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Q&A with Ken Barber

Letterer, typeface designer

See also: Tal Leming · Erik van Blokland

I'm Ken Barber, a letterer, typeface designer and type director at design studio and font foundry, House Industries.

Software / hardware

I use all sorts of fancy software: primarily Adobe Illustrator for lettering, and RoboFont for typeface design. Also, tools such as MetricsMachine, Prepolator, Area 51 (by Tal Leming) and Superpolator (by Erik van Blokland) make managing font projects a whole lot easier. However, being somewhat technically inept, my favorite tools are good ol' pencil and paper.

Ideal work environment

House Industries: I get to work with a bunch of really talented folks, who also happen to be my friends. The studio is laid-back with an easy-going work routine; there are no prima donnas or drama—just a couple of people making things they like.

Work inspiration

While a hand-painted sign or dusty old copybook can occasionally trigger an idea, I find that simply rolling up my sleeves and getting down to business offers the most inspiration. Doing lots of work makes for better work; hopefully, some of it ends up being good.

Creatives you admire most

I'm lucky; I get to work with them every day.