinating collaborative design teams. He also served for three years on the Review Board at Silicon Valley College and has taught workshops on Hand Lettering and Making Fonts For Software Companies at SoTA (Society of Typographic Aficionados).