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Q&A with Jackson Cavanaugh

Typeface designer | Design studio "Type"

My name is Jackson. I am a typeface designer.


I don't do much typography beyond testing my typefaces and making the promitional materials for them. For the actual typeface design I use a number of programs. I do my main drawing and font building in Robofont. I do kerning with Metrics Machine. For font production and technical things I use things like Prepolator and Superpolator, UFOStretch, DTL OT Master, TTX, AFDKO, etc. I've also written and adapted a lot of python scripts for the most tedious things.

Ideal work environment

Like most things, type design is better when you can spend a ridiculous amount of time on it. I try to keep the office very small (it's just me) and slow (deadlines are bad, downtime is good), small (no employees, just me) and quiet (no drama).

Work inspiration

I'm very hard to please, I sincerely want everything to be better. Everything. There is too much shit in the world and most of exists only because someone didn't try hard enough to make something as good as possible. I fucking hate that. Why make something that isn't great? So instead of crapping out a dozen half-baked shit fonts I try to concentrate my efforts into making just a few things as good as I possibly can.

People you admire most

I'm just going to try to list some people in type that I really like and who’s work and attitude I look up to. In somewhat chronological order: Matthew Carter, Doyald Young, Peter Bilak, Underware, Mark Simonson, Nick Sherman, Fred Smeijers, Frank Greßhammer, Everyone at Font Bureau, Tal Leming, Jean-Baptiste Levee, Jeremy Mickel.